On the 25th November 2012 - my elder daughter's birthday - Gaby and Henri had unusually spent the night outside; neither was waiting for breakfast at the door. I searched for them and found Henri on my park, badly bitten in his hind quarter and dead from shock or loss of blood. I saw him first from afar, camouflaged amidst the russet leaves of the horse-chestnut tree and his white fur could have been a small pile of snow.
A very frightened Gaby turned up later, thankfully uninjured.
That day I buried Henri in sight of a special place, where we used to stop on our evening walk around Tessel Bas and he'd jump on the table and we'd enjoy a little "quality time" amidst the peace and tranquillity of the big French oaks, serenaded by birdsong.
The most likely culprit for this tragedy is the awful "chien méchant" owned by my neighbour opposite; the neighbour was on holiday and the dog was roaming free and possibly unfed. In due course I registered a complaint with both the neighbour and the Maire of the commune - the gendarmerie issued a restraining order and the dog is now kept on a running leash.
Henri was a beautiful and sensitive cat; he wasn't very bright but he was very loving and he leaves an unfillable cat-shaped space at Tessel Bas. He was very trusting and I could do anything with him - to me he wasn't "just a cat" - he was my friend and my comfort - and I really miss him. He didn't deserve to die in such a tragic way.
|Henri as a kitten - June 2005||Henri in his Winter coat 2009|
|A snooze on our bed||Showing off his mane|
|A 2 minute video tribute to a very special cat|
See also version for tablets & phones.
|His last resting place. Later I'll plant a real
rose named after Henri IV
My body is gone but I'm always near,
I'm everything you feel, see or hear.
My spirit is free, but I'll never depart,
As long as you keep me alive in your heart.
I'll never wander out of your sight.
I'm the brightest star on a summer night.
I'll never be beyond your reach.
I'm the warm moist sand when you're at the beach.
I'm the colorful leaves when fall comes around,
And the pure white snow that blankets the ground.
I'm the beautiful flowers of which you're so fond,
The clear cool water in a quiet pond.
I'm the first bright blossom you'll see in the spring,
The first warm raindrop that April will bring.
I'm the first ray of light when the sun starts to shine,
And you'll see that the face in the moon is mine.
When you start thinking there's no one to love you,
You can talk to me through the Lord above you.
I'll whisper my answer through the leaves on the trees,
And you'll feel my presence in the soft summer breeze.
I'm the hot salty tears that flow when you weep,
And the beautiful dreams that come while you sleep.
I'm the smile you see on a baby's face.
Just look for me, friend, I'm everyplace!