Thursday, 2 August 2012
Just a few weeks ago
Sadly, we have lost our eldest cat, Allie. He was either 16 or 17 (a rescue) and the most gorgeous cat one could ever want. We met him, many years ago, on our Avon rounds! He'd follow me and the children around the streets and would often insist that one or all of us sit down on the pavement so he could have climb on to our laps for a cuddle! Seeing that he'd taken a shine to us, his owner asked if we'd look after him as she was moving into rented accommodation. We were over-the-moon to have such a loving cat in our family.
My friend in Skye, upon hearing the news of our loss, said that although he'd got very skinny in the last few months, she'll always remember him as a fat cat. He was indeed very chunky with the most gorgeous coat of fur. Whenever he needed a bath we'd realise that he wasn't at all fat, it was just his over-thick coat that gave him this appearance!
2010 - big fluffy puss-cat!
The vet suggested, back in March, that we just enjoy his last weeks, months, perhaps even year and just watch for the right time to act. We've been there before - it's never easy - it's always the hardest thing ever. Right up until Sunday morning he'd seemed generally happy. He'd eat well, fight with Tilly the kitten, sunbathe in the garden and wander over for cuddles. Sunday morning he was unable to keep his food inside him - that was the time - we decided to take him in on Monday morning.
2008 with Pepper and Kan
As it happens he went out Sunday, after breakfast, and despite a bad thunder storm, torrential rain followed by big hail stones, he didn't come in - he didn't come in that night either. We were worried, naturally, and had a little niggle of a feeling that perhaps he'd wandered off to die.
Monday morning came and went, no sign. We hunted high and low for him (and discovered how much attention our garden actually needs), and although he hadn't left our garden in months, we looked down the road, in gardens etc. for him, but no sign. By early evening I decided I'd ask a neighbour, she looks after rescue cats and we've in the past talked about her cats and ours.
She told me that Allie (or Casper as she decided to call him), had gone off to shelter with another neighbour on Sunday and they took pity on him and thought they'd feed him up. Obviously this became a messy problem as food was going right through him! They took Allie to the cat rescue lady who promptly took him in to her vet and he was put down. Apart from being totally horrified I also felt terrible that these people were feeling he'd been neglected, which was so not the case, he was just living out his last days and, unfortunately, had wandered off at his absolute worst. We were initially told that the cat rescue lady had asked the neighbour if she'd checked around the village for his owner, but we later found out this wasn't the case, she had assumed it belonged to "some man in the area that didn't look after his cats" and so took it upon herself to head off to the vet. Not a thought of us, cat owners, just over the road. Not a thought. To think this was all going on right under our noses - terribly sad. If only I'd knocked on her door Monday morning instead of waiting until later.
2010 - demonstrating that yes, cat's really can sleep anywhere!
Luckily we were able to shoot off to the vet Tuesday morning and retrieve his body, which is now peacefully buried in the garden. The vet was understanding, as they always are, and we expressed our concern over how it had all happened. So sorry we weren't able to say a proper "goodbye", but we did have a very special lap cuddle on the Friday night, which I'll remember forever.
My all time favourite photograph - 2010