Posting day: Sunday, and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.
Sunday October 6th 2019
Polymath called her ‘Daisy-Bug’, or sometimes just ‘Bug’ because when she was a kitten she scuttled around the floor, over the furniture and up the wall paper like a little black beetle.
Daisy-Bug immediately took to Polymath’s other resident, puppy Ellie, who, having a very small, poodle mouth was unable to pick the kitten up by the scruff. Instead, she took kitten’s head in her mouth and carried her around like that. They played crazy games together, so crazy that Daisy was often taken upstairs for ‘time out’ so that both animals were forced to rest!
Little Daisy has been living with Isis and me for over two years. Regrettably, Isis and Daisy have not been companions. On Hairy One’s first visit to Wales she returned from a walk and stepped into her bed for a rest. Unfortunately, something furry and very cross was already in residence, and confronted her with spiky hisses. Poor Isis was terrified. They remained wary of each other thereafter.
This summer, as I’ve mentioned before, Daisy’s loses her appetite. Over the last few months she gives me more than a few scares, but the RSPCA vets bring her back from the brink with a gastro-intestinal dry diet and appetite enhancer.
She’s been on a wet food renal diet for some years, but a few months ago decides enough’s enough. She puts her paw down firmly and refuses to eat any more of it. We switch to renal diet dry food and she happily chomps her way through a bag of that.
Then, gradually, she eats less and less of the dry foods. The vet advises me to put her diet on hold and give her anything she’ll eat, just to try to increase her weight.
She loses interest in freshly cooked fish and chicken, previously gobbled down. For two or three weeks she is offered Sheba in terrine, in gravy, in jelly; Gourmet Mon Petit and Gourmet Gold. We try flakes, shreds and paté. Ah, hope arise. She’s delighted with her first taste of ‘ocean fish’. But then she loses interest. And so it goes on. We work our way through tastes of everything we can think of that she might fancy.
Then, she barely eats at all. Then she stops eating altogether. She is so thin and frail that I stop forcing her to take medication. For three days she staggers from my bed to the bathroom for a drink and then lies stiffly in her cat tray. I pick her up and carry her back to the bed.
On Sunday September 29th she stops getting up for a drink but drinks when I take water to her. I torment myself, as we foolish humans do. I can’t take her to her vet. Travelling distresses her, it’s about eight miles away and she’s too frail for the journey.
Now she turns her head away from the water when I offer it to her. It’s obvious that she is dying. I decide to ask the vet down the road to come and euthanise her the next day. But Monday comes and I can’t bear the thought of the vet sticking a needle into her frail little body.
If she shows any sign of distress or pain, I will call the vet. Of course.
She doesn’t. She sleeps. She no longer wants to be stroked.
On Tuesday morning, I see her flanks heave twice. Two deep breaths. She opens her mouth, releases a quiet little puff of air and dies.
When I check, I discover that I miscalculated her age. She’s twenty and six months. Thank goodness, she’s had a happy life. She’s never experienced cruelty or neglect.
I’ll miss you Bug.
Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or www.dogwatchuk.co.uk