Welcome to Harry Paget Flashman's Rainbow Bridge Memorial Residency
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Memories of Harry Paget Flashman
Harry Paget Flashman VC, KCB, San Serafino Order of Purity and Truth, etc., Lord Flashman of Khandahar, was born on me at 8:30 on the morning of June 2, 1994, when his mother Bittles jumped up on the bed and literally dropped him on my chest. He was 'a litter of one,' and had six faucets to tap - until Bittles got preggers again and shot out six more (including Bootsie) in September! He grew quickly and greatly - he was big-boned, but not that tall - Shimi towered over all the others - and had a solid feel to him. His 'fighting weight' was fifteen pounds, and he bulked up to 18 at one time.

Like the character for whom he was named (from the Flashman series by George MacDonald Fraser), Flashy was a cad, a coward, and a lovable scoundrel. He and Bootsie were rivals from the day she could see - he'd horn in on the milk supply long after he was weaned, and the two of them had a daily 'flying hairball' altercation that usually began with Boo walking over to a reclining Flashman, putting her paw on his head, and pushing down hard...Bootsie almost always won, as she was much quicker than lumbering Flashy, who couldn't get out of his own way when he was really fat!

For twenty years he was my friend and companion, often greeting me at the door when I came home, and slept on the foot of the bed, 'guarding the home' while we slept. When Bootsie died in September of 2013, it was Flashy and Shimi who kept my spirits up, as losing Boo left me in a very low place. When we moved up to Oregon 18 months ago he thought it a great adventure, didn't mind being in a 'kitty apartment' in the back of the van for the 650 mile trip - although much spirited yowling punctuated the two-day voyage. To have lost Flashy just a year later after Bootsie, and then Shimi six months after that, has left me with two ancient grumpy cats, Scooter and Smudgets, and a big hole in my heart. Our little family is much reduced, and ere long I will be looking for new critters....

Like all cats who reach a certain age, his kidneys started failing several years ago; he also had thyroid problems, but that was taken care of by pills. He started losing weight, a lot at first, then slowly, until he had no muscle mass anymore and it was time to go home. He was so weak he could barely lift his head, although he tried to show he was still strong. Like his sister, I held him, sang him to sleep and sewed him into his shroud before sending him off. He currently resides in a handsome octagonal box decorated with his Victoria Cross, next to Shimi and Bootsie. Eventually he'll be moved, along with the others, to the Big Urn - with me.

He had a fine life.

I'd like to thank all the people who cared for him over his long life - Drs. Youdall, Eklov, and Leeking in the Bay Area and Dr. Knight at Grove in Newport; Sue and Janet at Good Sam, and Teri, Alanna, and Becky at Grove, Sally Morris who took care of hime when I went out of town, and all my piping students who put up with Flashy's inevitable lesson interruptions. I particularly want to thank Jen MacNeilley, who cared for him for almost ten years.

Heaven would not Heaven be
Were my cats not there to welcome me
-Byron



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