Taz enjoying an evening stroll with me in the local field

My best friend Taz

Lys Lily Wild


My journey over the cancer seas and beyond

I think many of us can contest to having a furry best friend. Mine is Taz, a tuxedo tabby cat, so called due to having a white fur underbelly — beware any who rest their hands upon it! He is an amazing character this cat that has decided to be my little guardian. A feral mother and a brutish farm cat as his father, he is all at once feisty and super cautious in turns. My friend next door decided that she was fed up with my indecision about having another animal in my life. One morning in late May of 2012 she unceremoniously picked him up from behind her skunk cage and put him in my hand. “short haired tabby, that be yours then.” I gazed down open mouthed at the mewling beast calling for its mum no more than couple of weeks old. “Bloody hell you know I can’t say no!.” And that was it, love at first sight. Well it was for me, Taz was so young he couldn’t actually see at that point.

He goes by the nickname of bunny, in fact his whole name is Taz Bunny McTabish. This was for two reasons. The first was that his back legs grew exponentially larger than the rest of him for almost the first year of his life and he resembled a rabbit at the back end. Hilarious I know. The other reason was that on his first ever excursion out into nature he brought back a rabbit, almost twice the size of him. He tripped over himself getting across the field. I still have no idea how it was possible for him to have killed it, small as he was. But there you go. He is a voracious hunter, though to be fair he never kills the garden birds. He had early forays into this with fledglings, but learned with firm annoyance from me, that it just wasn’t going to be ok if we were living together and he stopped.

Never let anyone say that cats are not intelligent. My experience is that they are exceptional in their understanding of more things than we know. Throughout my cancer situation he has been an utter star. For the first few months after my operation I had to be apart from him and it was painful. I am staying with my dear friend who has a cat, and so it didn’t seem possible to bring him to be with me. Yet with persistence and patience he has come over to live here whilst I have been going through chemo. And quite honestly he has been incredible with his constant rich attention.

Each dawn without fail he watches from his bed on the dresser and waits for me to come round from sleep. Then we both go out into the garden and he literally watches my back whilst I do some Qi Gong. Its the most tender and loving thing to behold. A real gift. He has also started coming on walks with me across the fields in the early evening. True I don’t walk far when Taz is there, but his company more than makes up for that. Its so precious to have such a connection with an animal and I can honestly say I have learned invaluable lessons about love, relating and presence from my interactions with him over the last 9 years.

Now he is in the vets. He yowled me awake on Saturday to tell me of his physical pain. I am so grateful the vet has just called to say that the bladder and kidney stones have been removed. I don’t care the cost. He is my best friend and I must do all I can to help him as he has helped me all of his life. I will speak to the vet today and hope to bring him home later. All prayers gratefully received for my boy. And love to all of you who embrace the wonder of animals in your life.

They are love in action.