EXERT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Friday, November 14, 2014

Lap Loving Hector, Taker of Naps

Hector was just a wee lost lad when he came to live in my gaming room over the kennel just before the turn of the century. I figured he needed a bold name, like one of the Nine Worthies, so I named him after "Peace Loving Hector, Tamer of Horses",  the son of King Prium of Troy:  He wore it well.
Hector c 2001 napping on his favorite spot, the styrofoam mountain.

I cannot count the hours we spent in that room in my old, patched, leatherette recliner after I'd gotten home from work and our boarding business was closed for the day (or all too often when I was supposed to be finishing the evening chores at the kennel). Him purring and napping, me reading or looking at the shelves of soldiers or the hobby desk full of unfinished projects and daydreaming (or napping...)  He never seemed to nap in the chair when I wasn't there though, instead, he preferred  the styrofoam hills on my wargame table. Cool in summer, warm in winter, after all it could be pretty chilly in that room in winter before my friend Tom helped me install proper heaters and a door.

The choice of napping spots grew wider when we moved to the old farmhouse, 2 favorites being behind the wood stove in winter and under the grapes in summer but my new games room remained a frequent haunt. 


 Hector on a hot summer's day in 2011.
The move was a good one for Hector like the rest of us. Good quarters and lots of company when he wanted it, hayfields, woods and a nearby barn when he didn't.   His new house cat friends were certainly more  cat-social than either of the 2 kennel mousers he had job shared with.  
A tisket, a tasket, three cats in a basket.
Hector, Minou (aka The Minnow) and Merlin (aka Fatcat -my brother-in-law's cat who missed the plane to Edmonton a few years ago.) 
He was a gentle cat, the occasional protest when I'd be removing buzzies from his long hair but never really grumpy. Despite having been "hired" as a mouser, he wasn't really much of a hunter though he did do a little trophy hunting when young, bringing squirrels in to swap for proper cat food. There was one memorable day though almost 10 years ago when a field rat decided to come in and check out the new owners of the old farmhouse which had been vacant for a few years. Just the three of us were here. Whissie the Whippet and Hector vied for the conquest in a cartoon-worthy flurry of activity. They finally cornered him behind a large moving box and both looked expectantly at me. Up to the task, I moved  the box and they collided as we all found out the rodent was able to slip under a closed cupboard door and out his own private exit.   Ahh, old farmhouses! 
The old recliner didn't come with us but my old office chair is pretty comfy. 
Over the last two years though, there has been less and less wandering and more and more napping. There were also other signs that he was not as young as he once was, as indeed there have been with myself but I hoped we'd have a few more years together yet..
The upgraded table has lower pine board hills which are not nearly as comfy, but he still showed up for games often enough. Here he is in 2013.
Yesterday, after a full and good life,  my dear old friend and companion quietly breathed his last breath. He was all a comrade should be and will be sorely missed and fondly remembered. He has had full burial honours and now lays with a soldier guard amongst the flowers of the forest. Traditional Trojan funeral games are being considered.
There are many good pipe versions of this Scottish lament but Hector wasn't particularly fond of the pipes and Fairport Convention's version on the album Full House was a favorite on my record player in college. (oops did't realize there was an upbeat 2nd song but the Hector was never one for brooding and moping.)
Farewell my friend.

17 comments:

  1. Poor Hector...sorry for your loss, we do font of them don't we?

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  2. He has passed on to warm sunshiny places with plenty of welcoming laps on which to lay, leaving us longing to hear the purr once more.

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  3. Such sad news, Ross, and your elegy brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing those photos. As I know from experience it is hard to say goodbye to our dear pet companions. You have my sympathy, and Hector, my tears.


    -- Jeff

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  4. My condolences, Ross. I know how you must be feeling, but hope you will find comfort in all the memories of the good times you shared with Hector.
    Arthur

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  5. Sorry to hear of Hector's passing. I lost my best buddy "Skipper" this week and I owe his a fitting tribute as you have done.Thanks and best regards,Bill

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  6. My condolences, too (and a few tears). Hector looked so much like my old cat. You had some good years together and gave Hector a good life. I sympathize with the part about having expected a few more years..

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  7. Sorry to hear of his passing.

    Regards,

    Pete.

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  8. Sorry Hector passed, you seemed to have given him a good life. How many cats get to feel giant like that?

    Take care,

    Stuart

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  9. Sad to hear the news. You've written a moving tribute to a top cat.

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  10. Hi Ross,

    Saying goodbye to our furry companions is always hard and so please accept my deepest sympathy. That was a moving and heartfelt tribute, beautifully done.

    All the best,

    DC

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  11. Sad news indeed, we are thinking about you.
    Alan

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  12. Sorry to hear that Ross, condolences...

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  13. Hi Ross,

    Very sad news, Hector was a fine looking cat and the photos of him on the wargames table made me laugh :-) Our eldest cat is now an incredible 18 years old and looking frail, it's like losing a family member when they pass away.

    That was a very nice tribute.

    Lee.

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  14. So sorry to hear the sad news , losing a pet is like losing a member of the family , Tony

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  15. My condolences Ross. Your recounting brought a tear to my eye. I will raise a glass to Hector as I visit my Parents' farm and remember our own departed feline friends.

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