“I’ll cuddle her through”

chaka catChaka died yesterday at the vet’s. She was 19 and had become stick thin in the final stages of renal failure. Since Monday she hadn’t eaten and her coat was flat and dull as an old fur in a junk shop. Colleen looked at her sitting in her open carrier and picked her up, ‘I’ll cuddle her through,’ she said.
Words matter. Those words mattered. If you can hope for anything at a time such as this it’s an indication of genuine tenderness and connection. Quietly, softly, Colleen took Chaka to the next room to insert a cannula before bringing her back for me to hold in those last moments while the drugs went in. Then quietly, softly, she left me alone with her for those outside-of-time minutes that hang between life and death while seeming to be neither and both. I left without paying; they trust you to do that later when you can speak again, handle the pragmatics again.
Chaka came home for the others to see. The more I understand about animals, the more important I think it is to let them make whatever sense they can of a loss. They all looked and sniffed then the older ones – a dog and two cats – moved on; they’d seen it before. The two kittens though, just one year old, kept on approaching, kept on sniffing and looking, kept on creeping towards her as though she were a strange and alarming thing they were trying to understand. Familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. It’s their first death; they will have learned something, understood something, and although I can’t know what, I’m glad I gave them that chance.


Cats enter the UK EU referendum debate


twitter feed capture

Trending right now, #catsagainstbrexit. Yep, cats are ganging up against the people who want us to leave the EU and posting their concerns. One said he’s afraid to leave the house, never mind the EU; another is worried about being deported because ‘she looks a bit foreign’, and Otis has apparently written a song. Dogs are, sensibly, doing as they’re told especially if they live with cats.

catGeorge, a year old next week and asserting his cat-hood, came hurtling past me down the garden, a streak of black lightning in pursuit of a butterfly. He took off in a spectacular 3 1/2 foot vertical leap – head feet body feet tail – like a tiny puma.

I started laughing at the point where Newtonian physics kicked in and he began an equally spectacular descent – tail feet body feet head – into the pond.

He’s mostly dry now.

Can butterflies snigger?


Disabled Animals’ Club Forum

Hearing impairment

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve posted on the Forum Joanne’s message asking for help with her deaf cat. You can read it there but if you want to reply, you need to sign up to the Forum itself. That’s free, you can make posts there yourselves and start topics and the only rule is to play nicely. Anything offensive will be removed (or not allowed up as the site is moderated) but it is for adults so don’t assume that every message will be ok for children to see.

Here’s the link. The Forum is powered by Maxforum which is new to me. There have been some availability problems the last couple of days so, if it doesn’t settle down, it can consider itself on warning and we’ll go somewhere else!