Aragon is 17

 - gardening for biodiversity 
in Cape Town, South Africa

When we brought Aragon home in her SPCA cat box, she had a lot to say. Henry looked at me with eyes like saucers – did you HEAR that? We took the box into the garden, out hopped Catherine of Aragon, swore at Henry – get the f%$% out of my garden! I explained, this is Henry's garden. Henry was a gentle, kind soul.

Aragon with yellow Tecoma in June 2009, today it towers over me!
Aragon
with yellow Tecoma in June 2009, today it towers over me!

All of our cats have been rescued animals. So sad that as a society we ask, those who work at animal shelters, to put down healthy animals! Pickwick and Aragon came from the SPCA, Sparkles was fostered, while Henry and Chocolat knocked at the door – I heard you were looking for a cat??

Aragon with Henry Christmas 2006 in Church Street
Aragon with Henry
Christmas 2006 in Church Street

She has a little white patch on her front leg, where God was holding her still while he painted her striped coat. Henry could never understand whiskers. He was always saying to Aragon - hold still, while I chew off that loose thread. She came with spectacular sets of whiskers, like false eye lashes. Two sets, the upper ones black, and the lower ones white.

Aragon BY the fire in June 2011
Aragon BY the fire in June 2011

Henry served Aragon till he faded, when skin cancer devoured him from the white nose. White ears and nose don’t mix with sun. Aragon used to fish in the pond, then come in, and raise her paw imperiously to Henry – wash me! I smell of POND! Half an hour later she would go to him again.

Chocolat and Aragon enjoying the winter sun in June 2013
Chocolat and Aragon enjoying the winter sun in June 2013 

Just after we got her, she snuck up on the Ungardener, who was dozing. She patted him very gently on his bald pink head, and he shot up like a rocket, while Aragon and I giggled. She used to come into the kitchen, and nibble the back of our ankles, when she was hungry, feed me! Now she is much more refined, backs up to the cupboard and shimmies her tail hopefully – dinner? When she wants a cuddle, she raises one of her front paws, and stands on three legs.

Chocolat seldom stays if Aragon wants to sleep next to him June 2013
Chocolat seldom stays if Aragon wants to sleep next to him
June 2013

I explained to Chocolat, that we don’t knock little old ladies over. But she gets her own back. He was sitting in the garden, lost in thought. She was on the bridge, hidden behind a clump of grass. So she snuck out, dashed past, and HIT him. He went whooshing up and came crunching down on the gravel. I have to muffle my laughter, because cats don’t like to be laughed at.

Aragon remembering the boomslang in Camps Bay Collage using BeFunky
Aragon remembering the boomslang in Camps Bay
Collage using BeFunky

In the Camps Bay garden, after wildfire on the mountain twice we had boomslang (tree snakes) in the garden. Beautiful animals, glowing lime green and lemon yellow. I remember Aragon produced a very strange and distinctive meow, “Snake! Snake!” She was not in danger, but she was warning us.

The cats in the first sun on a winter morning July 2013
The cats in the first sun on a winter morning July 2013

While she is waiting for 'her' cushion, as the first rays of sun hit the verandah, there our cats are. Aragon in her elegant cashmere coat feels the cold, and keeps her old bones off the cold stone tiles, sitting on the cabin trunk that travelled from Dannevirke in New Zealand with my father. Chocolat is younger with a thick sheepskin coat, and unconcerned by cold feet.

And in the last of the sun August 2009 (with lots of granadillas!)
And in the last of the sun August 2009 (with lots of granadillas!)

Late on a winter afternoon, Aragon and Chocolat, eyes nearly closed. 'The smile on the face of a tiger'. Soak up the last warmth of the setting sun.

Aragon in October 2006 with BeFunky
Aragon in October 2006
with BeFunky

In 2016 when she was 19 years old, Aragon crossed over the rainbow bridge.

Pictures by Diana and Jurg Studer  
of  Elephant's Eye on False Bay 

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Comments

  1. so beautiful,,, I read this twice, I savored it first myself then shared it with Garry, beautiful,

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    1. thank you for greetings from Canada with first frost. BRRR! Cold here today, our mountain peaks are dusted with snow.

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  2. I enjoyed your lovely cats story. Congratulations with the 17th birthday of (Catharina of) Aragon. She is still going strong for her age.

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    1. and from Holland where I see windmills and happy memories.

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  3. Love your kitties! Happy birthday Aragon........gifted with long life;)

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    1. from Arizona and a life list of birds.

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  4. Beautiful cats and beautiful prose. Happy birthday to Aragon! Henry reminds me of my Oreo (female) who is stretched out on my lap now, purring and contented. Cats are great pets and companions.

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    1. from Wisconsin with milkweed and monarch butterflies.

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  5. Happy birthday Aragon, seventeen is a good age, glad you weren't named Jane. Enjoyed your cat tale Diana..

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    1. from the Cheshire 'cat', whose heart is still in Aberdeen

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  6. Happy birthday to the little old lady.

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  7. Oh Alistair is too funny...a very distinguished regal cat who certainly has others serving her needs...a grand dame....I love her name...Happy Birthday to a great old lady!!

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    1. from NY state enjoying a new life which has time in the garden

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  8. Happy birthday beautiful lady. I love these stories and such beautiful photos. We've had a number of cats over the last 10 years. Their personalities are so individual and we get to know them better with each year. I love how you noticed her new meow for the snakes. They really do try and communicate some days. Other days they really don't care to be bothered I think.

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    Replies
    1. from Prince Edward Island in Canada (and Anne of Green Gables territory)

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  9. Replies
    1. from Pennsylvania (and Bluebell Creek)

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