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  • Writer's pictureWendy 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.


10 commentaires


Carolyn Retallick
Carolyn Retallick
08 sept. 2021

Hi Wendy, just popped over from reading your newsletter and I want to say I totally agree with your assessment of Robert Goddard. He is also one of my favourite authors and I’ve read all of his books, but feel his last few novels have not been his best. On my kindle I’ve downloaded some of his earlier novels including Beyond Recall. I’m at an age now where I don’t remember plots and storylines so well, so can enjoy again without always remembering what happens! 😁

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Carolyn Retallick
Carolyn Retallick
08 sept. 2021
En réponse à

Well if you read on kindle wait until it’s reduced to 99p which I believe is what I did! 🤣 it’s better than the Panic Room for sure!

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Carolyn Retallick
Carolyn Retallick
05 sept. 2021

I could spend all day looking at cute kitty (and doggie) videos on the internet. Interesting about the St Ives cat book, though! I shall have to google it too 😺 I wonder if you'll get another cat? I always say that once Austin goes (he's 14) I won't get another, but who knows! 😇

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Carolyn Retallick
Carolyn Retallick
05 sept. 2021
En réponse à

I hadn't heard of either of those books! eBay has a copy of one of them in the US it seems. Austin was a rescue from the RSPCA when he was less than a year. They called him Austin because he was found inside a car engine. He was injured, poor thing, but he mended very well. They said he would make great indoor cat. Boy were they ever wrong! He is a mighty hunter!! Furry cuddles are the best! ❤️

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Carolyn Retallick
Carolyn Retallick
04 sept. 2021

I'm so sorry to read about Dillon, Wendy. He was a beauty for sure. Cats have always featured strongly in my life, in fact my Cornish ancestors were rarely photographed without a cat! In St Ives, I think they all had cats to keep the rodent population down, but my Gran loved her "Tim" who was a much loved part of the whole family. She had many cats in her life and they were all called Tim. Below is a picture of me and my mum with one of the "Tims" in my Gran's back yard. More recently, I blogged about my current cat for about ten years before I lost the will and ran out of funny thing…


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Wendy Percival
Wendy Percival
04 sept. 2021
En réponse à

Wow, what a wonderful photo, Carolyn! Made me chuckle to read every cat was called Tim. You’re probably right about St Ives and cats. I seem to recall a beautifully illustrated children’s picture book about cats who lived in St Ives. Perhaps it was a picture version of the rhyme about someone who went to St Ives with seven cats… or something like that. I’d better go and Google it! Yes, we’re slowly getting used to not having Dillon around but it’s amazing how you think you hear him call, or see a shadow and forget for a split second that it can’t be him. Cats are certainly very popular on the internet, aren’t they? Everywhere you look there are photos and…

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