Friday, 29 August 2008

Remembering IKKYU

Sen-Chan: Before Tom and I were even around, there was another puss in #1's life, the one-who-came-before. His name was IKKYU and he went to the bridge on this day one year ago, just a few days before his 15th birthday. I will hand the keyboard over to #1 so she can tell you about him and pay tribute to him. From what she has told me and Tom, he was awesome!

#1: IKKYU came to live with me just before he turned 8 weeks old. He was a ruddy Abyssinian, born in Japan where I was living at the time. He settled into the small flat where I lived in Tokyo with amazing speed. Here he is a little after he arrived:

IKKYU had a great sense of fun and was very boisterous right from the start. He would climb up my pyjama legs, try to investigate the contents of the fridge, and was once found hanging from the middle of one of the curtain rails. He has a special passion for my printer, though:

Like all Abys, he was devastatingly handsome (although differently from Sen-Chan as he was a ruddy, rather than red, Abbyssinian). He always appreciated beautiful things:

What he did NOT appreciate, however, was anyone other than me. Most of my friends were nervous around him, if not downright frightened, as he had a way of growling and hissing if anyone got too close. But with me, he was hugely affectionate and protective. He loved sitting on the window ledge in my study in Tokyo, just supervising everything

IKKYU also was a world-class traveller. We were in Japan until he was 6, then spent several years in Chicago before moving back to France. All the way through, he would come with me to Prince Edward Island in the summers, and to France for Christmas when we lived elsewhere. I always thought it a shame that he could not get frequent flyer miles! Once, we even travelled together from Tokyo to Paris in an otherwise empty First-Class Cabin!

In those days, Air France was very relaxed about pets on board!!!

He had his portrait painted twice, the latest one being done last summer by our friend Ms. C, proud mom of the T'Abby Normal gang, Abby and Stygia. As you can see, IKKYU approved!

By the way, IKKYU was nicer to Ms. C than to almost anyone else he ever met! The portrait now hangs in the living room.

IKKYU was an extremely healthy cat who, mercifully (!), only had to go to vet's for his shots for many, many years. But, with time, his kidneys started to fail and he was eventually diagnosed with feline diabetes. He did well for  a while under the care of our wonderful vet, but there was also a silent cancer growing in his bladder, and he suddenly became very sick late last August. Within days, on August 29th, he had to go to the bridge. Here is one of his last photos taken a week before, while he was still home and enjoying life:

Life is fun these days with Sen-Chan and Tom who fill my days with love and joy, but I shall always remember IKKYU who was my very first puss, sharing my life on three continents and filling so many years with the grace of his presence.


  1. What a lovely post in tribute to a very special kitty. IKKYU was lovely. I especially loved the shot of him eating the printer!! What a riot!!!

    Thanks for sharing him with us today.

    Purrs Goldie and Shade

  2. Dear #1,
    I really liked looking at Ikkyu's pictures this morning. I sat with Ms. C and stared very intently at him when I saw him.

    Ms. C says she is sending you a big hug!

    Purrs and purrs,
    Abby, for the family

  3. Ahhh, IKKYU looks just like Mica, especially when he was a kitten. Mica also loves tulips, but we have to keep them in an out-of-the-way place because he likes to bite the stems in half about an inch from the flower! He too is an acrobat although he's crazy about people and likes to be in the center of any party!

    We're happy that you have such wonderful memories of IKKYU and his very adventurous life and are delighted that you now have Sen-Chan and Tom to share your love.

    Your pals,

    Mica and Petey

  4. Oh what a lovely looking Aby IKKYU was (not as gorgeous as my Sen-Chan though), but lovely all the same! :) He sounds a little like my brother Ramses in that he's a one person Aby, this was often the case with Abys of his generation. Now it seems most of us have decided to love everyone, though still have our fave person for special loving too! :)

    Purrs and kitty kisses for my Sweety,

  5. Ikkyu was a gorgeous fellow and such a great companion to you. Every girl needs a fellow so totally devoted to her. Thank you for sharing this day with us, #1.

  6. What a wonderful tribute to a most handsome cat! Thank you for sharing your memories of ISSYU with us!

    Blkcatgal (mom to Wally, Ernie & Zoey)

  7. What a lovely tribute to IKKYU. He was such a handsome boy!

    We hope that your day is filled with happy memories and not too much sadness, he's still with you all.

    Pearl, Bert and Jake

  8. That was a bootiful twibute..I'm suwe IKKYU will always be wif you in youw nevew dies
    smoochie kisses

  9. He was quite handsome! Mrs. C is quite a talented artist! How wonderful that she did IKKYU's portrait for you.

  10. Nice gallery for the very special
    Nice tribute
    ViVi & AB

  11. Thank you for this beautiful post.There was a different cat in my life..before Mr bee. Her name was Minou. I found her in a garbadge can ,4weeks old!She lived with me for almost 19 years and i still do miss her sometimes...


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