How has your day been?
Mmmm where does one start? My beloved, our beloved little Marie took her steps over the rainbow bridge today! Marie was 12, she was the kitten of our belated cat Toulouse. The runt as they say of the litter. Which if I’m honest, I’ve never liked that term ‘The smallest and weakest in the litter’. Marie was little but carried with her the biggest heart you can imagine, whilst managing to also leave a big hole in my heart. Not bad going seeing how petite she was.
So with that smallness came a semi-longhaired pure white as snow fur, well early days did. What became quite apparent that despite her vain attempts of grooming, did nothing but create knots. Of course, I would groom her but I kid you not, that the moment you turned your back another would rise from the depths!! It was an ongoing battle, and yes there were times the only way to deal with such knots was, unfortunately, to result in scissors. So bless her, sometimes it would appear that a rat had chewed at her fur!!
Being tiny you would worry about her going out, but she felt she had her big paws on and that she didn’t need constant reminders that she was small and that she could do just as her mum did, go out, explore and try to catch wildlife. Marie never did catch any wildlife. I can’t remember one single time of her bringing home a present for my doormat. Her mum, however, was a star in the feline world and on more than one occasion would bring back a baby rabbit in the Springtime. Causing me to be in great trouble as ‘I’ was accused of wanting a pet rabbit and how on earth would it have gotten into our walled garden at the time!!! Mmmm Toulouse sitting there watching me take the rap, until the day she was caught walking proudly along the wall with a said baby rabbit. Thankfully apart from startled was ok and however many she managed to catch in her reign of terror were released unscathed.
Sadly on one of Marie's big paw adventures, she had gone out and didn’t return. Two days had passed. I had been frantically searching nearby gardens, knocking on neighbours doors, nothing. The third day a bedraggled little Marie returned. She had, wherever she had been, got her collar caught. It was a collar that was supposed to unclip it hadn’t. Instead, it showed how she had struggled with all her might to free herself causing a nasty wound around her front leg. From that day forward her confidence going further than the back garden left her no doubt where she had got caught up with her collar. But on a happy note, she recovered from her wound and enjoyed sunny days in the garden and peacefully observing the birds. I never put a collar back on her, couldn’t bear the thought of that happening again.
As Marie aged she started to suffer from sinus problems. This enhanced her wonderful scruffy side. Vet trips, eye drops worked for a small period and then as if by magic, return overnight. I spent the last five years of her life cleansing her eyes. It became a daily routine with a kiss on the nose telling her that regardless “I love you with all my heart and that you are beautiful in my eyes.” I tried different remedies from herbal to just plain water. Her lovely snow-white fur around her eyes discoloured. Some days were better than others, but it just became her and that was that. Our little scruff.
Last year it became apparent that she was going blind. Questions were raised in my thoughts, is she happy being one of them. Sounds daft or does it. After all, she may have been a cat, but she has a heart and in my eyes warrants care and consideration just as we do as a human. She appeared happy and content. So I adapted her space so that she was on the ground level and that she had a step to her bed on the cat tower. Yep, I sat with her and spent nearly a week guiding her with the step and then she got up and down perfectly. This wasn’t done to prolong her life etc after all would you put a human down because they were blind?? Regardless of the blindness, over the last year, she had naturally appeared to be slowing down. There were days where she spent the majority of them curled up fast asleep.
Right up until her last day with us, for a little cat, she had a great appetite. Although you would never think of it because she was so slight. If you picked her up she was as light as a feather. Her check-ups at the vet showed her weight was consistent and showed no signs of concern.
So the inevitable night before. She had come into the front room, and so I picked her up. Her temperature felt quite cold, which was unusual for her. So I took her back to her bed and she happily curled up and went to sleep. My daughter had come down at 4 am and found her out of her bed, lying by the back door. Again she felt cold but she thought that it may have been because she was laying in the draft of the back door.
That morning when I came down she didn’t seem right and I’m going to say what may have appeared to look like a seizure. I cradled my little scruff in my arms and she placed her head into my hands. I knew in my heart she was going and you didn’t need to be a genius to work that out. But the next challenging step was, do I take her to the vets and allow them to take her from me, letting go of the only reassurance she had of love, and allow them to euthanize her. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for this when your pet is in pain, agony etc. and displays this. Or a condition going on such as heart/Kidney failure. I’m certainly not rubbishing the courage of us pet owners that go through this tragic departing of their loved ones.
Marie showed no signs of pain and discomfort. Yes, I can hear those shout “well hell the hell do you know that” all I can say is trust me, she wasn’t, and if she were then I would have had her at the vets in a shot. I layed with her for the entire day, literally with her head in my hands. She was unconscious like us humans are when we are on that path. She slept peacefully. The family came in and kissed her and said their goodbyes. at 7.45 pm her breathing changed, as does ours when that time approaches. I said my goodbyes and in my arms, she gained her wings. I sat in quiet disbelief that our little scruff had crossed over the rainbow bridge, I can’t describe the silence around me and I genuinely don’t know where the day went. But what I do know is she left knowing we loved her dearly and I held her paw all the way!
Marie now lays to rest with her mum Toulouse. She's buried in a huge plant pot that in the summer will have its white roses to remind us that both Toulouse and Marie sported a stunning white coat. Well, Marie did with a few knots that made her all the more special. She reminded us, ‘it’s not what is on the outside that counts’ The plant pot, by the way, is in case we move, they then move with us. Always by our side!!