Gone but not forgotten


Don't think of her as gone away
her journey's just begun,
life holds so many facets
this earth is only one.

Just think of her as resting
from the sorrows and the tears
in a place of warmth and comfort
where there are no days and years.

Think how she must be wishing
that we could know today
how nothing but our sadness
can really pass away.

And think of her as living
in the hearts of those she touched...
for nothing loved is ever lost
and she was loved so much.

My especial thanks to Heather McRae for sending me this poem, in loving memory of my darling Stella


Over the last 45 years I have shared my home with many beautiful cats.  On this page I celebrate the wonderful cats I have loved and lost.  It hasn't been easy writing about them - so many happy memories, tinged with the pain of their loss.


Champion Saphiriken Beau Bellis 1976-1992

aka Beau, Bobo, Bozey
- The first Russian Blue to win two Grand Challenge certificates

- Best Russian Blue 1978 (British Cat World award)

Beau came to live with me in 1978, shortly after he was retired from breeding.  He was a magnificent cat, strong and gentle, and was always effortlessly the Top Cat in the household, even when old and unwell.  I always used to say that his only fault was that he wasn't immortal.


Sylanka Happy Henri 1979-1994

aka Alfred, Alfie, Ralf-the-Palf

No show awards, no fancy titles, just my darling Alfred.  He was Beau's youngest son, conceived after his dad was neutered.  Alfie was a great big long cat and used that length to steal anything edible - he could reach to the back of the kitchen worksurface with one long leg and paw easily without ever jumping up!


Champion Kolokol Vera Fokina 1981-1996

aka Koshka, Konski, Koshi

- mother of the first Dushenka champion

Koshka was my first breeding cat, very neat in everything she did - she and her Cousin Koshka, owned by my friends Anne and John Scott, used to take it in turns to win at shows.  Beau was very protective towards her and she would always go to him if anything made her feel unsure.


Champion & Premier Sorgenfri Trotsky 1982-1996

aka Lev, Lev-my-love, Leviticus

- 4 Challenge certificates and 7 Premier Certificates
- RBBA top newcomer Russian Blue neuter 1990

Even after all these years I still miss Lev.  I would fall asleep most nights to the sound of his purring in my ear and his front paws wrapped around my neck.  He liked other people well enough but was always my boy. When I look into the eyes of Bella, Xander or Lucy I can see a bit of Lev looking back at me.


Champion Astahazy Petra 1985-1990

aka Petra, 'my wee Pet-lamb'

- 1 Grand Challenge certificate
- RBBA top female Russian adult and top adolescent of 1986

Petra was a gorgeous little girl with huge ears and a liking for green salad!  She was a real sweetie and a great mum, and it was a horrible surprise that she died so young.


Grand Premier Dushenka Boris 1986-1996

aka Boris, Fuzzy-buzzy, Boz-boo

- 4 Grand Premier certificates and 3 reserve Grands

- Scotland's first Grand-titled Russian Blue, Boris came back to live with me when he was six years old, and settled back in as if he had never been away.  Being Lev and Petra's son, he was very sweet and loving as well as being very beautiful.


Farodell Incy Spider 1990-2000

aka Spider, Spoodle, Spidey-paws

- 1 CC & 1 PC

To be honest, Spider was a funny looking kitten but I knew she was coming home with me as she made it clear that that was what was meant to be!  She loved her shows, even though she didn't necessarily do that well at them, and was a great character and great fun to live with.  She is remembered with great affection by everyone who knew her.


Champion Siykat Stella Dushenka (Stella) 1996-2011

I loved Stella so very much, she was strong-willed, and always the boss of me, the other cats and her own destiny.  She started to look ill just before Christmas 2011, and I'm quite sure she sent Death away with a flea in his ear until after she had enjoyed her Christmas turkey.  Stella died peacefully on Boxing Day, full of turkey, with her daughter cuddled in to her, comforting her through her final hours.  It still hurts though.

Grand Champion Dushenka Mirabella (Bella) 1998-2015

My sweet, gentle baby Belle slipped away - born into my hands, died in my arms and as gentle and considerate in the way she left me as she was throughout her whole life. She is now reunited with her mother, Stella and the skies shine brighter with her presence.

Grand Champion Dushenka Sophia Bella (Sophie) 2004-2018
My precious Sophie-pops has rejoined her mother and grandmother: too suddenly and too soon for my heart, but she left with the same careful planning and neatness with which she lived her whole life. May you, Baby Belle and Stella-paws be forever happy together, managing kittens with love, and caring for each other. So many tears.

Grand Champion & Imperial Grand Premier Dushenka Tashabella (Tasha)
All my grand old ladies are now reunited as my sweetest love with the kindest heart and purest soul has had to leave me too. It would always have been too soon to lose her. What am I to do without you Tasha - love you to the moon and stars and back, my beautiful girl.

Champion & Imperial Grand Premier Dushenka Xander (Xander)
Keeper of my heart, my world, my very best boy.
"Do not go gentle into that good night
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
The pain and rage of grief is all mine. Xander went peacefully, and with dignity, lying cuddled in to me on my knee in the back garden with sunshine warming his beautiful fur so that it sparkled and shone silver: just as his spirit was a sparkling, shining light in my life.