Tuesday april 15th started a very happy day, I was singing in the car on my way to Antwerp, on the way back I would go to NIA class, a mix of dance and yoga. As I arrived my partner for life called me, to say, I had to come home, something bad had happened. From his broken voice I already knew what; but could still hope it was something else on the way home. I drove like mad; how far a few km’s can seem far.

Arriving home Robin opened the door and broke the bad news to me, Sientje was dead, hit by a car. There she was in a box on (one of) her usual place(s) on the sofa in the office/library. I had to hold her, tore the sides from the box  to get at her, but as I tried to lift her I saw how bad her side of her head was damaged, a small comfort that it must have been instant. So I left her lying and just cuddled her. My little baby all still, but still warm I could imagine her body moving with breath, but having looked in the one eye I could still see, I knew that was only my imagination. All light had gone, Sientje had gone.

We took the box to the living room so our 2 remaining cats could have a look, it scared them. I can’t blame them.

We buried her later the same day under our walnut tree, wrapped in the towel which covered the sofa in the library for her to sleep on. It was the only place were only she would sleep, all other spots were shared by all our cats. Mol and Sam hardly ever come in the library any more after spending there first weeks there, at most Sam would come there to hide if there was something scary.

My Sien, Sientje, Sienemienemuts, Müstibar, Müsti,Thinkelbell, Mutsje, Meisje, Sientje-Mientje, Pinnemuts, Krabbelmuts, Gingerlove, MutsePruts, Patatje Sien, we had given her so many nicknames, our little adventurer, she was no more. She would have been 4 years next week.

When we lived in Brecht, she was shot at, as was her brother Max, who survived the shooting too, but died in a similar way, now nearly 3 years ago.

Here she is back from the vet, as she tore our the stitches asap, we had to get her a cone. They were both so sweet, too good to be true.

We moved house to the quiet village of Ossenisse. We were told cats were sometimes run over on the road we now live on, so we tried to keep our cats in the back garden and field beyond. But Sien was an adventurer, the mice, hares and birds in Ossenisse will sigh with relief. And curious, she soon had a routine going around. She would spend time in the neighbours garden too, looking at the fish in the pond. Thanks to my neighbour we have some nice pictures of her.

This is a typical look she would throw at strangers, visitors, as this pictures was taken by our neighbour not so strange that she captured it. When we have visitors, first she would hide as our 2 other cats do, but Sientjes curiosity would win and she would come and have a peep. Last year we were invited to our neighbours, Sientje walked with us she knew the way well, as it was part of her routine. We sat in the patio as the weather was ok, but not warm enough to sit outside. The doors partly open, as some point she came in and explored the house, very cautious, coming and going a few times. Until she had explored enough and dared to join us and she came and sat on my lap. The neighbours were amazed that she was so cuddly, as they had only seen her so far as the adventurer and huntress that she was too.

She was the first to start exploring our new house, they had all hated the ride here in the car, 3 meowing cats. I spend the first night with them on a tiny sofa in the library, were they could stay as we were renovating in other parts of the house.

She hated driving, but I would take her, her and her brother when he was still alive, to my parents whenever we would go on holidays. So they/she would be safe, Mol and Sam are not so outdoors and I would keep them in the house, a neighbour looking after them. Sien would have been so frustrated locked in, she would have made live hell for Mol and Sam. I would sing to her (them) all the way, cause that seemed to comfort her (them), a soar throat by the time I was at my parents.

When we moved the furniture and all our other stuff, she escaped, I was so frightened I would never she her again. But I found her, frightened too, under a hedge in garden further up the road. We kept them indoors for 4 weeks, so they could slowly explore the house. We installed the cat flap and once Sien had seen that she really wanted to go and explore outside.

She could sleep so relaxed on her back, feet in the air and she would make such a sweet noise when she noticed we were there, still half asleep.

Sien to my left, Sam to my right, Mol at my feet

She would talk back if we asked if she wanted her food or come upstairs, she would sleep on the bed, although during the night she would come and go. Monday evening, was a cold evening and she crawled under the blanket her soft fluffy fur against my skin, she slept in my arms, drooling with happiness. Once she found it too warm, she moved on top of the blankets, she returned several times in the night as usual. I must have cuddled her the last time when she came to bed somewhere early morning. She was in the library on her spot by the window as I made room for Robin, to work there, as he was working from home that day.

She loved to go under blankets and clothes. If she was really happy she would “type” and drool, smacking her lips to keep the drool in. Sounds horrible perhaps, but it was really sweet.

Often she would come the were ever  was working in the house, my desk, my atelier and would sit on my lap. She was a real cuddly cat. Sometimes I taught I should buy a sling so she could with me even more, she would have loved that.

She would really get annoyed if the weather was bad and she could not go out, taking it out on our 2 older cats, Mol and Sam. She would make it clear if it was time in the evening for their wet food. After she would often retreat to the sofa or a chair and go to sleep. She really had her routines. Like she would scratch the spare insulation on the landing, before coming to bed.

She would catch flies and eat them – crunch crunch. She caught bumble bees and butterflies too, chasing after them through the grass.

She would call if she was at the front of the house, either appearing in the window or just meowing at the door, until I would come and open it.

She would catch many a mice and bring them alive indoors, thus give us the task of catching the creature and setting it free; a young rat, 2 young hares, several birds and a mole can be added to that list.

She would come running across the field and lawn if  I would call (if she was not busy hunting). One time she got a freight when the horses had been moved to the so far empty (Sientjes playing/mouse catching) field at the back of our house, I have never seen her running faster.

Collecting her from the field behind the house, after seeing a big bird of prey circle the same area. Big busy tail, later she went back and brought a young hare. The bird of prey was probable after them too.

Roughly one year later, eyeing a hare once again.

She once got a freight when Robin was throwing floorboards from renovating the bedroom on the lawn were she was walking; she was suspicious of him when holding planks ever since.

She had a love-hate relationship with the neighbours cat from across the road.

If she would she him coming if she was indoors, she would run to the cat flap and keep it closed. But she found him interesting too as he would not run, as our other 2 cats usually do when they heard her (little bell) coming. We had given her a collar with a little bell, to give birds and mice a change to hear her coming.

She had a lovely fluffy belly and was happy enough to let you scratch it, her behind was really fluffy too (wollige billetjes) and I’m so happy with this picture my neighbour send us:

She was a real chatter box, not only communicating with us, but also with the birds.

She loved to throw little items left on the table or the sofa on the floor, than playing with them. She had much fun lately with a little felt ball.

She left many muddy or wet paw prints on paperwork, when jumping on my desk, or on the wooden floor in the living room. I’ll wait a bit longer before mopping it. I was not always happy with the work interruptions, but now I’d give the world to have those back. I could never be angry with her for long anyway, she was to sweet and cuddle for that, making me smile despite everything. But she did have a mind of her own, getting it her way if she could.

I’m so glad she had a good year and a half here in Ossenisse, she loved the garden and the fields, I was always so sorry Max had died before we could move, he would have loved it here too. When we got them we already knew that we would not stay in Brecht.

She was often waiting for me when I came home, suddenly there beside the car as I got out. Impatient for me to open the front door to get in. (As if she had no cat-flap) I was never sure were she was coming from.

She loved climbing trees; only about ago she had climbed up the Sequoya being tempted by 2 rooks, who were really playing with her.

She would like my fingers very often too, grabbing them if  I would try and pull away my hand.

She loved to sit on high cupboards and other places and would ask us to put her up there.

She has given us so many happy moments, so many cuddles and love and we will miss her so much. I can’t believe she’s gone, my little Sien. My worst fear of losing her has come true, she really was to good to be true.

Our house is so much emptier and more quiet without Sientje around, never to hear her meow, or talk or call,  her little bell when running up the stairs, the scratchy noises when she was playing with another mouse, her nose poking under the blankets because she wanted a cuddle. Her purring and smacking her lips.

Bye, bye my angel, rest in peace.