Blog Post

Dearest Noddy

We called him Noddy after a character in a children’s book by British authoress Enid Blyton. Our little kitty had enormous ears just like Noddy’s friend in the book! “Big Ears” didn’t sound quite fair so our kitty was named Noddy.

He didn’t stay little for long! He grew into a strong, healthy hunter and was always bringing his prey to our front door. Noddy was an American short hair and he was born in Missouri. He loved life on our farm and playing with our black labrador. They would sit together and wait for the UPS delivery – Princess was an expert box opener and Noddy loved chasing polystyrene chips!

In the late 90’s the family relocated back to Wales and so did Noddy and Princess. They became Celtic! Animal quarantine was still in effect back then so Noddy plus his best friend, Princess, had to spend six months at a quarantine kennel/cattery. Noddy hated it. We hated it. Princess not so much as she was allowed to play ball.

Noddy was sad so we visited him often. We took him toys, we played with him, we even took in branches so he could climb and scratch.

At long last the two friends were allowed home and they were reunited and the friendship took off where it left off! That‘s the thing about true friendship and even true love – time apart makes no difference.

Noddy became an outside Celtic cat in Wales where he had a whole new world to explore. His hunting exploits continued and he resumed his efforts to bring us his loot. His body became strong and agile and he always had the loudest purr! We always laughed thinking that he’d come home to sing in Wales! He was a true Celt now!

Holidays and celebrations came and went and Noddy was always right in the middle of it all purring and pawing and generally getting totally spoiled. Princess was always at his side being equally spoiled.

Noddy’s traveling days were not yet over as four years later he was on a plane with Princess en route to Florida. He adapted well and loved lazing in the hot Florida sun. He was still an avid hunter – nothing fazed him – what an example to us all. Embrace change!

Princess was always at our feet come the end of the day, enjoying her doggie place. Noddy would sit on his rocking chair when not in our arms. One very, very sad day Princess was lost to us and we were heart broken. That very same night, who do you think came to lie by our feet? Yes, Noddy! Cats are supremely intuitive and he felt our grief and maybe even his own.

From that day on we had a cat who decided he was also a dog! He had a lot of roles to fulfill.

Once the grandchildren arrived Noddy was always close at hand. He was the good friend always down on the carpet watching them color, using his paws to move a jigsaw piece, snuggling up to them for love and affection. He would even dress up for Halloween – it was his second favorite holiday as he was orange!

His favorite holiday was definitely Christmas when all the family came home. Rustling Christmas paper offered endless possibilities. He reveled in new slippers, watched TV and loved being pampered. He’d lie in whomever’s arms he found himself and concentrated on purring as loud as he could! He never forgot his Celtic life and the singers of Wales.

Time went on and over Easter when Noddy was 13 years old we discovered he was a diabetic. The signs had been there and it took our youngest daughter, now a vet med student to diagnose him with her mentor Dr Ed. This was the beginning of Noddy’s new life. It became my duty to inject insulin twice per day. We both learned how to do a glucose curve and Noddy was always patient, even understanding. He never fussed. It became our special bonding time twice per day – I would brush him gently and he would relish a good grooming and, of course, a chat. It was important to inject in a different spot each time so Noddy would lie down so I could find a spot on his tummy. He taught me a lot. Get it done and move on!

We spent eight years doing this and they flew by. Noddy was there at the door every time we came home, just like the champion guard dog he had become! Can we ask for any more loyalty?

In January, 2013, we all celebrated his 21st birthday on January the 1st. Noddy was bemused but curious when he had a candle to blow out (the grandchildren were there to help!)

We didn’t know it then but it was his last birthday. He was becoming frail and slowing down. He would go out into the garden to sleep under the magnolia bush in the morning, under the garden swing in the afternoons and by the front door in the evenings.

He may have been frail but he still shared his wisdom through his loud purring; he still enjoyed lying in our arms; he still loved having his tummy tickled. He might not have seen or heard as well but he continued to love us and we loved him dearly.

How hard it is to let a loved one go! His heart was failing in the end and we had to make that horrible decision.

It was a dignified end. He lay in my arms and we were all there with him. He was at ease and calm and feeling our love. It was almost like he was ready to go.

We always knew he had great wisdom. What a great life he had; what great experiences he had and what great lessons he taught us.

Be adventurous, have fun, sing loud, love always and be forever loyal.

In honor of our dearest friend of 21 years we celebrate his life with this exquisite charm – Noddy looking out at his life. Please view below the loving tribute Laura made for her best friend.

Thank you to all our furry friends everywhere.

The Halpins