I sit here trying not to let my tears fall onto the laptop and struggle to see straight. The brightest ray of sunshine that I’ve ever had in my life has gone and it hurts so much that I can barely begin to express it.
I’m grateful that I managed to fool myself into thinking it was *just* asthma even though my gut knew it was probably more than that. It’s given me a little bit of time to prepare myself for her departure, not that you can ever really prepare yourself to make the decision to put an animal to sleep. Your head knows it’s absolutely the right decision but your heart feels as though it’s tearing into a million pieces.
LouLou had developed a case of a very runny bum a couple of weeks ago which went on for a week and was very distressing for both of us. It coincided with her next steroid injection which meant I had to give her a bath before the vet visit. Much stress for both of us. I thought she may have also developed a problem with her teeth as she was licking her lips quite a lot but Ian (the vet) examined them and said they looked absolutely fine. Fortunately, a shot of antibiotics cleared up the stomach upset but she wasn’t really the same after that and for the last couple of weeks, her grooming hasn’t been up to its usual standard – as she’s always been an ultra pristine cat and extremely proud of her fur, I had a niggle that something wasn’t right.
Last night she had a couple of sneezes before bed and her bedtime purr was much more growly and she sounded congested. She woke me up a couple of times overnight with her sneezing and I woke up very uneasy this morning. I could see a little bit of blood just on her bottom lip but couldn’t investigate as she was really unco-operative at showing me her mouth, which is unusual. She only had a half hearted purr and while I was downstairs making breakfast, she had jumped off the bed and was curled up on the landing outside the airing cupboard.
I knew this was going to be a difficult day at best and went to work with a heavy heart. I called the vet as soon as they opened and arranged to take her in so I drove home, trying hard not to cry all the way (I’d already had a little weep at work twice) and I scooped her up and put her in the car and off we went.
It turns out that the lip licking may have been caused by a lump growing under her tongue which had got quite sizeable – probably cancerous and probably what had caused the bit of blood I’d seen earlier. Things sort of went downhill from there. My vet is absolutely fantastic and I love him to bits. We had a discussion about the whys and the wherefores (bearing in mind that I had tears rolling down my face through the whole consultation, he was wonderful). The options were to stuff her full of antibiotics and steroids and keep her going but that wouldn’t really be kind. She was obviously very unhappy and not well. Much as I’d want her to be around for as long as possible, I couldn’t have her feeling like that any longer than absolutely necessary and my feelings had to be put to one side.
I cuddled her while Ian administered the final injection so she was in my arms as she passed away. He left me alone in the consulting room with her to say my final goodbyes and cry over her furry little head and paws. No amount of words can begin to express my deep sorrow at the loss of this little angel. I can honestly say that I’ve never had a cat who’s been so utterly perfect and I feel blessed to have had her in my life for the last seven years. At the moment my heart feels like it’s been torn and I have no idea how long it will take before I stop sobbing at the loss but I know I’ve done the right thing.