Tag Archives: pets

She’s Gone…

I woke up this morning with a worship song in my heart, thankful for a new day and having such a beautiful full sleep. I was looking to do a quick bike ride prior to church, did a little Bible study and then moved onto a contribution on Social Media. I contribute to a daily VSS (Very Short Story) prompt on Twitter and was right in the middle of creating my mini story for the day when I just burst into tears, just like that.

It’s now been two days since Coco hadn’t returned home. My son had grieved so heavily last night. It hit home to him that the kitty matriarch was gone and he sobbed so hard. It was gut wrenching to watch a child drench your clothes with their tears of sorrow and yet for me last night, I held it together while covering him with kisses. By midnight I heard his breathing had gone into deep sleep so I settled down.

Coco was 15 – in cats years she was approximately 76 to 77 years of age. She was a bit of an old bird and was the boss of our home. The pecking order saw her directly below me with occasions – especially when it came to turkey and tuna – when she was the alpha. She was never fully domesticated and was at her happiest when she was outside. She seemed to sense when I would be mentally struggling and force (literally) her love onto me, in the form of forcing me to pet her or doing completely goofy things enabling a laughter from me, to bringing me so many carcasses – I still recall my horror and admiration when she brought back 6 baby rats after raiding a nearby nest. When the vet told me back in May that she had an aggressive form of feline oral cancer, my blood pressure skyrocketed and my heart physically ached, as I realised that the inevitable was closer than I would have liked. We’d lost Knuckles a year before. The vet had given me pain relief (edited to add: for Coco) enough for two months – I think he knew. When I brought Coco home, I sat with her in the kitchen, prayed for her and then after a moment of silence confessed to both God and her how I didn’t think I was ready to say goodbye just yet. But I didn’t cry. My heart ached but I didn’t cry.

As the days turned into weeks I saw the tumour grow at the side of her mouth and prepared myself for one final trip to the vets with her. The vet had mentioned that as soon as she stopped eating and/or she looked in significant distress as a result of the pain, that would be when it would be time. Until then she would be happier at home. Each time when I thought it was time to make the call, it was as though she could sense that she may be taken to the vets – she would muster all the strength she could get so that she could show that she was strong enough to carry on.

On Thursday 5th August Coco arrived by the kitchen door but her countenance had changed. She was more unstable on her feet and she refused to eat. I gently petted her, gave her her favourite turkey pieces soaked with the medication and normally she would wolf this down, but that day she sniffed at the food but then came to me for some love. As I gazed into her eyes I sensed that she was saying goodbye. She didn’t look distressed but likewise, she had made up her mind it was time but it was going to be on her terms. Mentally I wanted to deny it and began to pray that the Lord gave me more time. But instead I prayed to the Lord that in His sovereign wisdom He would know when it became too much for Coco. I asked God to end her suffering and to grant me the strength to make the trip to the vet.

As soon as I had silently prayed this prayer Coco pushed her head into my hand – an act she always use to do when I was in distress. A peace came over me as our eyes met one last time, and I was able to tell her that I was ready and it was indeed time. She stayed long enough to shower me with love and then she decisively walked to the door and pointedly stared at it. Her way of saying “let me out” whenever she was ready to go into the garden. I opened the door, she paused to give me a slow blink and then she walked outside.

I know we should not attribute human emotions to our pets but she was such a kick-ass cat that if there was some orchestral movie epic music it would have been playing then. She walked to each of her favourite spots, seemingly taking in the memories there. When she reached the bottom of the garden, she walked through the gap in the fence and then she was gone.

Later that day she didn’t return for lunch, didn’t turn up in the evening. Through the rain on Friday, I stood at the bottom of the garden calling for her but the familiar ‘meows’ a few gardens away and gradually getting louder as she approached , was not forthcoming. Yesterday I knew that she was gone.

I’m not sure whether she went into a hiding place to pass away, whether a fox got her or whether a neighbour trapped her, to take her to a vets. Truthfully, I had to stop myself from entertaining those and other possibilities and tying myself into knots about the fact that I didn’t keep her inside that day to take her to the vets.

Coco 2006 – 2021

Ultimately, like the boss that she is, she chose her own way and have left me with so many happy memories of the full life she had as being part of our family. She also made a point to say goodbye to the one person who would have spiralled down into a ‘valley low’ if I had to take her to be put to sleep.

I will be forever indebted to my sweet little kitty BFF who walked with me through some serious dark times and who had such an impact on her humans’ lives. She was the gentlest of souls and yet a velociraptor if she felt we were in danger She will forever hold a special place in my heart and that of my kids.

May she rest in creation until it is renewed.

What Happens to the Assassin Cat, After Lockdown?

Am I the only one who is actually liking lock-down? I was thinking this the other day as myself, the kids and the cats have gotten into quite a nice little routine during the weekdays. I get up, get freshened up for work, don the official work outfit (the t-shirt, leggings and furry onesie with one scrunchy tying back my hair), and casually sneak downstairs so as to not disturb the kids. On entering the kitchen it’s the non rush of switching on the kettle for tea, and while the water’s boiling, prepare the cat food and let in the kitty family. In their case, I especially have noticed how they spend more time inside than outside, unless it’s a sunny winter day. And it was on one of these days that I wondered, “what are we going to do when lock-down is over?”

I have especially felt this after the satisfaction of setting up the office area, upstairs. I don’t actually want to return to the stresses of the daily school run, then driving at break-neck speed down side roads so as to avoid the rush hour traffic and end up at work just in time so that I can leave work at the end of the day and avoid the rush hour commute home. The only thing that my son misses about school is playtime, while my daughter is a self-confessed anti-social. For myself I have discovered that I get more exhausted mingling with individuals than I do corresponding with them face to face and so it is going to be quite an adjustment for me when we return to having to spend time in an office.

So when that time actually comes, it’s the cats who I feel will also be hit hard by this next change and especially now that I accept that I am officially a cat mum.

Coco, is showing her age now and she spends a lot of her time fast asleep in her ‘penthouse bed’ – a cardboard box filled with an old towel which envelopes around her when she settles in to sleep. Alternatively, when she gets the opportunity she bullies one of the kids – her victims – into giving way and allowing her to curl up on their lap to sleep there. It’s quite amusing to watch how the pecking order of this household means that as far as this cat is concerned, my kids do not have a say as to whether she can sit on their lap or not.


I do wonder sometimes how she will react when she is back to spending most of the work day outside until our return and in her old age I am considering the logistics of returning her back to being a house cat similar to how she was when she was a kitten and which, she vehemently hated .

As mentioned in an earlier blog post, the other resident kitty has been a real eye opener with all of us being at home. Vinny has always been the spoilt one – the one who was pampered but like his mum, he hated being indoors. We always thought that he would pass his day enjoying the rays, explore the nearby park and sunbathing on a neighbour’s garden furniture much to their consternation. But in actual fact he is a bit of an old mafia gangster type of cat, menacingly patrolling his territory and making sure that the younger Toms in the neighbourhood paid homage to him. We all witnessed an example of this a couple of weeks ago when we saw him walk slowly towards a new young Tom cat. The cat, and us humans thought he was approaching to have a chat about whether the cat had seen the sights yet, how cold the weather was and to give him the heads up about which times of the day to avoid the dog owned gardens but no! The old gangster walked up to the cat and without warning attacked. The poor young Tom cat was fine but so traumatised that he now literally sprints out of the garden if he hears our kitchen door open. After the incident, Vinny calmly returned inside and demanded we offer him belly rubs and lots of love. Every other cat that I have owned would have postulated in such an animated way so as to make it clear that their intention is to scare away any trespassers but Vinny’s mantra was clearly, “intercept and annihilate”.

Shoot to Kill Vinny

So yeah, I do wonder about how both animals will react when our country, ends lockdown and opens up to such a degree as to have the kids return to school and I return to work.

I sincerely hope it is not too soon.

2021 – adaptation or Change….?

I’m sat here on day two of 2021 and like most people I am reflecting on 2020 and what I learnt from it. I initially could not wait to see the end of this year – I’ve lost an Aunt in such a Covid-19 way that she gave up the will to exist anymore as she had thought in her dementia state, that the reason why she no longer had any visitors was because we’d forgotten her. She was too far gone to realise nor understand that the hospital she was in had to go into lockdown due to a pandemic. So she literally starved herself to death.

Then there was the loss of one of our four-legged family members. Granted it was due to a tumour but he had to suffer longer than normal due to not being able to go to a vets to get him checked out when we first began to notice something was wrong back in March, at the beginning of the UK wide lockdown.

Yet all through last year there was a word which I clung onto…. Adapt

I had to adapt regular habits in favour of things which enabled me to survive and carry on. From getting up at the crack of dawn each Saturday so that I could get further up in the queue at my local supermarkets and not have to wait more than 4 hours in order to get food. To adapting to the idea of working form home and not having to commute to work. When society was more lax towards the end of August I had to adapt back to having to commute which was awful but I did what I had to do.

So with 2021 comes a new word…Change

Whilst with Adapt I would acclimatise to new circumstances, it seems like with Change this new season will see me moving into something completely new. As to what that is, I’ll save until the end of the year and let you know.

But likewise this Adapt/ Change involved with 2020/21 is not limited to just myself. I was blown away recently to witness how ferocious my cute resident kitty actually is! For the longest and especially while his brother was alive he was relegated to the front garden and a busy main road as his territory. When he’s indoors he just oozes with concentrated cuteness and at every opportunity, he’ll let out this kitten-like high pitched “Meow” which prompts a tummy rub/food/playtime/singing… he just has us well trained. Indoors, he was just a bundle of fluffy cuteness and came across as though he wouldn’t hurt a fly. And he doesn’t in the summer – he’ll just let those poo-eating blue bottles plant their filthy bodies on any kind of food and stare at them until he nods off. But a couple of weeks ago the whole household was ablaze with the fact that we saw a very different side of Vinny, a scarier, sinister, Hannibal Lecter kind of kitty who did not bullishly chase any Toms off his territory but who stalked a Tom cat out of the back garden, to the degree that the neighbour’s cat will need therapy. I mean the other cat was so freaked out by the fact that he was being pursued by an animal who made no sound, but made it plainly obvious that he was going to murder him, and bury him under the patio, that the other Tom ran all the way home!

The Cute Resident Kitty

So this is my conundrum – was that an adaptation from the resident kitty or a change?