Had to do a very sad thing today. Poor old Poppy, our tabby cat who was at least 10 years old (we’ve had her five years and she seemed ancient when we got her), finally reached the point in her life where her medical condition had deteriorated quite badly. She’d become anaemic and dehydrated and had lost control of her hind legs.
There was really only one thing left to do – take her to the vet for “last orders”. The vet examined her, suggested that her kidneys had failed and agreed that she had to be put to sleep. It was all over very quickly – 5 seconds after her injection and she was gone for good. Just come back from burying her in the back garden of our old house. All a bit teary, to be truthful.
Poppy had been a fat and ungainly cat, and while she was affectionate, she had a very strange way of showing it – it was a toss-up between which was her most unpleasant attribute when she sat on one’s lap – the painful digging-in of claws or the hairs she’d shed on one’s trews. And while she would definitely get into the litter tray in order to do her business, her butt hole was invariably pointed over the edge of the litter tray and onto the floor…
…oh, and she couldn’t move more than five yards without stopping to scratch herself…
…but we loved her anyway.
The move to our new house didn’t go terribly well for Poppy. She kept returning to the old house and I kept having to go over there and fetch her back. After about five days, she finally copped that all the food was in the new house and not the old one. I recall one particularly amusing moment last Christmas where I went over with the car to bring her home. She insisted on sitting upright on my lap while I drove, her head peering proudly through the driver’s door window. I gave some old geezer a shock as I turned out of the old estate – all he could see was a middle-aged man and an elderly cat driving a car (it was actually funnier than how I’ve just described it – you really had to have been there).
She seemed eventually to have adjusted to her new digs, but over the last month she got noticeably thinner and slower. She’d even stopped yowling (and believe me, she could’ve yowled for Ireland). The really scary thing was the staggering – her hind legs were not operating in co-ordination with her forelegs. In the last few days, she fell over quite a lot, and today, when I attempted to feed her, poor puss just fell over on her side. And that was the end, as far as I was concerned. Even today, she was still quite alert, so while she way not have been in pain per se, one would imagine that if she were human, she’d’ve known that all was not quite well with her.
This afternoon, at work, I decided to call the vet to see if I could make an appointment. 5.30 was agreed as H-Hour.
In case you’re wondering where the term Sun Goddess came from, I gave her that nickname a few years ago. There was nothing Poppy liked better than to roll around on her back on a hot sunny day, toasting her fat belly, a big silly feline grin on her face. True to form, when I came home this evening to take her to the vet, she was sitting on the front doorstep, enjoying her last rays of sunshine (not that she was to know that).
Ah, fuck it anyway…
Here she is in happier times:-