Firstly forgive the ‘indulgent’ nature of this post, the friend I’m referring to was our cat LC (Lucy Cat, or more correctly Lucy Scott Cat).
Non-pet owners might be surprised at (or quite not comprehend) the amount of love you can give and receive from a pet. Or as my sister said, they’re not just pets they are members of the family.
Lucy was (like most cats) a unique little personality, with her own quirks and ways which made her all the more loved by us.
She was only 6 years old (around 40 in human years), so she should have had plenty more summers lazing out in the garden ahead of her. However unfortunately on friday after she was struck down with arterial thromboembolism, it was so quick it was shocking.
Fortunately I was at home at the time and saw it happen before my eyes. I got her to the vet in record time, however on the journey there was a point where I’d stopped at a set of traffic lights and I looked across at her, in her basket on the passenger seat. It might sound overly dramatic but our eyes were locked for about 20 seconds or so, I really believe that deep down she knew she wasn’t coming home again.
The vet put her on a cocktail of blood-clot busting drugs and she was very brave, trying to fight that damn silly blood clot that had robbed her of the use of her back legs.
However after 48 hours at the vet, she was showing no sign of improvement and since the prognosis for recovery was just too bad after this long without the use of her legs, we had to make the difficult decision to let her go.
It’s the first cat we’ve ever had in our lives (I won’t say ‘owned’ as I don’t think you can ever ‘own’ a cat, you just share you life with one), so it’s the first time we have had to make a decision like this.
We spent about 10 minutes or so with her and she seemed almost (but not quite) back to her normal self (she was fully conscious, her eyes were shiny etc), but you could just tell that she couldn’t come back from this.
You just reach a point where you think, ok the time has come. Pamela and I gave her some last few strokes, told her how brave she was and then we told her it was ‘bedtime Lucy’ (whenever we told her that she would almost without fail race to her bed, although that wasn’t possible this time, we wanted her to know she was going to have some peace).
It is a very quick, painless and dignified way to go, she felt no pain and just seemed to literally go to sleep right infront of our eyes in a few seconds. (I later told my wife, when my time comes, sign me up for one of those injections!).
At the risk of being even more indulgent (please forgive me, normal blog-service will be resumed at some point), there are a couple of quotes I want to include.
Firstly, when I was writing Pro Oracle Application Express (bear with me, I’m not trying to squeeze in some emotional-advertising here), Lucy lay next to me while I wrote practically every word of it, so much so that she even gets a mention in the Acknowledgement –
(p.s. it was always intended to be an ‘in-joke’ but anywhere in that book you see the name ‘Lucy Scott’ in the demo examples, that’s a reference to our cat).
Oh, and also, a final mention of our cat. Without her sleeping by my feet each day when I was writing the book, the days would have seemed so much longer and less furry.
The other quote is from my sister-in-law, who showed us the Epilogue in a Kinky Friedman novel, I won’t include the full Epilogue since it’s quite long, however the most relevant part I think is a quotation from Irving Townshend which I think sums it all up.
We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own live within a fragile circle…
Thank you for sharing your all too brief life with us Lucy, we will miss you.