Please excuse the lack of blogs these past few days but to be frank, we’ve had one of the shittiest weekends ever and writing was the last thing I had time for.
Late last week we found out that a dear friend who had cancer only had a few weeks (or days) left to live. With the pair of us having been away in Surrey it hadn’t been possible to arrange to see them for one last time and the previous time we’d tried they’d been too ill. So, as soon as we returned we arranged to visit Tony at 11:00 on Saturday morning. But then the fates conspired.
Regular readers will know that I’ve often blogged about the trials and tribulations of having a venerable moggie. Jet, our beautiful boy, had reached the grand old age of 20 last month. Despite his advancing years, his deafness and his lack of teeth, he was still soldiering on and a loveable and affectionate as ever.
Then, in the early hours of Saturday morning, around 04:00, suddenly, and without any warning, he had a fit. He was sleeping on the bed with us at the time and the first warning we had was when he shot up (waking Dawn) and peed on the bed. Leaping off the bed he then went into spasms on the carpet. It was awful to watch, especially as we were so powerless. All we could do was hold him to stop him doing himself any damage.
As soon as we could we rang the vets to get an appointment and take Jet to be checked out, meaning we couldn’t make our 11:00 appointment to see Tony, it was an awful choice, but we knew Tony was in safe hands whilst the only hands Jet was in were ours. After an anxious hour at the vets they suggested that the fit may have been down to blood pressure as that was the only thing tests showed as unusual. Somewhat reassured we returned home, stressed and tired and readied to visit Tony. First, we had to complete Lateral Flow Tests which the nursing home (not unreasonably) insisted on people taking before visiting. By now it was around 13:00. Then we received a phone call from a mutual friend. Tony had passed away at 11:15…
We felt both upset and awful because we’d missed our chance to say goodbye, but what else could we have done? Our friend reassured us that we’d done the right thing, but even so, we felt pretty low. Our only consolation was that we could concentrate on Jet’s wellbeing and monitor him throughout the day, hoping that the problem really was his blood pressure. The tablets didn’t stop him having another fit later that day which was just as awful to experience as the first. And yet – he seemed to make a pretty good recovery, or so we thought (or maybe hoped). The pair of us discussed what to do with the vets and the advice was to monitor his wellbeing, give the tablets time to (hopefully) work and keep them informed.
Saturday night was awful, neither of us had got much sleep, we were both feeling low as it was and then Jet had another fit in the early hours. As was the pattern, he lost control of his bladder as he threshed around yowling in an awful way. It was so distressing to watch. Once again we held him, looked after him and vowed that we couldn’t keep this up, both for his sake and ours. We’d decided that if the fits hadn’t passed by Monday, medication or not, the kindest thing to do was to have him put to sleep. It’s an awful decision to have to make, but we couldn’t bear to see him suffering like this. He came around enough that we took the risk to have him on the bed one last time. He was a gorgeous and affectionate as ever, if a little dozy.
Put slightly more at our ease, we both rose and set about things we needed to do, leaving the boy dozing on his heated mat where he stayed for a couple of hours. Then, we heard the awful yowl that heralded yet another fit. Rushing upstairs we found him rigid and panting on the bedroom floor. It was at that point we both looked at each other and agreed that we couldn’t put off the inevitable any more. It was heartbreaking, but we couldn’t watch him suffer anymore, the fits were becoming too frequent and too severe. Poor Jet never really recovered from the final fit, he was so spacy when we got him to the vets and they knew what we’d requested, it was time to let the boy go. Despite Covid, the vets were brilliant, they let us both be with him as we went through the inevitable. We held him and stoked him as the vets administered the injection that would see him finally at peace. To say the pair of us were in bits is an understatement. I know people who don’t have pets will probably find this hard to understand, but they really do become part of your family, especially ones who are so loving and affectionate as Jet – and who’ve been with you so long. Dawn has had him since he was a kitten. He’s been part of my life for 12 years. They have a massive impact on you. He was 20, so you know he won’t live forever. You think you’re prepared. The reality – when it arrives- is rather different. Coming home to an empty house afterwards is really hard. They’re not around to greet you anymore. They never will be again. The emotions you go through are so difficult. But, they’re just a pet, right?
So, that’s why I’ve not been blogging these past few days.
I’ll talk more about our friend Tony another time when I have more time. Right now I’ve got to finish packing as I’m away all week at a trade fair and then helping the Railway Children charity on their ‘3 Peaks by Rail’ event. Expect more blogs soon…
In the meantime, here’s the picture of the day, which (of course) is of our gorgeous boy. Farewell Jet…
I’ve a favour to ask…
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Paul Stevenson said:
sorry to here about your friend, I didn’t know him but my feelings go out to you. Sorry also to hear about the last hours of Jet. Its not easy deciding what is best for a beloved cat.
I fear we are going to have to face up to the same with our two cats as they are pretty old now and one has failing kidneys.
I feel for you both.
So sorry to hear about your friend and Jet.
We have had a few cats and dogs over the years and know how they become part of the family.
Sorry for your loss, as you say they worm their way deep into your soul. But it’s for the best when circumstances are like you describe. .
Really feeling for you both this morning having just read this moving post which certainly resonated with me. Pets do become a part of your family and their loss is real and so very sad. Having read of Jet’s recent problems you’ve obviously put his needs first but you still feel the grief. Take care Alan.
Really sorry to read about your double loss, actually brought tears to my eyes, and as a middle aged Yorkshireman I’m not one for such things normally.
We lost our black & white cat earlier in the year in very similar circumstances, he was nearly 19 years old and had him since a tiny kitten who you could hold in one hand. Even though we’d known it was coming it was still a terrible period that didn’t feel ready for. To see him decline so fast and then saying goodbye at the vets was heartbreaking.
Take care, I hope you both get through this hard time as best as possible.