• Wendy Percival

Lost precious pets

Welcome back to the blog! I hope you all had a good summer.

Sadly, ours will for ever be marked as the time we said our last goodbyes to our lovely black cat, Dillon. As an established member of our home for the past 11 years, he’ll be greatly missed. Those of you who’ve lost pets yourself will understand how painful a time it can be.

Part of the household

I wasn't surprised to find that there are incidences in the census returns where pets are recorded as household members.

On the 1911 census, journalist, James Little recorded his dog Roger, aged 5 – full name, Roger the Watchdog with his occupation, appropriately, as ‘looking after the house’.

Another 1911 entry was filled in by Frances Catherine Stone. A single woman with no other human occupants in her household, she chose to include instead, Timothy the cat, aged 7 and Jack the dog, aged 8.

Family favourites

I browsed through our family history photograph archive and found quite a few photos of beloved pets.

My husband’s grandparents had a dog called Scamp, pictured above with his owners Hector & Ethel Percival and, on another occasion, with my 4-year-old husband.

One generation back, in the photo below, are his great-grandparents, Shadrack and Mary Ann Percival, with their dog called Jack.

I found a splendid photograph (below) of my husband's father, Dennis Percival, taken in November 1920, with “little Peter”, as it’s recorded on the back. The other is of his mum, Irene Saunders, cuddling a beautiful fluffy cat, which my husband believes belonged to her neighbour.

Amongst my own family snaps is one of my grandmother’s cousin, Nellie Talbot, with two dogs who she identifies as Coco and Chris, noting on the back that while Coco has come out quite well, Chris is rather a mess! (Both look fine to me!)

Naughty Paddy

My dad’s dog, Paddy, pictured below, played a significant part in my dad’s life story, being the culprit behind Dad’s accident which resulted in a major injury to his leg (you can read all about it in my post, Flat on his back & Plastered).

Finally, there’s Sindy, the cat I grew up with, who reached the grand old age of 20, long after I left home. Do you like the flared jeans and decidedly 1970s hair cut? Me, I mean, not the cat!

Do you have any pet photos amongst your family history archive?


I’m delighted to say that during the summer I’ve made some progress in unravelling a few family history conundrums, so watch this space for the latest news. I won’t be posting here quite as often, though, as I’m prioritising writing the 5th Esme Quentin Mystery. There are only so many hours in a day, after all!

See you next time!


To find out more about the Esme Quentin books, click on the image below.