It is Wednesday morning and I am sat at the computer. The girls are next door making all sorts of cards and my son is upstairs. I am sad today. Sat on my lap is my gorgeous moggy George. He is 18 and dying of cancer. Since his diagnosis he has been living on my lap. No matter where I am or what I am doing he is sitting on me, purring and nuzzling to get closer and closer. He knows. And he knows I know. Yesterday I arranged for him to be put to sleep on Friday. We have taken the difficult decision to euthanise his sister also. The two of them have been at each other’s sides for 18 years (equivalent to 89 human years). They sleep together, feed together and lick each other clean. The idea of one without the other is unbearable. Lucy (George’s twin) is already slightly confused, frequently not knowing where she is or how to get to somewhere familiar. She already meows her confusion until we collect her and bring her into the living room to join us. She would be lost without her brother.
But the real reason I am sad is that last night George looked at me, pleading with me to help him. I could see in his eyes that his cancer was now sore, that he was suffering. He has been collecting fluid around his belly area for the last two weeks and is now so large he looks like he would go pop if we pricked him with a pin. The vet told us we would know when it was time, and she was right. After a broken night of tears, I made the decision to change the appointment from Friday to tonight. Today we are a family with two of the friendliest and most loving kittikats, tonight we will be a family with none. I can’t bear to think of it, and yet I can’t bear to see George in pain.
As I gently stroke George, he looks up at me purring. Notes float down the stairs from T’s room. He is currently teaching himself the guitar. He is a natural, just like his father. And he is playing and singing ‘Light of the World, You look down into Darkness’. Hearing his dulcet tones comforts me. I have not told the children yet. They know it is coming though, just maybe not this soon. George and Lucy have been around for all of their lives. They do not know a world which does not include these cats. They will be broken-hearted.
I wrote this yesterday with George snuggled up on my lap. They are both at rest now, pain and confusion free. I am so glad they were together. They arrived into this world together, spent most of their lives cuddled up with one another and yesterday they died together and are buried, together, in our back garden with a grave sprinkled with child-picked wild flowers.
I am brokenhearted, bereft and very, very sad.