Loved and finally lost

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Our cat Lucy has finally lost her battle with VAS.

LucyI haven’t blogged for a few days and will probably not blog for a few more.

Lucy has died. We had her euthanised on Sunday afternoon at 4.00pm. 

As every pet owner knows, there are few things that make you feel so horribly, stupidly, helplessly impotent as watching a beloved animal die. The fact that you almost always have to make the decision yourself is the worst. In the end, putting them out of their misery is the last act of kindness you can show them. 

I wish this got easier over time, but in all honesty I think it gets worse. Lucy is the fifth cat we have lost. One we found dead, one died naturally when we couldn’t get a vet to him, and the other two we had euthanised – one with heart failure and another with a brain tumour. But I feel worse about Lucy than any of the others so far.

Perhaps it’s because I have nursed her for three and a half months, knowing that every day of that was precious and that we would lose her eventually. It is like watching the lights of an oncoming train and being unable to get off the track.

As her mobility decreased, we made steps for her, and memory-foam beds, and raised feeding stations, changed her medicLucy cairnation for stronger pain relief, economised on our own food to pay for better food for her.

We developed an incredibly close bond with her as she became more dependent – she was happy to be carried upstairs and down (we didn’t want to let her walk in case she broke a leg), and to be placed outside in the sunshine. She carried on bravely to the end, hunting butterflies and eating the other cats’ discarded mice.

We saw her through several surgeries, and two attacks from our other cats. When she wanted something, she let us know it in no uncertain terms, and daily she became more kissy and snuggly and purry, cuddling into my arms every night. 

On Sunday she couldn’t speak to me and didn’t want to be touched, and I knew she had had enough. She was euthanised 40 minutes later and since then, the DH and I have both felt physically sick.

We have buried her in the orchard, under this pile of stones – not just a memorial, but a practical measure to prevent next-door’s dog digging her up like he did with the last one. 

I will be back in a day or two, when I’m feeling more compos mentis. 

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