Our old cat, Baldrick, was a real character. For most of the thirteen years he spent with us he acted like a kitten. When he passed away in October 2017, we thought we would never have another cat with such a personality. However, one month after we lost Baldrick, a kitten called Edmund arrived. For the next two and a half years, he was a force of nature in our lives until he was taken from us by a hit-and-run driver on the quiet country lane where we live. I took thousands of photographs of him during his short life, here or 40 of my favorites.
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The Magic Kitten
All of the other cats we have known have hated soap bubbles even ones with catnip mixed in, but Edmund loved them. He would leap and chase them all around the room but could never understand why he never managed to catch one. This just seemed to make him more determined with each new attack.
The Dancing Kitten
The Tree-Hugging Cat
The Expressive Kitten
The Jumping Kitten
Edmund would bounce all around the bedroom for hours chasing toys, and it soon became apparent that his jumping abilities were beyond those for an ordinary cat. Baldrick had jumped around quite a lot, but he was positively earthbound compared to Edmund. As he grew, Edmund could jump about six feet straight up or eight feet sideways from a standing start and without much apparent effort.
The Stretchy Cat
As Edmund grew up, we decided to move somewhere with more open space for him to run around in. He was built like a miniature cheetah and really needed a field to run in. We managed to find a mobile home next to a field and some woodland. It was just outside a village and seemed like the ideal location for Edmund and Melchett.
The Karate Kitten
Our other cat Melchett wasn't overly impressed with the new addition to the family. Edmund decided early on that Melchett was entertainment and would jump on him at every opportunity. Melchett is usually fairly peace-loving but his patience was worn very thin.
The Bouncing Cat
We had one snowfall during our time in the caravan, and Edmund made the most of it. He ran, jumped and skidded all over the field and seemed even less likely than usual to stay still.
The Wind-Blown Cat
The Beautiful Kitten
The Crazy Kitten
The Overdramatic Kitten
The Famous Kitten
Edmund had a toy Santa with a furry tail which he adored.
The Friendly Cat
The field had three sheep living in it and Edmund had great fun chasing them as he thought they were just big woolly mice. He got away with it the first couple of times as the sheep were taken by surprise by this new menace and ran away. However, they soon realised how small he was and started to stand their ground. This led to a series of stand-offs which he mostly lost but he still kept trying. When the sheep had lambs in the spring, he tolerated them approaching him and would happily rub noses with them which was his favourite greeting.
The Thirsty Kitten
Edmund was the only cat we have had that loved running water and loved drinking and playing with it.
The Hyperactive Kitten
The moment we released Edmund from his carrier he was like a tiny Tasmanian devil, twirling and jumping all around the bedroom, and we joked that he would become the most photographed cat in the world which is probably not too far from the truth.
The Rave Cat
The Kangaroo Cat
The Storm Cat
Since we lost Edmund, Melchett has done his best to keep the spirit of Edmund alive. He has been playing with toys that he hasn't looked at for years, running up and down the stairs, and sitting halfway up the stairs at the spot where Edmund used to sit and watch us in the living room. But at heart Melchett realises that he is destined to be the unappreciated sidekick, like Alfred with Batman, Penny with Inspector Gadget, Teller with Penn, Wise with Morecambe or Crosby with Hope. He doesn't really seek to be in the limelight, and in time we will probably be adopted by another cat or two. They won't replace Edmund, just as Edmund didn't replace Baldrick, but hopefully they will get to experience some of the joy that Edmund found in his short life, and maybe set an example for the rest of us.
The Kung-Fu Kitten
A neighbouring cat, Bob and Edmund soon became best friends and would chase each other up and down the garden. Parts of the garden were vertical, so they literally chased each other up and down at terrifying speed and apparently little thought for the dangers involved. At the end of each chase there would be a big “fight” that involved lots of rolling around and all sorts of facial expressions but little real violence apart from when Edmund sometimes got a little carried away. Bob would soon let him know that he had overstepped the mark and then normal service would be resumed.
The Scheming Kitten
It became quickly apparent that Edmund was smarter than the average cat. Most of our cats were at the back of the queue when brains were being handed out, but Edmund could open cupboards, drawers and treat containers with ease especially if there was catnip inside. We bought him a treat tower which was supposed to provide hours of stimulation for a cat to work out how to get the treats out but Edmund treated it as a vending machine and flicked the treats out without a second thought. We once made the mistake of leaving our rent money in a drawer that had had catnip in it and came home to find Edmund chewing on a bunch of twenty-pound notes that he had removed from the drawer.
The Serious Cat
The Hover Kitten
The Juggling Kitten
The Free-Running Cat
After moving to a cottage in a quiet rural location, as soon as we let Edmund outside he started climbing onto the outbuildings around the cottage. He realised that they were close enough together to allow him to jump from one to another until he reached the highest. Not for the first time, I had to watch him risk life and limb while he thoroughly enjoyed himself.
The Focused Cat
Most of our cats have not been keen on wide-open spaces, with Baldrick in particular liking to lurk in the undergrowth, but Edmund took to the field like a cheetah on the savannah. He would “hide” behind small tufts of grass and then set off across the field at speed and a fair speed it was too. We often wondered if Edmund had a bit of Savannah, Bengal or something more exotic (possibly alien) in his DNA, as he was certainly not an average moggy.
The Woodland Cat
Edmund soon discovered the woodland on the far side of the field, and would happily climb large trees as well as vanishing inside a hollowed-out tree trunk that he would emerge from several minutes later after his travels in the underworld. It was scary to watch him in action, but he had such a lust for life and was a real force of nature. He would chase pheasants in the woods, and every now and then came close to catching one. I had visions of one day seeing him flying across the field sat on the back of a pheasant and wouldn't really have been surprised.
The Floating Cat
The Flying Cat
The Bee-Chasing Cat
Edmund would chase butterflies and bumblebees and catch them under his paw then look totally confused when he lifted his paw and they would fly away. He loved chasing things but never developed a killer instinct.