Runcie was Lester's best pal. If Lady was part Persian and Lester part Siamese then Runcie is the original Heinz 57 variety. She is a dark gray tabby, currently toothless! She came into my life in March 1988.
I established quite quickly that Runcie had been left behind by the previous owners of the house friends of mine had just bought, she was about 9 months old. She lived with these friends who named her, (poor little mite) Runcie, I understand that:
a) they thought she was male and
b) she had similar characteristics to the then Archbishop in that she talked constantly even though no-one wanted to listen.
Anyway, despite being a very pretty female she now responded to the name Runcie so it stuck. Runcie was introduced to Lady and Lester at Christmas of that same year when the 3 of us came to stay. Lester being the friendly cat that he was immediately went straight up to Runcie with friendship in mind, you'd have thought he would have learnt his lesson with Lady, but, no. His advances were met by a swipe across the nose from the fiery little female, just half his size, blood was spilt. Lester didn't back off and didn't retaliate, just looked bemused, the friendship was sealed with a gentle lick from Runcie, they remained inseparable until the day Lester died.
Runcie has missed Lester a great deal since he died and for the first couple of months had me quite concerned about her own health. She lost weight and wasn't eating very well. A visit to the Vet for a full health check revealed that heart, lungs, kidneys, liver and thyroid were in perfect condition and that she was a perfectly healthy cat, she was simply grieving. Since the permanent arrival of Thomas she has improved, in fact, she is the only one who has attempted to be friendly and this has been returned. I don't think they will ever be quite as close as she and Lester but Thomas is very happy to have his faced washed and to share a bowl of beaten egg and milk with her.
23 July 2003 and Runcie has passed away. She had a stroke and slipped away very peacefully. At the age of 16 years she also was stone deaf, had no teeth, an over active Thyroid, an enlarged heart and to top it all a very large cancerous growth attached to her rib cage but, what a happy little adventurous soul she was to the very end, she will be greatly missed. She didn't have long in our new home in Norfolk but whilst able she enjoyed exploring the fields around us and made great friends with all the neighbours (all 2 of them!).