Welcome to Clive Bennett’s web site
1952 1973 1992 2000 2010
Memories of my ‘best mate’ a cat called Kanati:
My ‘mate’ European Premier Atticus Kanati Silvershadow -
Being a North American breed I looked for a suitable native name and found ‘Kanati’
the legendry character from Cherokee Indian mythology said to be the first Man and
father of the Nation where stories about him and his wife Selu preserved their philosophy
concerning the relationship between man, animals and nature. The name, possibly incorrectly
was also said to mean ‘happy hunter’ -
A small fluffy bundle with alert wide open eyes and a ‘cheeky’ face Kanati ‘arrived’ on 31 March and promptly warned the existing cats, Saree and Taro, that he was now the 'owner' of the lounge by growling at each of them which caused them to ‘move’ to the bedroom for a couple of days. Eventually they both returned although at first Saree was a little bit reserved.
Taro was more direct and started washing him to establish who was the Alpha male to which Kanati responded by treating him like his big brother and spending as much time as possible sitting or lying alongside him while at the same time developing a degree of attachment to me and what I was doing.
With Saree it was different, he loved ‘chasing’ her -
In January 2002 twins Rafiq and Rana were added to the family. While they were young
Rafiq, being a boy, naturally became Kan’s playmate and mischief partner. Rana meanwhile
soon became his special friend and they would curl up together and wash each other.
She also became his greatest admirer and until she died in December 2012 wanted nothing
more from life than to be near him -
It was soon clear that behind Kan’s wide open alert eyes there was a highly inquisitive and intelligent cat who always wanted to see and share in everything that was happening. In addition the older he got the more obvious it became that he was not a typical cat and very different from the others and very sensitive to things happening around him.
When Taro died in 2010 Kanati missed him badly and was seriously traumatised leading
to him developing pancreatitis -
He always enjoyed a lot of attention and fuss but managed to make it feel personal
as though he was equally making a fuss of me just for the pleasure of being with
me in particular. This became more pronounced once I replaced Taro as his best friend.
Wherever I went and whatever I was doing he was usually there or nearby to watch.
Preparing meals and particularly breakfast usually meant I had company up on the
work surface -
He was never really a ‘lap cat’ but as he grew older he would come to me as I sat
in the computer chair and then liked me to rock back to a semi-
He also liked to wake me in the morning -
While I was out he would sleep on the back of the armchair by the lounge window.
But he knew the sound of my car and as soon as I came home he sat up, watched me
put the car away and then ‘talked’ to me as I walked up the path and then, as I approached
the front door, he would move round to the side window to look down and watch me
come in – still ‘talking’ to me. He was always there, no matter when I came home
the first thing I saw was him standing, watching and waiting for me and he alwayd
waited to see me come through the front door before he got down. Even if someone
else was coming in first he wouldn’t leave the window till he was certain I was coming
in. His pleasure at seeing me come home was unmistakable. By the time I came in
he was at the door to meet me then off to do a wee -
Once I was home when he wanted me to accompany him he would come and ‘talk’ to me
then turn round with his rear towards me and stand with his tail upright, almost
rigid but with a slight quivering in a typical friendship gesture normally reserved
for other cats -
As soon as we got where he was heading he wanted ‘cuddles’ accompanied as usual by lots and lots of purring lasting for 30 minutes or more. When we went in to the bedroom and particularly when I came home from being out it was almost a human form of cuddles. He sat on the bed, he didn’t lie down but just sat, and I would sit beside him. Then I placed my arm round him and he would lean over against me with his head tucked under my arm. Again something he did only with me. Next it was a nudge with the head and I had to lean down so my nose or chin rested on top of his head then he would push back hard and hold the top of his head firmly against me and purr. He also liked to stand or rub against me and if I wasn’t close enough he would make a small leap with an arched back rather like a lamb to encourage me to move closer.
Alternatively he occasionally liked me to just lie on the bed with him. He would
stretch out with his front paws over the edge and his head resting on them while
I would lie beside him on my stomach with arms in front and my head resting on them
He hated me using the computer -
When I went for a shower he would come and sit of the linen basket so he could ‘talk’ to me if I put my head round the shower curtain close to where he was sitting. If I laid my clothes out on the bed to dress before going out or after having a shower I would often come back to find him sitting on them. If I left personal possessions or papers lying around he would curl up on them. When I went to the loo he would follow me in and jump up on to the window sill to be close to my head and sit there and purr. When I was out he would go into the bathroom where he would reach up and stretch his claws against my towel [just mine not those used by anybody else] and pull them down onto the floor. If I was relaxing in the arm chair he would climb up and curl up on the back just above my head just to be near me and purred. Alternatively he would some times sit on the arm where he could lean against me and as always purr.
Like all Maine Coons he was a big cat and loved his food but unlike many others never put on any fat remaining slim, lean, active and agile for all his life. There were always food bowls on the floor in the kitchen and bedroom for all the cats to eat from but because of his love of being up high there was always a separate bowl for him on the work top next to the cooker where he particularly enjoyed being hand fed as a treat. Unlike many cats there was no ‘cupboard love’ and he never ‘asked’ for food.
Nonetheless at meal times he liked to know what I was eating. He expected to be ‘shown’
the plate so he could see and smell what I was going to eat but he was very good
and didn’t scrounge tit bits of food. If however I had either salami sausage or Chinese
noodles, both of which he particularly liked, he enjoyed sharing a few pieces with
me. If I came home with them in a bag or take-
Another very distinctive feature was his movement. While the other cats walked as
most do half crouching progressing slowly and stealthily, almost gliding around Kanati
was completely different. He never really ‘walked’ anywhere. His gait was un-
The other cats, as they grew older, were happy to be petted or relax and sit quietly
on their own often on the floor or possibly an arm chair but Kanati had other ideas.
He was agile and active and preferred to be off the floor and if possible up as close
to me as he could get. On work surfaces, on top of the linen basket in the bathroom
The window cleaner arrival always interested him. While the other cats would disappear to hide at the sight of a stranger he would sit by the window to watch sometimes following from window to window. Domestic cleaning was another thing he understood. The others didn’t like the sound of a Hoover and fled to another room at just the sight of it but not Kanati, he sat on the back of the chair and watched with apparent interest almost supervising what was being done.
As he grew older his idea of a game was knocking pens -
Throughout his life he was fascinated by water -
For his early years he, like the other cats, always used the litter box -
By mid life he had worked out for himself how I used the loo and where water went
so instead of doing his wee in the litter box he started using the kitchen sink.
Climbing in, straddling the plug-
Kanati’s coat was very fine, soft and almost silky to touch …. but, nobody’s perfect and there was a catch. This was his Achilles heel. He loved grooming his fur, day after day. Not only that he also ate or ‘hoovered’ up any hair of fur on the floor, chairs or cushions. The result … hair balls, lots of them, almost daily and sometimes twice a day for virtually his whole life and when I was out they were ‘deposited’ wherever he happened to be at the time and that’s where I would find them on my return. When I was at home however he always ‘announced’ that he was about to bring one up with a loud, long and mournful howl some 30 to 40 seconds beforehand. When I heard the howl I’d call out ‘come on’ and he’d jump down from wherever he happened to be and run off to the bathroom or doorway to the bedroom. I used to quickly follow and pick him up and place him in the bath with my hand gently on the back of his neck to keep him there and steady until he’d discharged the hair ball. After that he jumped out and ran away to where he’d come from leaving me to clear up.
While young he had an outstanding show career which started in August 2001 at Worthing.
There he gained both an 'Excellent One' and a Nomination for best in show. His next
show, still as a junior, gained another Excellent 1 and Nomination then on to an
adult career where in 25 consecutive shows he was never beaten. This started with
three Certificates leading to the title of 'Premier' at Stevenage in January 2002
Then five shows, each time winning an International Certificates which secured the
title of 'International Premier' at Worthing in August 2002 After that seven Grand
International Certificates to become a 'Grand International Premier' at Staines in
May 2003. Finally in August 2005 at Worthing after another ten shows, each time winning
a European Certificate he reached the pinnacle and became a 'European Premier'. A
day later, again at Worthing, he gained a ‘Prize of Honour’ and Nomination. At Salisbury
in 2004 -
In February 2014 he developed conjunctivitis in the right eye which developed into an ulcer and took several weeks to heal. In May he developed a swelling in the left eye and after test was found to have small growth behind the eye. The inflammation turned into an ulcer and by June he was going blind in that eye. It continued to deteriorate and on 3 September had to be removed. During the op they found he had a serious throat infection and also the start of another ulcer in the right eye. There was a hint of recovery from the op and then a serious deterioration in both the throat infection, which made it virtually impossible for him to swallow and the ulceration of the other eye in which he was also going blind. So on 11 September at the relatively early age of 13 years and 8 months I, with much sorrow and great reluctance, had to say goodbye not to a pet but to a very, very special best friend and companion.
Over the years I’ve had many pets both cats, dogs and others but never one that ‘bonded’ into such an intense and personal connection. He was a totally irreplaceable and truly unique cat unlike any of the others in so many ways.
New arrival, April & growing, Sept 2001
with Taro -
Still with Taro -
and again … where you go I go
Show time: March 2003 [above]
October 2004 [below]
Sharing a chair with Taro : 2006
and now the bed
with Rafiq in the background
No! You can’t use the PC until I’m ready
Just a friendly head butt maybe -
What are you doing on the pc today?
2012 and I can sleep anywhere …
Resting on the back of the chair by the window
with Rana [left] & Rafiq [right]
Kanati’s Show Awards 2001 -