Today I have done something I never ever wanted to do. I’ve had to let go a much loved member of our family.
Hubby and I adopted Sam cat from a friend of a friend 12 years ago when we moved into our first house. He was 2. And he was a beautiful, strong, big black pussy-cat. One that I used to laugh about being the Original “Scar-face Claw”. When we went overseas he was just 4, and we were lucky enough to have Hubby’s mum that was willing to look after him for us. Four years later, she handed him over and he settled back in with us.
He’s had a good life, although he has needed to adjust as the family expanded. But the big, proud pussy cat has always handled the household with great dignity. I used to love coming home and seeing him sitting neatly on the fence post by the gate, or be greeted as he moved from the ultra sunny spot under the tree with a stretch and a meeouw as we went in through the front door.
Yesterday I found him sitting on top of the sandpit lid, soaking. So unlike him. I dried him off and took him to the front door to eat his breakfast, which he did. He didn’t come for his dinner last night, but that usually isn’t too big a deal. This morning he was waiting on the front mat, but was so lethargic. Totally not interested in food or water. Couldn’t walk without wobbling or shaking. Fearing the worst, I called our vet and told them I was bringing him straight in.
I got the call around 11 this morning. Severely de-hydrated, very cold, very very slow heartbeat. Blood results indicating the kidneys were in trouble…. was there any toxins around the place he could have got into? The answer was not to my knowledge. We agreed to deal with getting his heart rate sorted and pumping fluids in. It was very likely I was going to need to make a decision, but we would try to wait 24 hours.
An hour later, another call.
In their monitoring, his heart stopped beating while they moved him. Although he was back, I could see the time to make the decision had come. I told them I would be there in 20 minutes. Hurry, they said, that could be too late.
I sent the half-done lunch to the neighbours that had the Mr’s, grabbed my other neighbour with years of wisdom behind her, and flew to the vets. He was on oxygen. They had kept him with us until I got there. He was in pain, so I said Yes, let’s do it now. Holding him until his last breath was heartbreaking. But immediately he looked at peace. Just a few short hours ago, he didn’t seem like our Sam-puss. Now, lying lifeless in my arms, he was.
They have arranged him beautifully in a box – he looks just like he does when he is sleeping in front of the heater in the lounge. Graeme, my neighbour, has dug a hole for us under the rhododendron right beside his favourite sunny spot. He has a baby wrap from when Mr 7 first arrived. Olly and I have had a wake – she held my hand through the process, drove us home and whipped up a medicinal brandy. Hubby will be home soon, we have a lovely prayer picked out, and we will place Sam in his favourite spot where he can rest forever.
Good-Bye Sammy-cat. You are a much loved pussycat.