It has been a couple of weeks now, and finally I can write this – my handsome old cat Christie has died.
We were not sure of his true age, but judging my what we were told by the rescue home he came from, we think he was around 15 (we had him when he was 8) – and only a month or so back we had been remarking on how well he was looking – summer coat through, gleaming, out and about and eating well.
Then suddenly overnight he seemed to lose weight – not surprisingly, as he stopped eating. Last time this happened it was a tooth infection, and a course of antibiotics cured him almost immediately. So I was relatively optimistic when we took him to the surgery – but there was no problem with his teeth. A simple test confirmed what they feared – he had a kidney problem (chronic renal failure). He was rehydrated and given a shot of steroids to try to perk up his appetite. We were given special ‘kidney friendly’ food, tablets, but to no avail – despite the fact Christie was still out and about scaling garden fences, he refused to eat. Not the special diet, not his normal diet, not home-cooked chicken, fish – nor next door’s cats’ food. A sip of milk or water was all he would have.
The morning he didn’t come downstairs from my daughter’s bed (where he has slept for some time – she flagrantly flouting my ‘cats sleep downstairs’ rule) we worried. And having carried him gently down, when he then didn’t want to go outside we worried more. And then his legs were wobbling and we knew it was hard, but we had to make a decision. Back to the vets he went.
The practice was fantastic – kind, sympathetic – they did offer us a iv drip but we agreed that for a 15 year old boy who had never been the most enthusiastic eater we would be kinder not to put off the inevitable and my beautiful Christie is no more. For many cats these treatments are great – I know of cats that have had months, even years of great quality life, but Christie unfortunately never had his last summer in the sunshine.
My daughter is devastated – well all the family are, but she had a really special bond with Christie who was the most laid back cat you could ever hope to have. We have our new kit Nelly, who is causing no end of fun and amusement (which I will write about another time) and of course Dylan the boxer but I have this feeling that we will be looking for another middle aged boy to rule the roost with a languid calm sometime in the not too distant future….
We will never fill that Christie-shaped hole – he will never be replaced – but I’m sure there are many new and different feline pleasures to come.