Balthy-Boy, his last day.

A Tom Cat Kitten in a Street with 17 Years of Good Fortune

Recently, my Tom Cat, Balthy-Boy, passed on to the Great Hall of Kittens.

Sean P. Durham
6 min readSep 16, 2022


He and I spent 17 years together, day in and day out. We had a relationship of blokes together, guys who sit at the kitchen table early mornings. I’d drink coffee, he’d sup the juice in his meat bowl, then a few cat biscuits. He’d then deftly spring up onto my lap and enjoy the morning sunshine. I’d be pinned down by him for the next hour. I’d write my notes, and he’d snooze.

I have two cats, so sometimes, two cats would negotiate for space on my lap.

Balthy-Boy’s demise happened quickly.

He began to walk slowly, no more galloping through the apartment, or springing up onto my lap. He wasn’t settled when he laid down for a snooze, he’d just stare into space.

Something was wrong. And as much as we trusted each other, and enjoyed tom cat lad-hood in love together, he could never tell me where it hurt.

Animals are sensitive, and they are driven by deep rooted instincts. They don’t howl and whine when they are seriously sick, they often keep it to themselves.

Step on a cats tail, and it’ll yelp. But when they are sick, and weak, they will do everything to hide it; an instinct that protects them from predators in the wild. Lie low, stay quiet, and suffer. Maybe it’ll pass.

We have to keep a keen eye on our animal friends. Always on the lookout for a change in behaviour that might indicate that something’s up in a cat’s world.

The vet came and told us that his kidneys had failed. There was nothing to be done for him. So we did the best, and hardest thing to do, helped him find his peace.

I have another cat. She is 15 years old, Stubbs. She’s the easy-going, live and let live type of cat. But always the soul of the party.

Stubbs loved Balthy-Boy too. And we both miss him, I watch her as she walks around the apartment checking all the favourite places where Balthy-Boy would snooze.



Sean P. Durham

Berlin Notes — Writing about the Creative Art of Street Photography. Fine Art Photography, writing, art, cats.