I lost a good friend

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.

A rare moment of awakedness

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.

Lucy Cat - At my feet

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…

Lucy Cat - loves her sleeping spots

Thank you for sharing your all too brief life with us Lucy, we will miss you.

13 thoughts on “I lost a good friend

  1. Aman....

    John,
    I can just say that losing anyone whom we are attached emotionally is an unbearable pain. I don’t know how to say soothing words, I have always been bad in it but I shall just say that it was a good decision to let the soul be free of Lucy.

    I later told my wife, when my time comes, sign me up for one of those injections!).

    Well, I am too young to say this but still, when you are alive, don’t worry about being death. You have got so much to do, achieve, see lots of good moments with family, think about that, not about any injections like this.

    Regards
    Aman….

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  2. Monty

    John,

    Thanks for posting this window into your world.

    It’s impossible to understand the depth of feelings one can attach to a pet….until it happens to you.

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  3. Tony Miller

    John,
    I understand your feelings.. We had to say goodbye to two of our “kids” when we lived back in Washington state. One was suffering with a LARGE cancerous growth that was making it impossible for him to breath properly and the other was suffering with Diabetes..

    We tried our best with Tom (the one with Diabetes) but after giving him 2 shots a day of insulin, he was not getting any better and when he went into shock, we took him to the vet for “the shot”.. We now only have tow cats living with us and they have survived moving all over Washington and down to Texas.. All the time they still luv us.. And we them too..

    Thank you,

    Tony Miller
    Webster, TX

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  4. Jake

    You have my deepest condolences. Cats are really great companions, especially for desk workers. My readers give me a hard time for liking cats, but I’m unapologetic. My cats are my family.

    It’s hollow, but you can lean on the knowledge that she had a good life.

    I hope it gets better soon.

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  5. John Scott

    Thank you all for your very kind comments.

    It’s good to know that others have gone through this and that you all felt as strongly as we do.

    John.

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  6. Johannes de Jong

    Hi John,

    Sorry to hear about your loss. As a life-long “owner” & lover of cats I fully understand your loss.

    Kind regards

    Johannes

    ps: you are right one never “owns” a cat.

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  7. Pamela

    This is so sad but a lovely tribute to Lucy. She loved napping near John’s feet while he was working. We’ll both miss her every day.

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  8. Simon Hunt

    Hi John,
    I’ve been trying to think of something inspirational or comforting to say, but I can’t. It’s just rubbish when this sort of thing happens, especially as Lucy was so young (I can say that as she was the same as as me in cat years). This is a lovely post and makes me feel a bit less weird about the one I wrote. All the best mate.
    Simon

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  9. Pete

    I am so sorry for your loss. I browsed here looking for more of your wonder APEX work, bust was struck by this article more than any other.

    My wife and I have 5 cats right now; 2 17 year old boys, 1 3-legged 8 year old girl, a 5 year old boy and a 3 year old boy. I can’t imagine a minute without any of them.

    I have known others who had their beloved cats fall ill with the same condition. Ultimately their fate was similar. I am glad for Lucy she had ‘owners’ of such high calibre. Please continue to be cat ‘owners’ when you are ready. Lots of cats deserve humans like you.

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  10. Matthias

    It’s true what you wrote: you never “own” a cat, you respect and share your life with them … We used to have a lot of pet animals at home, all with their own personalities, and if you care for them, it’s always such a sad feeling when you have to say “goodbye” …

    Matthias

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