This was my lovely cat Cleo last night, all snuggled up with the pups.
Then before I went to bed he seemed to collapsed on his back legs, he does do this often, he is 19 and seems to just get up and carry on. He was sat on my lap, being stroked and brushed. (he does have a smell about him, I have put this down to age - horrible to say but a rotting smell) When I placed him on the floor he seemed to have a really hard job breathing, it was heart breaking to watch, when he recovered he chose to hide away from the pups, this in it's self is unusual. I made him comfortable and he slept. This morning I hoped, is that wrong, that he would have passed away in his sleep. When I came down, he came out from where he had slept and just sat and watched me. Why did I want him to have gone in his sleep? Because it takes away the decision that I know in my heart is the right one to make, but how do you know it is the right time, how do you know that your animal, who you have loved for so long, has had enough struggling on. He seemed to rally when the pups came along, he has spent most of the last six weeks in the company of the five pups, through choice, almost seeking out their company. But his eyes seem to be different, his body is just fur and bones, even the muscles in his back legs are no longer there.
But I have had him in my life for so long.
When I moved in with the children's Dad I really wanted a pet of my own, Mike had his dog Percy, I kept asking for a kitten, the answer was always no. The one night, Mike was really drunk (!!!!) and I asked again, this time the answer came, "if you must!!"
Needless to say I had learnt enough about this man to know to say nothing more in the morning. He left for work, I had a day off, I headed for the postcards in shop windows and found a litter of kittens.
I went to see them, two litters, born at the same time from two sisters. An abundance of kittens ran around this room, all so friendly, not shy in any way....apart from one........who hid behind the washing machine.
And that, being me is the kitten I came home with, Cleo, who was meant to be a little girl, turned out to be a boy, who has been with me all my adult life. And tonight my friend the vet will come and put him to sleep for me.
A Mum to two young adults (whom I am really proud of), living in a tumble down chocolate box cottage under Colmers Hill in a small Dorset village with my partner, two dogs, some pigs, alpacas, chickens and a few ducks.