I opened the door to some stricken-looking neighbours who asked me if I was the owner of Ulysse. They said something had happened to him and I should come immediately. I called for Christophe and we followed the neighbours down the road.
They said he'd been in a fight with their dog. He had gone into their garden, they weren't sure what had happened exactly but they tried to separate the balls of fury. They got them apart, and lay Ulysse on the ground where he died, maybe of a heart attack.
I arrived on the scene, and thought, that isn't Ulysse. His fur was all fluffy, his tail bushy. Then I saw the white spot at the end of his tail and I knew.
I reassured the neighbours - the mum was in tears and everyone was terribly upset. I thanked them for letting us know what had happened, picked him up and took him home.
|Ulysse 'helping' me learn Csharp|
He was not terribly cuddle-friendly for years. He would sit near us, but never on our laps. If I sat in the garden, he would join me, and if I went down the path towards the shops, he would accompany me as far as the road, and then sit and wait for me to come back.
When he started getting on a bit, he took to our laps, and he loved it when we were ill and had to stay home. His nursing skills were unparalleled and greatly appreciated.
|Ulysse on my lap during a bout of 'flu|
He had a very discerning eye for our visitors, and you could trust his judgement as to who was a decent person.
Not long after he arrived here, he tried crossing a road without looking, and was hit by a car. He managed to hobble home, and I had to take him to the emergency vet. His jaw had been broken so they had to reset it and keep him under observation for a few days. Ulysse was a lot more careful after that experience!
|Ulysse flaked out on the compost bin|
Fleas loved him too. Despite regularly dosing him with Frontline, he would be incessantly bothered by them. We fought a losing battle with the little buggers. They'll have to look elsewhere for a cosy nest and tasty morsel from now on!
While I'm very sad that my darling boy is gone, I'm also relieved that he will not become decrepit in his old age. This past year, he seemed to age before our eyes. He lost weight (to his correct weight for his size...), his black fur turned a rusty brown and his joints were starting to seize up.
I've had cats before that lived a long time, and I'm not sure that the last years were very pleasant. Ulysse died as he had lived, in battle. As Christophe said, 'Super U-cat' died a warrior.
Much loved, he went out with a bang.
RIP my little darling boy.