Nothings Purrfect – Sacrifices of a Nomad

Sacrifices of a Nomad

To lead a nomadic lifestyle one must make certain choices and sacrifices. In order to retain the absolute freedom to travel the world one first has to give up security & comfort, a home, clean clothes and regular meals. One has to accept that it may be a long time before seeing friends and family and that one will never have a steady respectable, career. For me though, I could deal with all of this. For me the hardest sacrifice I had to make when deciding to make the road my home was my beloved, blue eyed baby. My four-legged, feline friend. My little white cat; Teddy.

First-up, I didn’t name Teddy. He came from the RSPCA (animal shelter to my stateside readers) and already had a name. Had I named him then he would have been called Osiris or Raskolnikoff or Mozart or Jeremy Corbyn. I could have renamed him but he was already shaken up enough by being re-homed and I didn’t want to traumatise him further by making him answer to a new name. He was kind of a birthday gift to me from my late girlfriend and I say “kind of” because whilst it was her idea I still ended up paying the adoption fee.

I loved him instantly. He was young and foolish, boisterous and bouncy, jumping first and looking second and got himself into all manner of comical scrapes. What he lacked in common sense he made up for in charm and sheer sweetness. He quickly became the life of the household ingratiating himself with all house guests.gatoSo when I made the decision to give up my job, house and ironing board I knew that the hardest thing to leave behind would be Teddy. Despite how popular he was amongst my friends and neighbours rehoming him proved hard but eventually my friend and her family agreed to take him. The night before I caught my flight towards Colombia she came to collect him. He cried in confusion as we ushered him into the carry cage and I could feel his bright blue eyes piercing through the gated bars and looking to me for help. “Don’t listen” my friend urged me. After shutting the door behind them my eyes filled with tears.

After I had been travelling maybe a week or so my friend informed me that Teddy had disappeared from his new home. He seemed to have had settled so it came as a surprise to them but maybe he had just  gotten lost and would turn up. I was distraught and could not help but blame myself. My friends back home put up posters but he could not be found and as the weeks turned to months with no sign of him I had to accept the worst.

During my time on the road I thought about him often. One night in a hostel bed I dreamed that he spoke to me and admonished me for abandoning him. In every city, town and pueblo I visited I would busy myself befriending the neighbourhood cats (perhaps unwise considering that I had cheaped out on a rabies shot before leaving England) but of course none could ever replace the bond I had with him. Out in the world, I never once missed my job, home, security or ironing board and I knew that my friends and family were ok and would be waiting for me. Yet I really felt the absence of my little Teddy.

Fast forward 6 months and I returned home. I felt shell shocked and deflated to be back and had an overwhelming sense of failure somehow. Then, within 2 or 3 days something almost miraculous happened. Teddy turned up and was handed in to a vets near my friends home.

I came to see him immediately. Wherever he had been he had certainly been well fed and I almost strained to pick him up to cuddle and kiss him. I’m not sure he recognised me or maybe he was just sulking at me for leaving him but nevertheless he bore the brunt of my unleashing 6 months of pent up affection. We will never know where he had been or why he had not turned up sooner, we just agreed that he had decided to follow in his Papa’s foot-steps and head out on an adventure all of his own.

After returning home I was not able to re-adopt Teddy as I knew that it would only be a matter of time before I headed off again and it would be cruel to keep on passing him back and forth between homes. He now lives happily in a place called Oxenhope which is a tiny, rural Hamlet in the North of England. It’s a great place for cats but not such a great place for restless nomads who want to see the world. It pleases me to know that he is settled there and I am sure that somehow, in his own way, Teddy will be equally happy that I am out seeing the world and trying to find the right place for me. I guess I can only finish this by quoting a wise old cliche; “If you love somebody, set them free” and he did.

teddy

Freeborn Aiden

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2 Comments

  • Oh wow Aiden. What a beautiful story. I can relate on so many levels. I had a white fluff ball of a cat named Haku. (A Japanese name that his new owners have kept ) I had him from being a kitten.

    Myself and an ex boyfriend bought two kittens from preloved. We drove from manchester to Northampton to get collect them. An amazing day! After a few months our relationship took a turn for the worse and I moved out with haku and eventually we broke up. It was one of those on off good bad harmful relationships.

    All in all I had haku for over two years. He moved house with me more times than a cat should have to but he took it all in his stride. A sad but important point is that the other more boistress female kitten we bought stayed in the house I had moved from. She liked escaping the garden. And was mauled by a fox and passed away. I was so sad for my then boyfriend. He rode his bike with her in a bag and buried her. I got cats with him, for him really as like you he would befriend street cats when we walked home. I now do this myself. Sad isn’t it. But lovely at the same time.

    I chose to give up Haku via the preloved website as Im now in Italy for two months. I quit my job and moved with the folks again to make it all happen.

    I had to keep relisting his ad. I didn’t really want him to go. I actually put a really high price on him at first. But eventually a really lovely couple came forward. They had two maine coon cats, one had just passed away – due to old age. (I checked) and their other cat was distrought, as were they. They offered me some money for him and as he came with lots of stuff. (Toys beds posts bowls brushes food the lot haha – i had to give it away with him. I – couldnt be reminded) I loved him to bits. Still do. He’d get on with my parents two dogs and was so friendly. His white hair would get EVERYWHERE. But I did not care.

    The day he was being collected I got up really early to spend time with him and play and tell him I’d miss him. They really are lovely people. I knew this. But when I closed the front door behind them I cried. I dragged myself to a carpeted room sank to my knees and wept. I’m crying now reliving it actually. Haha.

    So now haku is living in Stoke on trent. With another cat pal. In a nice house. With a man and a woman. The woman works part time too. Bonus cat / human time. ☺ I told the lady when they picked him up that he will probably be more for her as he’s had me as his main owner so will likely prefer women. She confirms this is true and she was very happy. They loved him immeadiately. And she also said that he is the gentlest, most friendly cat she had ever known.

    I knew this. Of course I did. But it made me smile to hear someone else say it.

    I think the sentiment if you love something set them free is very true and it certainly helped me a lot. I know he has gone to a stable, loving, really great home.

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