Thursday, 3 March 2016

On losing a pet

Mmmmm .... looks like more visitors then.  AirBnB anyone?
Did I tell you about Fred?  How we spirited him (and his sister Mabel) away from a home in a town nearby eight or nine years ago?  And did I tell you why?
Someone that I worked with at the time said she knew of two cats that needed a home.  On further investigation it seemed that the owners were off on holiday, and the man of the house seemed to think this was a great way of getting rid of them altogether, as he said when we arrived "if you can't deal with them or don't want them when we come back in two weeks, just bring them back".  Mmmmm.  Let's just not bring them back, I thought to myself.  So home to us they came.  They were very timid in their former home, and here in their new home they retreated to a space under the kitchen cabinets for 5 weeks.  They came out for food, and to use the litter box.  All we ever saw of them during that time were their tails disappearing back under the cabinets.
Gradually they got over the shock.  They didn't disappear at once when we appeared, they ate their food, they went out into the garden, they enjoyed sunshine on their fur.  Fred was double the size of his sister - a great lump of ginger, who had a major operation that cost us the price of a holiday when he had been here about 3 years.  Not that that matters a jot.  Because after that he began to purr..... I mean after 3 years!  and he took to laying along the back of the sofa near us when we sat down on it.  Something had happened in their former life, something they were afraid of, because they only liked being on the same level as us.  When we stood up - whoosh! they were gone.  Because of Fred's op., (colon removed) we were advised to feed fresh chicken and brown rice only.  It took about three days before he worked out that he could separate the rice from the meat, and never ate rice again......

He started loosing weight and not caring for his fur a couple of months before last Christmas, at first the vet thought it was arthritus of the spine, and after some suppliment to his food, he got back to his beautiful self for a little while.  But he started to loose weight again, and quickly.  And I realised that he wasn't eating, just sucking food for moisture but not swallowing.  (Mabel, who had always had to take second place at the food bar, was polishing off everything he left.... new for her as he was adept at elbowing her out of the way so that he could eat half of hers too!).  Back to the vets - nothing found, no improvement either.  So it was a scan, and that was the end, really....... a mass in his gut which was obviously a tumour that grew quickly and didn't allow him to eat.  

So.  You take that decision for them, don't you?  I took up a slab in the garden, and buried him there where he was happiest in the sun.  And we cried buckets.

Fred and Mabel