Well, we hoped for the best and feared the worst and unfortunately, the worst has happened. Today we said goodbye to our delightful little friend Precious, who has been so much part of our lives for nearly thirteen years. Our little 'bubby' is now asleep and at peace with no more pain.
We did everything it was in our power to do to try to get her better but she refused to eat or drink. We did manage to feed her a few drops of water with a spoon although we felt dreadful forcing her, but felt for her sake that we just had to. We were both so desperate to get her back on her feet if we could.
I tried rubbing wet food on her lips with my finger and she would lick it off but when I offered a few titbits she refused them. I tried two different wet foods and some biscuits but to no avail. She would sit looking at her water bowl but for some reason couldn't face taking a drink.
Last night I measured out 100mls of water in her bowl and when I got up this morning she had only taken less than 30 mls but we thought at least that was something. We then discovered at least 6 large pools of urine on the kitchen floor which meant all the fluid that had gone into her via the drip was gone. She was once again dehydrated and very, very weak; hardly able to miaow.
I let her out into the back garden and went looking for her 5 minutes later but she was nowhere to be seen. I went out onto the front verandah and called and she actually responded and walked ever so slowly towards me and allowed me to pick her up. I was astonished at how light she was and feel she must have lost at least one kilogram overnight. That will always be my last memory of her....answering my call and walking to me with that look of trust on her face.
We had made an appointment to take her back to the vet at 9am this morning and when I told her all that had transpired over the past few days (no food for 4+ days and no water bar the 30mls) the vet looked at me with that look you dread to see on their faces. I think it was the numerous puddles on the floor that was the final decider. She would have had to be put on a drip again for a day and there was no guarantee that afterwards she would take food or drink. The vet said she may last for 2 weeks but she doubted she would.
We realised our friend's quality of life was non-existent and although we felt devastated at the thought of losing her we made the decision that all pet owners hate to make. The vet left Precious with us a and I was able to cuddle her for about 5 minutes and tell her how much I loved her as did Phil. It must be hard being a man who doesn't cry because I know he loved that little cat as much as me. He couldn't bring himself to hold her but said goodbye to her in his own way. I keep thinking of that look of trust she had on her face this morning and feel I've let her down dreadfully but the vet said I mustn't think that way as there was nothing more to be done by anyone.
Had Precious been a human she would have been on dialysis two or three times a week waiting for a kidney transplant. When you're a cat, that type of thing is not possible and so you say farewell to a creature that has been so loving over so many years. I can't even find words to express how important she was to us.
We loved her that much we had foregone having a holiday for over 10 years as she pined so much if we were not there. I once left her at a very good pet 'holiday home' for two days and when I picked her up I discovered she hadn't eaten anything nor had she had a drink in all that time. When we got home I put out a large bowl of water and I think she drank for about 5 minutes or more and went back for more. We decided we couldn't ever leave her on her own again. I did once have a friend stay for a week with whom Precious was OK so we got away down south but my close friends are all gone now and there's been nobody to ask since then. We've not regretted not having a holiday because that cat was so 'precious' to us. On several occasions when I was in hospital she was OK with Phil but he said she used to go around the house miaowing and looking for me. It was then that she decided he wasn't so bad after all and they became close friends as well.
Precious had a real routine. In the morning when Phil was sitting at the kitchen table having his coffee she would sit on the table so he could stroke her, sometimes for 10 minutes or more. He would get up to make another cup and she would immediately steal his chair. He would then move her to the other chair but it would be back for more fuss from him. After that she would go to the other chair and sleep for an hour or so. From lunchtime she was mine and at a certain time she would jump onto my lap and sleep there for as long as I could stay in the one position and then she'd sleep on my footstool next to my legs. Of an evening it was usually on my lap again on and off until bedtime.
We went back to the vet this afternoon and paid our account and have arranged for Precious to be cremated and placed in a tiny urn which will have a little chain and a disk with her name on it. Some people will probably think it a waste of money but it was something we just needed to do.
This afternoon I found the sheath from one of her claws on the living room floor and I've popped it in a gold heart I've had since I was a teenager and it now hangs on my gold chain. I've not even told Phil that I've done that as he may think it strange but it was something I had to do. Men perhaps think differently but I will tell him eventually.
It is the little things that wrench at your heart strings. I put the verandah light on tonight and pulled down the blinds. We always left one blind up about 15 inches as if Precious went out she would come back and hope on the table by the front window and we would see her and let her in. Tonight I put on the light and when I pulled down the blind it suddenly hit me that I no longer needed to leave that blind up for any reason.
This is a black and white photo I took a few years ago (before she became terrified of my camera). She had commandeered my footstool as usual and that look told me she was there to stay. I showed the picture in black and white as it is more her natural colour of grey than the original picture which made her fur look quite brown.
Farewell our beautiful little friend, we will never forget you but hold you in our hearts forever.