Pet death

Our lovely cat Obli has died. It’s a very hard thing to take on when you’re little.

Yesterday was a very sad day. Our cat, Oblivious has been ill for some time [the name comes from me saying the word ages ago and my partner, who is Spanish, thinking it meant something fabulous so it kind of stuck and, do you know what, it so suited him – he lived in his own world]. We took him to the vet last week as his upper body had swollen to twice its normal size. The vet did some tests and gave him some diuretics. They reduced the swelling, but the tests came back inconclusive. The vet didn’t know what was wrong with him, but suggested keeping on with the diuretics and that, basically, he was probably beyond treatment. Obli [for short] seemed to rally a bit as the swelling went down, but by the end of the weekend he was getting weaker and weaker. He went out into the garden on Monday by mistake. The girls were playing there in the first winter sunshine for ages. He must have been longing for the sun all winter and he somehow dragged himself to the allotments behind the garden. We waited for him to come back and, when he didn’t, me, bonkers daughter and big girl daughter set out with torches to the allotments. We couldn’t see him anywhere and came back. I had visions of him dying alone in the cold because he hadn’t got the strength to get back home or being eaten by the foxes that lurk out there, but about 20 minutes later, like a returning hero, he hobbled into view in the garden, but couldn’t quite make it to the door. We carried him in. By yesterday he couldn’t move much at all. He could hardly look up. We couldn’t bear it any more. It was clear that he was dying and there was nothing we could do, bar have lots more tests which we couldn’t really afford and which probably wouldn’t have helped him.

We went to the vet yesterday. I warned bonkers daughter that he might not come out of the vet’s so she could say goodbye as she had ballet. She tried to get him to eat, but he hadn’t got the strength. Rebel and big girl daughters came with me to the vet’s as there was no other option. We went in and, sure enough, the vet said there was nothing she could do except more tests which would probably not help. She suggested putting him to sleep, which is what I was expecting. It was horribly quick and we had to say goodbye to him. He could barely look at us. I signed the form to put him to sleep and that was it. Rebel daughter fell apart. I wasn’t much use as I was too upset to say anything vaguely comforting. I just kept repeating that it was for the best and it would stop him suffering. The vet’s assistant said something about him chasing butterflies in heaven and gave the girls chocolate buttons.
Bonkers daughter came out of ballet and immediately started sobbing inconsolably. We came home with the body and buried him in the garden when my partner arrived. As usual, there were three very different approaches to his death. Bonkers daughter wanted to create a memorial and get a new kitten and kept going on about Obli’s spirit. Rebel daughter told her that she hoped bonkers daughter wasn’t going to get into all that "mumbo gumbo religion stuff" [the heaven thing had not impressed her] and said she never wanted a pet again because it was too heart-breaking to lose them. Big girl daughter chatted about sweeties – the whole death thing is beyond her comprehension. We are going to make a scrapbook of memories about Obli over the weekend. We have had him for 13 years since he was a tiny kitten and used to curl up on my toes under the duvet. He converted my partner, a cat agnostic, to regarding him as his little companion, the only other male in the house. He had two rather lovely friendships with the only other non-scary cats in the neighbourhood and he was absolutely useless at catching birds. I had to give him lessons in keeping down low. The house feels very strange without him.  

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