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Monday 6 May 2024

R.I.P. Madam Button


Very sadly I had to say goodbye to Madam Button, my little sea cat, a couple of weeks ago.  She was 18 years old, and had a very active life until recently.  She had a bad infection last October and to be honest I was surprised she rallied so well from that - I should have known better.  She was always a very persistent cat.  She had a good quality of life up to recently despite various health problems, but it became clear that her time had come.  

I made the decision over a weekend and spent that time snuggled with her whenever she wanted.  I think we both said our goodbyes that weekend. 

She was as bright as a - well - Button on the dreaded morning.  Had a second breakfast, made her presence knowm by demanding I get up!   I arranged for the vet to come to the house and it was all very calm, and very peaceful at the end.  Which is all any of us can ask for.  The last kindness is the hardest.

We had been together just under 16 years, most of that time on Graemsay.  She was a remarkable cat, very determined, always the boss.  Made me laugh every single day.  She is a great miss. Run free sweet girl.

So here are a few photos of her life on Graemsay.

That time she climbed down the side of the pier!!

Sqweeee - haha....

Watch out for the hens, Button!

Soaking up the sun....

The starlings nested in the pier so she was always wondering if she could get to them!

Still trying to keep her paws dry while exploring.

Searching for Owl and a pea green boat...

Action shot of her hunting a field mouse!

Hunting mice in the byres

Unimpressed with snow.....

But still up for a walk to the shore...

Sleeping on the netting protecting tender plants - fail!

Her favourite morning spot in summer.

Let. Me. In.... NOW!

And more recently in our "retirement" - she enjoyed snoozing in the sun, watching the world go by and inspecting the perimeter of the catio.....

I started this blog a few months before she arrived on Graemsay, and though this blog wasn't about her (though she thought so!) I feel it's now an appropriate time to close this blog.  End of an era for both of us.

Thank you to all my followers over the years, and all the lovely comments.  Wishing everyone well in these uncertain times.  


  1. I am so sorry to read the loss of sweet Madam Button - they are such a part of our lives, and I know all too well how hard that loss is. Two weeks ago, I went through the same thing – a sweet yellow cat named Azzie. What looked like a scratch by his nose 2 years ago was cancer – as time went on it was painfully obvious a decision needed to be made. I have never had to do that before and I still feel guilty. Your words are so true – the last act of kindness is the hardest. From the pictures you both had a lovely time together and made sweet memories - What a wonderful life she had with you. I will miss popping over to read your blog, especially since I recently discovered it-wishing you all good things.

  2. I never met Button, of course, but her personality shone through the screen. We’ve had to make that decision with two cats and I know how heart wrenching it is. The last one was 2008 but we still have “Do you remember” conversations about both of them so Button’s memory will undoubtedly live on with you.

  3. Oh Sian, I am so sorry to read this. The loss of a four-paws is, I think, one of the hardest things we ever have to deal with. The last kindness may be the hardest but it is also the greatest expression of love, caring and consideration, especially when you arrange for the vet to visit and our darling fur-person doesn't have to make a last journey to a place that most of them really do not like.

    Madam B definitely knew she was loved and lived the most tremendous life with you.

    I am sorry it marks the end of an era for you and will very much miss the glimpses of Orkney which you share. My very best to you in the future. x

  4. Ah Sian, I guess we all come to an end of an era. It was wonderful to see the parade of Button pictures. She was intrepid when she wanted to be. Your pictures are always so beautiful. I'm having problems downloading pictures from my phone to my blog. Maybe it's time for me to pull the plug. I haven't written much at all in a long while.

  5. Following your blog from the very beginning – although being pretty successful on my quest to become the laziest commenter in this universe and those not yet discovered ;-) – you and button often let the corners of my mouth start an expedition to my ear-lobes. Thanks for that, Sian.

    For the time ahead I wish you all the best.
    And who knows, one day you may wish to re-open your blog. Would be lovely.

  6. Button clearly had a wonderful life. Wishing you well, and thanks for showing me so much of islands I have never visited, even though I live in Perthshire. I will get up and over to Orkney someday, I hope. I also hope your outdoor cats can give you some company, if they are still around.

  7. I truly believe there's a better world past this one, for us and our furry ones. What a darling she was in the photos! Also, I will miss seeing your Orkney - take care and best to you there.

  8. Oh that is very sad about Button's passing, but she had a fantastic life free-roaming the island and the seashore. One content and lucky cat but who'll be missed hugely. Fully understand your thoughts re the blog. you'll be missed like you miss Button. Take care.

  9. Oh what an end of an era that is. You gave M.Button a wonderful life. All the best to you Sian, you made a lot of people very happy. I echo Sean's thought, if you ever felt like it is time to reopen your blog that would be great.

  10. Oh no! on both counts. So sorry about Button. Been there, done that. She was lovely. And I'm also sorry that you're stopping blogging! I loved living vicariously on the island with you. All the best, though.

  11. So sorry for your loss, Sian. I loved "the last kindness is the hardest"--so true. I'm glad Button could die at home. Thank you so much for your blog and for these photos of Button; they've brought me so much joy.

  12. I'm sorry for the passing of Buttons. I wish you well.

  13. Yourself and MB have brightened our day for many years. A sad but fitting conclusion but I echo Sean's comments, if you ever wanted to start a new chapter that would also be fitting. Best wishes Marky x

  14. So sorry to hear about Button. It’s always hard to let them go but, as you say, it’s the kindest thing to do and we always know when that time has come. Thank you for your blog over the years, I’ve always enjoyed reading about you & Button. Lyn

  15. RIP Button. Thank you for sharing your life in the wild places of the Orkney Islands, with all the photos of gorgeous scenery and sunsets, often featuring Button as the main character, as well as your photos of Orkney towns and community events. How many times, reading your blog entries, have I wished to live someplace so beautiful and off-the-beaten track. Though I seldom commented, I've checked your blog often over the years and would be delighted if you decide to return to blogging. Best wishes and take care. Andrea in Minnesota, USA