In Memory - Sifter the Cat

 Thanks to artist Avril from South Africa for her generosity.
Camellia and Sifter's Cat Portrait

Sifter the tabby cat came to Mooseys in 1997, was given warmth, companionship, and great food, stayed as long as it suited him (about five years), and then wandered off. I've always felt I had 'unfinished business' with this cat - until now.

A Wonderful Poser

Many of his photographs are displayed in the house - Sifter was a wonderful poser for the camera. I'll see his aristocratic stiped face and say 'Oh, Sifter' in my annoyed, scolding mother-voice. Of course underneath I've always had a soft spot for this opportunist cat. And there was no chance of him having come to an unhappy end, either. He'd simply left us for the cat equivalent of greener pastures.

It's not easy to mourn for a cat who ups and leaves you in the tabby-cat-lurch. But now, eight years since he was last sighted, I am the proud owner of his cat-portrait, which hangs on the wall in my lounge.

This was painted by an artist living in South Africa. At her request I've bought the three of us - Avril, Moosey (me) and Sifter - a memory plant to celebrate our connection. It's a large red Camellia shrub named Roger Hall (bred in New Zealand), and I've put it in a large pot on the patio.

 Isn't he inscutinable!
Sifter the Cat's Portrait

Allow me to quote from my own journal: 'Only now I realise that all the later dearly departed Moosey cats have trees, the earlier ones have roses, but Sifter missed out. This is Sifter's first garden memorial, placed symbolically where he used to stash his 'kill', dumping the unfortunate rodent or bird by the patio door.'

An Enigmatic Tabby Cat

My strongest memory of this enigmatic tabby cat is exactly this - his ritual trophy dumping, done with style and finesse, and a certain intent. Taj-Dog (the Moosey dog at the time) would get into a complete frenzied lather as he watched through the glass doors. Sifter, you big tease - you knew exactly what you were doing!

 Roger Hall is flowering!
Sifter's Memorial Camellia

Huge thank-yous to Avril the artist. Sifter is back, and his Camellia is finally flowering. A strong red for a strong cat. Love you, Sifter...

 Red Roger Hall.
Memorial Camellia for Sifter the Tabby Cat