She had such passion - some thought it was meanness, even hatred but actually underneath that snarling, grumpy exterior was the softest ball of fluff you could ever wish for. Her hard exterior trying to stop people who would take her for granted. Love from Lacey is love well earned.
It's always about her way. Not like Cagney - or obedient dogs. Lacey could punish you for days just for leaving the house to go to work. Born and raised in Hackney and Haringey she knew how to take care of herself. Foxes, cats, mice and birds didn't stand a chance. She would patrol her territory - often from roofs or high walls, even the odd tree - making sure nothing she didn't allow came along. Of course when up high always with the pretence she then couldn't get down. Accompanied by loud howls and miaows. Her wicked sense of fun I'm sure. Suckering me in to tempt her with treats or cuddles.
Her favourite games consist of stopping balls, catching mice on the stairs (or outside for real), running round and round in circles chasing grass or sticks in the garden and most of all stopping, lifting, manoeuvring washing machine grommets.
For Lacey is no ordinary cat. Her love of cardboard boxes, killing things and howling loudly at 6am is all a ploy to hide the fact she is plotting to take over the world. Our cat. Our beautiful lady Lacey is the cleverest cat in the world.
The amazing skill of pulling a balloon toward her using paws and teeth, the ability to take coins out of empty tissue boxes, the knowing look she gives if you have done just as she intended. The love and patience she shows her not so bright brother. But always with a swift paw around the chops if he goes too far. And then the skill to make it look like he started it. And don't be fooled by that gentle purr, the soft eyes and the roll over for a tummy stroke - enemy hand as a kitten taught her well - yours will be gone!
As many a vet knows - the vet in Hackney said "never attempt to give this cat a tablet yourself". Our vet in Maidstone puts on her protective gloves just to lift her to the scales!
And boy did she often find herself on the scales. A hefty cat she was for many years slowly wasting away before our eyes. Who knows how long that tumour was growing inside of her. And how it gradually took away the Lacey we love so much. Till one day I can't look in her eyes anymore without knowing its time to say goodbye.
That beautiful shy, timid kitten who I took home on FA Cup final day 2001. Not long after Michael Owen had consigned Arsenal to a glorious defeat. The kitten i gave butter each day from my finger so she would come out from hiding behind the bookshelf, or the chairs. The kitten that grew into a fierce companion who late at night or early mornings would sneak under the covers for cuddles. The tough exterior banished for those she knew loved her most.
And now because we love her we shall let her go. The hardest thing I've ever had to do. And we shall take her role as Cagney's protector and bottom cleaner(!) - and I'll always be grateful that sunny May morning I made that call to Mare Street pet shop because everyone needed a Cagney AND a Lacey x