Friday, October 29, 2021

The Old Guard Still Stands

I started out, as many do, with one cat, Tungsten. A year and a half later, I added Josie to the family. Another year and a half passed before I brought in Renn, and very soon after that, Tucker.


Though they did not all join me together, I have always thought of these cats as my originals, the First Four. I don’t know why, since it took three years, from 2007 to 2010, to assemble the group, and I had foster-cats between their arrivals. But this quartet were my Old Guard. I wrote about them as such last year, in September, when three remained, and they seemed relatively healthy.


Tungsten died in 2015, and Josie passed away just this year. My remaining veterans have aged rapidly, it seems. Renn clearly is not as strong as he once was, and the black in his coat is shot with white. Tucker is battling diabetes and kidney failure; his eye-sight is failing and his hearing is dulled. His skin hangs on him like a great warrior’s armour on a child. And, of course, he is toothless. (“I haf no teef!”, as the once-roly poly himself might say.)


Though they barely play now, and their appetites are irregular, yet they manage to jump from the bed to the cat-trees in the bedroom. While they sleep most of their days and nights, yet they rouse themselves to indignation at the intrusion of young and impudent new cats. Renn remains my big boy, and Tucker continues to purr more than all the other cats combined.


When the last of the veterans passes, things won’t be the same in the Cosy Apartment. Like a new levy of soldiers recruited after battle is joined, those who follow will not have the same experiences, the same familiarity with this little world in which they will live. The newcomers’ bond may be fast, but it will not be that which joined the First Four together.

Nonetheless, though they have suffered casualties, and their numbers are diminished, the Old Guard still stands. In my heart they always will.


  1. The Old Guard will live forever in your heart, and on this blog.
    We'll never forget them either.

  2. Renn and Tucker are a joy to you, it is plain to see and appreciate. At their age, they still have that kitten spark built into their DNA and will show it off time to time. Wonderful. Never has a new cat here, ever been the same as the one that has passed on, but the new personality is such a gift to see.

  3. I hope the last of your veterans don't leave for a good while yet. It's good to hear that even with all his health problems, Tucker is still a purr machine.

  4. Such a poignant post, John. I truly hope none of your "Old Guard" pass this year or even next. ♥

  5. I hope the remainder of your Old Guard are with you for a long time to come.

  6. I absolutely and sincerely will never forget the Old Guard. I developed a very strong caring and love for them each. I am hoping very much that they will remain well and certainly happily with you and us for quite a time yet. XXX to them each and all.

  7. The Old Guard will always be in your heart as well as in the hearts of those who read your wonderful blog. May they be with us for many more years to come!

  8. They are the real heroes, each unique and loved.

  9. I am glad I got to meet Renn, and Neville at least. Half of the Guard is the way it is these days...
    My blog has new members too, and only Dalton got to meet two of the original three...though Benji did know Pipo...and was scared of him, LOL!

    I hope we all will be able to read all about the antics of your kitties, be they from the original guard, or the next; for a long time.

  10. God bless ya old memories
    pass but not forgotten, new ones come
    to light, and sharing your memories
    with us is wonderful..! As we all want
    to know what's happening in your and
    the pussy~cats lives..! Dare l say it..
    Good or bad..!

    And l've gotten used to having a small box
    of tissues along side me..seem to use them
    more on this Blog than any other..and l for
    one wants to know what's going on...! Bless!x

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  12. This made me tear up. You wrote a very touching tribute to the old guard.

  13. As you know, I understand the feelings as the elder cats grow older as there are but two of my six still with me, at least for now.

    I hope both Renn and Tucker continue to carry on for a long time yet.

  14. catfather & renn; long may ewe both continmew ta stand guard; long az they haz at Buckingham..... pleez tell dad dai$y & tuna total lee getz it tho ~~~~ 3♥♥