Juggling life through a bi-polar lens. Sometimes up, sometimes down. Mostly trying to tread water in the middle. Creating a likeness to a normal life. Whatever "normal" is...

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Christmas presents for kitties

Back in 1983 my parents adopted a little cat. 
Katie-Kat came from the Cats Protection League, as they were then called. She was about 18 months old, they reckoned, and had been rescued from a bunch of kids who'd been using her as a football. She was tiny. 

She remained tiny. And remained with us till April 2000, when, thinned by kidney failure, but still chatting to us, we had to say goodbye. She was maybe 18 1/2. 

You see, I had been thinking of Scooter's birth, in 1993, and saying that this would be the first Christmas in nearly 20 years when I hadn't bought a present for a cat. But I didn't included old Katie-Kat, our little, brave, black and white pusscat from the 80's. Including her, it means this is the first Christmas in 29 years, not 20.... 

Well, this won't do..... 

Mum and I have been adding a little cat food to our baskets when we go shopping at Sainsbury or Tesco, and dropping it into a collection bin they keep, for the local cat sanctuary. As I add mine, I whisper, this from Scooter..

And I commissioned this little gift stone for Scooter's place in the garden, for a Christmas present... this was and is my special name for him:

After I'd placed it where Scooter is buried with his sisters, I looked back and saw the doves above the spot...

Can you see how they make a heart shape?
 Hug your loved ones close this Christmas. I lost two precious friends this year. Don't take anyone, or anything for granted. Live each moment in the now. Things change quickly. Years rush by. Loved ones go..... hold them tightly.

And if any of them have fur, give them a hug from me xxx
 **** *** **** *** **** ***
Love, tea & Christmas cake,  

Monday, 17 December 2012

Another milestone

3 months, exactly, today. Monday, 17th September....... Monday, 17th December. 

Scooter, I miss you like the birds miss the leaves. 

I read that you can literally die from a broken heart. Look it up; something to do with weakening of the walls of the heart. It can be caused by grief, stress. It's why one spouse's death sometimes follows very quickly after the other. 

I cannot kill myself. The mess it would leave behind, I can't do it. So. I am willing myself to die. I am willing my heart to fail.

Yesterday I did a little gardening. Trimmed a few things, cut back some deadwood. A robin was singing very loudly. He's often around. He would sing when I sat with Scooter on his bench. He was singing nearby on the morning we buried him. 

I stopped what I was doing and sat down, and listened. In my mind, I told him that he sang beautifully. He came nearer and ate some suet I'd thrown about for him. After he'd gone I just sat in the quiet. In one hand I had the bag of cuttings. In the other were the secateurs. I wondered if they would be sharp enough to take the vein in my neck. I couldn't even remember the name of it. My head is on such a low gear lately. It was a while before I remembered; the jugular. Yes, that's it. Would it be enough? A quick stab. 

I thought of Luvbug. He had gone to the shops to get me some chocolate and some painkillers, and more cold remedies for himself. I pictured coming back to find my body on the ground, and all the blood. No. Can't do it, see. Can't scar him like that. He doesn't deserve that.

So I sit up late nights, hoping to hear Scooter. I hear him less and less now. It's like losing him again.  

Farewell, my friend. Go on your way if you must. Come see me when you can, promise me, come by sometime.

Meanwhile, nothing holds any light any more. 
It's as though the world is no longer 3D.
All is flat. All meaningless.
Life goes on, someone said to me. Ah yes, it does. It plods on. And I am doing my **best** to go along with things day to day. Be OK on the outside. Automatic pilot. But on the inside, I have gone.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Is it really two years?

Our last photo together, before we left for the vet......

I came across this series of photo's, taken a couple of weeks before. Scooter knew, I think, that his sister was leaving.....

gorgeous PRINCESS of cats
Wednesday March 23rd 1993 around 10am
Monday December 13th 2010 around 9.30am

You of the fluffy toes, the toe fur never trimmed, all cheesy,
you batted at your siblings as they walked under your chair and then looked like butter wouldn't melt in your mouth,
you stalked invisible assassins in paper bags,
and hugged behind my knees, under the sheets- sshhh! 
you played with the tinsel,
you lay belly up under the Christmas tree, cooing up at the twinkling lights.
Soft as the snowflakes you bit out of the air,
 if snow could ever be warm and lovely.
Rest in peace, in love, fun and sunshine, 
my beautiful sweetpea.

And so. 2 years for sweet Fluffy.
12 weeks, 3 days for Scooter.
Still crying every day.
Hard to believe there was ever a time I wasn't grieving.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Withdrawal, recovery, & fading in and out.

Sorry for absence. 

Strange times. Been coming off lorazepam, which had made me 'manic', or the up side zig zag of bipolar. 'Up' doesn't mean happy.

Don't remember much of last weekend or beginning of last week. Had to check camera, phone, etc. to recap what I'd said/done.

I was put on lorazepam August 2011. It's part anti-anxiety, part anti-psychotic, added to my usual antidepressant because that wasn't helping too much any more. Well this September the psych-doc I saw took me off it as I was so low she said, it couldn't be working any more. Instead she put me on one called busiperone. I felt this was helping, but it sent my heartbeat v high. A week 1/2 ago I rang my GP worried about it as my resting heartbeat was 125 (this was while lying on the sofa watching TV!). She said stop taking it, go back on Lorazepam, and as you're in such a state, go on 3 a day. 

Well I didn't go to 3 a day. 2 was enough to send me manic.
K says when we went for a woodland walk last Sunday I gathered coloured leaves and twigs for Scooter's grave- yes, I can see I've put them on his spot- so? Ah, he said, but do you remember why you were originally collecting twigs? ----- apparently I was looking for sharp twigs to cut my wrist secretly while walking through the woods, so that the 'blood would trickle down but no one would notice'. OMG I have no memory or this at all. 

Tons of other stuff I don't remember. He guarded it from mum. I am so lucky to have a partner so patient with my weirdness.

And so...... today will be 9 weeks since Scooter died. Yes, I still cry every day. 

I am hearing him less :( 

Calmer though. 

I think the storm has passed. Now I'm in 'after the storm'. Which is still ... well you know. 
Friend from school, Jo, and her daughter came up today and it was a good day. But still sometimes there are these moments when I feel myself almost fading away, or maybe it is everything else that fades. It's like I'm watching a movie, I'm not in it. Or when they do one of those camera shots where you are pulled right back from the action. 
Suddenly everything goes away, and I'm left sitting there, looking like I'm listening, smiling, but inside, I'm sitting on a stone in an empty clearing, miles from everyone, just their faint voices, faint noises of things around them. Then I'm pulled back into the room and try to carry on as though nothing happened. 

If I start to sink, I know that it'll be harder and harder to return from that rock. Know what I mean?

**** *** **** *** **** ***
Love, tea & cake,  

Sunday, 4 November 2012

"Miss You"...

I've put the poem I wrote after Scooter passed away into a book. If you click on the link below, you'll be able to see it, page by page. If you'd like a copy, you can buy one from Blurb, either a paper version or PDF. I'll make 50p profit from the sale of a copy. If any sell I'll give this to Colchester Cat Rescue. Any comments re. the book very welcomed... 

***just follow this link- http://www.blurb.co.uk/bookstore/detail/3687768 and click on the picture of Scooter that says 'PREVIEW BOOK'.***

**** *** **** *** **** ***
Love, tea & cake,  

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


I first heard this song when I was little, and dad was home, playing a Louis Armstrong album full whack. Only Dad had access to the record player, and as he was away in the Navy most of the time, this meant it didn't get used much. I don't know if the prohibition came from him, or if mum was just terrified of the repercussions should we scratch one of the records. But it was out of bounds. Hence, musical memories are wrapped up with my dad. 

Anyway. THIS one is a favourite. 
But.... this version isn't Louis Armstrong. 
Listen to it first, and see if you can guess who it is. 
If you've seen the movie The Jacket, you'll have come across it before. 
Answer at the foot of this post. 


It has been five weeks since Scooter passed...

I have never been this long without holding him.
I still cry EVERY DAY.
Like I said before, the crying doesn't lessen, it goes deeper, into big sobs.

I am up most nights because I don't want to let it out too much during the day...

...I wrote a lot more here but deleted it. You don't need ot be reading about all that....

Up till now it's been like Scooter is away. At the vet's, maybe. Or perhaps he is living elsewhere. The missing part has been painful, but accompanied by a sense that it will end. Suddenly it has hit me that it won't end. That this is it, and I can't hold him any more, or give him chinny rubs, or cuddle and scrunch him out of a grump into a reluctant, but growing, purr.
My baby's gone.
His absence is like a shadow with no object to cast it. It's physical, but untouchable. 

I'm consulting a pet bereavement counseller. Should hear in the next week or so. I'll post again after that. 

**** *** **** *** **** ***

**PS... did you get it? It was Iggy Pop singing the song ;)**
OK so which of these three groups do you fall into now then?
(1)- yeah I knew that
(2)- OMG Iggy Pop???? Really???? Good grief! Well, well, well....
(3)- Who?

**** *** **** *** **** ***

Love, tea & cake,  

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Still here, but....

Hard to believe, but this my 500th post.

The last few weeks have been very hard. Things still are. I cry every day. EVERY day. This seems to be getting worse, not better, as I continue through firsts-

first time home to catless house,
first time to the supermarket without going into the pet aisle,
first storm without him there, looking out, watching,
first time hanging out the washing without him coming to 'help' by sitting on my feet,
first time cutting the grass, without worrying about where he was, hiding from the noise machine,
first time vacuuming the living room, knowing that I was removing his hair, never to be replaced,
first time we took a day trip out, out for more than a couple of hours, as we didn't have to have someone stay in with him always any more.....

-firsts are a killer.

Another automatic stabbing machine is the instinct:
the instinct to look at the window as I turn into the street, to see if he is there waiting,
the instinct to want to call out 'hello? I'm back!' as I come in the door,
the instinct to think 'I'll just check on him before I go' before going out,
the instinct to look up when a tv ad mentions 'new' about cat food.....

automatic thoughts, that override the knowledge that he's gone- instincts that show how much our world was built around him.... now built around an empty space.

The crying gets worse, as it sinks and sinks and comes up from a deeper and deeper place.
I have never mourned as deeply for anyone, certainly no human.

He was my last connection to the rest of his family; he had his mama-cat's big yellow eyes. He grew big, like his sisters and brothers grew big. His black fur was soft, warm, and glistened in the sun, like theirs all did. It's like I have lost them all, all over again, and all the grief for all that loss has come to the surface in a great wave.

Sometimes I have honestly thought, I would rather be dead, at least then I would know for sure if he were still there. Then I tell myself that Luvbug would cry, and mum would get worse, and I haul myself back to the land of the living.

*But really, if I could be excused, I would rather not be here at all. I just know that I can't be excused.*

My arms ache sometimes, they actually physically ache, as though they independently long for him.

I have ordered this print from Etsy seller watercolourqueen-

This is how I would hold him when he was coming out of a seizure, or when the hypo-attack threw him into twitches and jerks that scared him so, sometimes with temporary blindness~ I would hold him gently, no hard restraint. He'd hold on and tuck his head under my chin. I knew he was calming down when the breathing slowed and the purrs came, I knew he'd come out of it completely when he wanted to get down.

I've tried to understand with logic why this is so hard and I wonder if it is this-
~that I can't let go of the pain because it is my link with his last day here. If I go a day without the pain and tears, then the link is broken. No amount of saying 'he would not want this' alters that. It's like I would rather have the pain than more distance from him. 

I am now tucked up in bed. I had an early night yesterday too. I think a recent bad throat is becoming a cold :( and I haven't been sleeping properly for months, so there are hours to catch up.

I don't know whether to continue this blog, or to open a new one for some arty stuff later on, and leave this one here..... I don't know.

Take care, all, and please take care of your animal friends.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

For Scooter.

Writing is meant to help.

So I just wrote this.

For Scooter

That last night
you slept on my windowsill,
snug on a cushion of foam and fur.
Hot water bottle at your back,
to guard you from the cold
of the glass.

That last day
you stayed there,
stretched long and soft in the late summer sun,
till, too warm, you
climbed down half way,
then cried.
(Just a little cry,
as you paused and looked at me,
there to help you balance if you fell.)

I held you,
guided you down,
took your weight.
You staggered a little,
and looked around for somewhere to lay;
on a pillow - too soft;
on a blanket - too warm;
no, no need for luxury or choice now.
Settled, then -mostly fallen-
on a shaded patch of floor.
Aware of our attentions,
but no longer greeting them,
you rested, dazed and dozing...

You did not hear the vet arrive,
nor the young assistant -so full of life-
when I let them in and led them to you.

"This doesn't look good," he said.

I'm sorry I let him wake you,
that should have been me.
It should have been me that lifted you, held you,
at least at first.
Instead, what did I do?
What did you see me rush to?
-I blocked the routes of your escape,
with boxes, books and bags.
I'd seen you eye the corner behind the curtain, you see.
Forgive me.
I know you were not ready.

Now, deep in autumn soil you lay,
with your sisters near you.
A blanket, 
a pillowslip,
a few favourite toys.
I spent so many years keeping you warm,
I cannot bear the coldness of the soil surrounding you.

Wept, I have wept a hundred thousand tears.
I'd made a bargain, you see,
with whatever it is that holds the Good, the Love, the Life together in the universe;
Take a year off what's due to be my lot,
I said,
and give it to him;
Take his pain, his weariness, his cancer,
and give it to me.
It seems that nothing was there to listen,
or, if hearing,
was powerless or cruel.

You left so many things behind, you know.
In every room I see you.
Combs, boxes, blankets and beds bought on special days,
Food bowls, water bowls,
the rug known to be 'yours'.
Toys and packets of catnip,
cushions for in and out of doors.

It's as though 
you've just nipped out
- be back in a minute, mum!

Little by little 
I part with part of your life.
I cover the catflap
to stop the wind from teasing me.

I light candles on your grave each night
and buy flowers to plant there.
I don't know what else to do,
except to reach down through the mud and stones and touch you again
- that way lies madness.

They tell me that you wouldn't have felt betrayed.
They say that you let go with ease
and that this was a gift I gave you.
If so, it is a costly one.
I long to hold you, hear you purr,
and brush your chin the way you loved.
But all is gone now.
My own hands have put these things away now, out of reach.

My shattered heart will heal,
they say,
I'll remember you with smiles
one day.
I hope you do the same for me,
If only, somewhere, 
you still "Be"...........

Monday, 24 September 2012


I came across this in a book of kitty quotes today:

Cats As Teachers

We have learned many things from living with our cats. Some lessons are directives that we would be wise to follow:
- Live a rhythmic life
- Sit and savour the present moment
- Gaze intently
- Stretch often
- Keep out of harm's way
- Take care of your family
- Be independent, but don't be afraid of being dependent on others
- Cherish your wildness, even if no-one else does
-When you want something, be persistent
- When someone pays attention to you, respond with affection
- If you are embarrassed, turn your back on the situation and get on with your life
- Enjoy small treats
- Keep yourself clean
- Take a nap when you need one, and try to relax more.
Frederic & Mary Ann Brussat

Good, isn't it? 
If you live with a cat, are there any more you can add to the list?  
I might add "there's nothing wrong with hiding away from the world for a little while, if you're afraid or upset"....
 **** *** **** *** **** ***

THANK YOU, everyone, for the dozens of messages over the last few posts......... Luvbug, Mum and I have been very touched and helped by so much concern, and that thought that people far away would take the time to try to offer comfort. You have been an enormous help.

 **** *** **** *** **** ***

We took Scooter's food to the cat rescue centre a mile or two from us. Whilst there, they invited us to view the cats up for adoption. I explained we weren't going to adopt, but decided to visit.

There were a few that looked just like Scoot, at different stages of his life. A 6 month old kitty Scoot, with glowing eyes, curious and friendly; a shy, adult Scoot, nervously peeping out of a box; an older black cat, fast asleep, curled up with his tail wrapped round...... it was strangely comforting. Like looking into his eyes again. Like saying hello again. I'd have thought it would have upset me. Luvbug was concerned. But it didn't. It made me feel warm inside again.
**** *** **** *** **** ***

Today it became a week since he passed. About half an hour before the 'weekaversary', I noticed the clock and my stomach turned, remembering last week at that time, the vet arriving, the things that followed.

We've bought flowers for Scooter's spot, and also some top soil and flowers for his poo patch(!)
I've found a large stone that I plan to paint with something for him and Fluffy, to mark where they lie now (Figs already has a cast iron little curled up cat statue). 

I did order a lovely bronzed cat figurine for the purpose, but when it arrived today, I decided it was far to nice to leave outside, and so it now sits by the fire where one of his water bowls used to be.
Here's a picture of it. It measures about 6 inches high:
I was particular about getting one with a LONG tail. Vets commented about the length of his tail. And I like the way one of the paws is slightly curled. And as for the expression, well that is how he looked as he squinted into the setting sun..........

We also bought a cuddly Scootercat for Mum. I told her, when you miss him, cuddle this one:
She loves it. She carried it home in her bag, with the head sticking out over the top and said it would live on her bed between two bears. She spent the evening posing it into different ways that Scooter had sat and lay :)

**** *** **** *** **** ***
If you have lost a furrend, was there anything you did that helped you afterwards? Is it just time that helps? I've just this evening read some advice that I should write down his story. Even just one sheet of paper. Apparently it's quite cathartic. But I'm not up to that yet.

The doc has prescribed me something to take for the next few weeks. I think it's helping a wee bit.......but I have run out of tissues... 


Thank you, Karla, (Miss Peach's momma) for this lovely tribute. I love to think of him free and happy like this.

Everyone says I did a kind thing, but I am raw inside from the thought that he was a little scared at the last, and that maybe he thought, why are you doing this, mum? what did I do wrong?
Again now I am in tears,.
Only time will stop the raging thoughts that I let him down.
It might never take away the loss, the space left or the missing him, but I hope at least in time I can feel assured that he didn't think I was hurting him or wanting him to go.

I miss him so, so much. I have slept downstairs to be near him in case he needed me these last 5 months and still can't sleep upstairs till at least 5am..... I hear things and wonder if it is him, or am I just hallucinating, as I do when I am stressed....

Figs, Fluffy and Scooter lie side by side in the garden now, and I have bought windproof candle holders for them, and so each night there are 3 lights in my garden, one for each cat.... the brother and 2 sisters..... I cannot bear to think of him in such cold, cold soil. Kevin says, he isn't there, it isn't him.... but it won't go in. It's in my head, but not my heart. Only fear of descending into complete and utter madness stops me from tearing away at the soil to reach him...........I used to talk to him about everything...........now all I can say to my beloved Scooby is to ask him to forgive me...... I feel he is lost and confused somewhere..

Sunday, 23 September 2012


I think that your passing is simple;
not easy, but a release.
But then it rains.
And I realise you can't feel it.

The wind blows, cuts across my face,
pulls my hair into tangles.
And I realise it will never catch your sweet face again.

Then, suddenly, I know the meaning of "gone".

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Farewell, our sweet "gentle lad"...

23rd March 1993 
- 17th September 2012

Here is how it happened.
I write it for my own record,
and also for those strong enough.
But don't feel you have to read it.
It isn't horrible, just sad.

He went to join his sister about 3.40pm.
It was time. Only just. 
The night before, he had trotted in, and climbed up onto the windowsill behind  the sofa in just two clear leaps.
He slept there all night and I stayed with him.
He hugged my hands, and enjoyed 'chinny rubs'.
He stayed there till the afternoon, napping in sunshine.
Whilst there I still offered food, but it repelled him. I left water next to him but he didn't touch it. I put some water into his mouth with a little syringe; I knew dehydration would make him feel bad. I gave him enough to wet his mouth, I think, but he didn't want more. A teaspoon or two. 

(N.B. I remembered the vet saying some time ago, that if a pet is going to be put to sleep, it is best if their tummy is empty for a little while before, or else there is a chance the injection will make them sick and the process becomes difficult for them and longer drawn out. I wanted to mention this in case any one thinks I should have forced him to eat.)

He climbed halfway down, meowed, so I helped him down the last bit, about 2.30pm.
His back legs almost gave way entirely, he couldn't walk far.
He settled in the shade on the floor.
We offered a bed, a blanket, and mum offered her gilet, but he just wanted to lie down and be let be. He didn't want cuddles now, they made him feel worse. He wanted quiet and stillness. We talked gently to him now and then but tried not to disturb him. Disturbing him caused him to try to move, and he found it difficult now.

The vet came. He spoke gently and kindly to him. 
He gathered him up and examined his tummy and back legs, all the while telling him what a good, brave boy he was.

His conclusion; there was no constipation, no blockage that he could detect, and he didn't think a tumour was in the way. Nothing to explain why he wouldn't, couldn't eat or poo. He said that he thought that, finally, things were giving up inside. He had so much to fight-
hyperthyroidism, FIV, hypoglycaemia (prob. caused by pancreatic tumour), and then the bacterial infection on his face that wouldn't clear. He seemed to have no pain as the vet examined him, as he squeezed and examined his tummy, hips, etc. No yelps, no signs of discomfort. There was weakness, and he probably felt sick, but no pain.

I asked the vet to give him a sedative first, as I was worried that he wouldn't be able to find a vein for THE injection, thinking that Scooter would be dehydrated. He agreed.

So, I held Scooby in my arms, his head on my shoulder, talked to him and stroked him, while the vet gave him a jab in the scruff of his neck. He jumped, as this one would have stung. (I forgot it would.) He wiggled so I lay him back down on the floor and stroked him and held his toes. I suddenly remebered Flat Mouse, and asked mum to get him. She found him just in time. I tucked Flat Mouse next to his toes, and talked to him, told him look, here he is, here's Flat Mouse. Now, you go bub-byes, it's ok. You'll be ok, and so will we. He sniffed Flat Mouse, just managed to lift a paw onto him, then fell asleep.

Mum and I stroked him and talked to him. After about five minutes, the vet gave him the other injection. Before it was completely in him, he was gone.

I turned to talk to the vet and when I turned back, mum had tucked a little blanket around him and had one hand on his back, and talked quietly to him.

Luvbug was home in half an hour. We left Scooter where he was for when he got home.

We all sat on the floor near to him and drank tea (or I had water) and we shared some funny memories through tears.

Luvbug and I have dug a place next to his sister, Figs, in the garden. We will put in the box containing the ashes of his other sister, Fluffy, and we will of course put in his mousies.

I have left the place overnight empty.
I have placed Scooter in a pillow-slip, then wrapped in his favourite blankie, then placed on a pillow, then slid him into his big cave-box in the conservatory. I have draped another blankie across the front of it and left a candle lit. 

It's my plan to bury him at first light, in the garden he loved so much, while the birds are singing..................

My darling, gentle, funny friend, I miss you, and will always remember your sweet ways, your loyalty and love. I'm sorry for all the medicines, and I'm sorry I couldn't help you any more. I'm sorry you were scared, and I know you didn't really want to go. But you didn't deserve to hurt, or not be able to do the things you wanted to do any more. I hope that you are somewhere now, I hope that you are free and well. I hope that if you can see me, that you understand I didn't want you to go. I meant no harm, Scooby. I just couldn't help you any more....................

**** *** **** *** **** ***

Sunday, 16 September 2012

"Goodbye" beckons... *updated*

Scooter hasn't pooed since Wednesday, and hasn't eaten since Friday, except for a little chicken Saturday morning. He hasn't eaten any cat food, or anything at all other than raw chicken since Wednesday, either. He simply wouldn't touch anything else. Now, he won't eat that either.

We tried a Miralax mini enema yesterday. My neighbour, Sharon, used to be a veterinary nurse, and she did this for us! What a great neighbour!
Unfortunately, it has no effect.

This indicates that the blockage is higher up.

We have an oral laxative on order and this should arrive tomorrow.

But the worry now is that this might be caused by the pancreatic tumour- it may have spread to the intestine, or it may just have grown and now be leaning on the intestine, closing things off and making it harder, or impossible to pass any food past it.

We don't really know. And Nick, the vet, is on holiday (again!!!) till Tuesday.

I don't think Scooter can wait that long. We may have to call an emergency vet to come out today, or else ask someone else at Nick's practice to come out tomorrow- and help poor Scoob to go to Rainbow Bridge.

I can no longer get him to eat. And if there is a blockage further down, getting him to eat might just be making it more uncomfortable for him anyway.

I DID get a little down him with a small syringe. It amounted to just a teaspoon- a little pupmkin, and a little Vitalite. It was very stressful for him, he hated it.

I had to get it down him though, as I had given him his Antirobe anti-biotic via a pill-popper (he was prescribed this on Friday for his sinus infection) - this type of capsule can linger in the gullet and cause problems and pain so you must follow it with food or liquid to make it go down.

This morning he looks like a different cat. He looks worn out. His face looks different.

The galling thing it this- he hasn't had a seizure for two weeks now- we've got on top of that- and these last couple of days- even today as well- he has climbed back up onto the windowsill, no problem. 

We are all in tears. 

We are expecting to say goodbye pretty soon.

No food, no poos..... and sinus problems. When I washed his face for him today, what came away was bloodstained. It might just be irritation of the sinus lining. EIther way, it is one more thing for him to put up with. I think it is coming up to time to call time..... he has been so brave....now we have to be.....


It's 10pm. Scooter hasn't eaten, drunk, or pooed, (and until 5 minutes ago he hadn't peed, either).
He slept most of the day on the windowsill in the sun. He looked happy and peaceful.
He climbed down OK, then just sort of flaked out in a corner.
We called the vet, and asked if someone would come and put him to sleep.
All the vet clinics round here hand over to the same emergency vet service at weekends- "Vets Now". At first they said they would charge £500 to come out, then they said they couldn't anyway, as they only had one vet there, and she was watching an animal come out of anaesthetic. What sort of emergency service is it that only has one vet and can't come out?

So we cancelled. Then later in the evening, I heard a change in Scooter's breathing. When I checked his box, he was having a seizure. I held him till he was ok.

Again, we called the vet. There had been a shift change, so we had to explain it all again. There was still no one to come out. Reluctantly, we agreed to take Scooter in. I thought I would wrap him in his blankie, rather than use the cat carrier. While Luvbug was getting the car ready and Mum was getting her shoes on, I carried Scooter out to his garden fo one last look. He wriggled down, walked back towards the house, stopped and meoweddddd...
Once indoors, he hid under a chair.

I cancelled again. I said, he's not ready.

Since then, he has cuddled my hands while in his box, had just one lap of water, been out for a pee, walked to the door and taken up his 'mousing' position.

My plan is to stay up tonight with him. I'll give him some honey, maybe, to get him through, and I'll give him his pain meds, but that's all. Then I'll call the usual clinic tomorrow and get someone to come out.

I think tomorrow is the big day :(  I just knew he wasn't ready today.

Having written all that, he has just come along, jumped up on the windowsll in two bounds, no trouble. How is he able to, without having eaten or drunk for so long? It's all confusing....

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Monday, 10 September 2012

Scooter the Wonder Cat

I filmed Scooter in the garden last Tuesday, and I hope you have a few minutes to watch.  You'll see how big he is, how glossy his coat is!!! 

You'll also see the swelling I've been talking about, around his eye and nose. 

The anti-biotic jab hasn't done as much for this as we'd hoped.
It IS definitely doing something- Scoob sneezes and snorts, a real manly yucky snort. Bleagh. Poor Scoob. I THINK what's happening is that the anti-B is breaking up and attacking the infection. I hope so.

Two other developments-

  1. I've started to put honey into his drinking water. I think it's helping because HE HASN'T HAD A SEIZURE FOR A WHOLE WEEK! This is the longest since July, I think. The honey water means that his blood sugar stays up just that little bit in between munchies. If it drops too low, he looses the impulse to eat. Then it's downhill all the way to a hypo, unless I force honey or something into him, which he hates me doing. But he does drink, even if he won't eat. So I suddenly thought, ok, put the honey in his water! I was suprised he drank it, to be honest. But he doesn't mind it at all. I told the vet and he said it was ok, as it isn't like we have to worry about any teeth! (He has a couple of fangs, though, I'm sure Scoot would like me to point out.)
  2. I discovered from the vet that what I had been told was the maximum dose for his painkiller isn't that at all- it's only half what he can have! It felt like a punch to my stomach, I was so shocked, as it means I could have given him more relief when his hip has given him trouble. AAARGHH. Never mind. The only good way to look at it is to say, well, we thought there was no more we could do, but now we know there is. We can up his painkiller. And as it's an anti-inflammatory, it should help that swelling round his eye, too.

So....... there have been tears this week, again, but also smiles as we have had more hot weather, and so we've been able to see Scooter enjoying sunbathing again, and snoozing on his cushions on or under his bench. The higher dose of painkiller is making a difference, I think.

Now to the video.......

THANK YOU all again for your loving comments and messages. I am very touched that you have taken Scooter to your hearts :)

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Love, tea & cake,  

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Good ol' Scoob!

I've decided to write about good things. There are still good things, even on the heartache days. You'd be suprised! I want to focus on these. I'll still post updates, but I'll share some of the nice moments, too.

Scooter had another long-term anti-B injection on Friday. So far, so good.
There are risks, I know. But the infection around his nose/sinus/blocked tear duct did well when he had one last time. The oral anti biotics aren't doing much to it. It doesn't help that I can't get them down him regularly, that is, daily and at the same time.

The bacterial infection might be helping to lower the blood sugar. Or it might just be that it makes eating harder. Either way, he'd be feeling better if we could reduce it.

He was so lovely with the v-t. It was Nick, the v-t we prefer, who came out to the house. Scoob was in his cave. But when Nick spoke to him he moved to the front of it to see him. What I like about this v-t is that he'll talk to Scooter, not just to us. He has cats of his own.

Anyway, after the jab, and after a short sulk in which if looks could kill I doubt I'd still be here, he had a nice long, deep sleep.

I've learnt to spot Good Sleeps and Bad Sleeps. Good Sleeps are if he is curled up at all, and especially if he is 'on his brains'. Bad Sleeps are if he is sprawled, nose down. This was a Good Sleep. He ate well when he woke, and had a good night....

Yesterday he caught one of those cheeky woodmice that have been popping out from under the decking!!  
I found the mouse's head under his bench. I showed it to him, and asked, "Where's the rest of this mouse?" Immediately, he knocked it out of my hand and leapt off the bench and started to play a sort of football with the head, but using his nose.

Then he ate it.


He curled up on his bench again. I went indoors to wash my hands, then went back out to sit with him. As I was talking to him, he pawed my hands, bringing them close to his nose- he was inspecting them for more mousie treats!

He has had a wobble in his right back leg again, but otherwise, he is eating, purring, rubbing my hands with his chin..... the drop in temperature means that he has had his hot water bottle again, and tonight he is lying with his bottom on it.

I continue to tell him about his friends around the world, all sending  purrs and strokes, scritches and scrunches, purrrayers and prayers. He purrs........

**** *** **** *** **** ***

Thank you all again for your kind comments, messages and emails. I am very grateful that you use your time to send such support and help. I'm very touched and can't thank you enough, nor stress enough what a great difference it makes........thankyou!

Love, tea & cake,  

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

A seizure, a wobble, and some Mummy Cuddles

Oh dear. A seizure this evening. He has different types. With this type, I am able to pick him up, settle down and just gently hold him, shield his eyes from the light and talk softly. Poor baby couldn't stop his front legs twitching, so couldn't stop scratching me. I just let him. Snuggled in under my chin, paws twitching and scratching the top of my arm. That's ok. I told him he was safe. I thought about him being safe and happy. I knew he was coming round when he slowed and purred- purrs that grew longer and bigger- and then climbed down. He isn't a cuddle cat, you see. Only wants Mummy Cuddles when he isn't well. He has eaten since, and is at the door looking for night time woodmice. His back legs are still wobbly though. Can't get his meds down him. I have cried another bucket. I try to think healing thoughts, but I just don't have the mental energy any more. I can't do it. Can't focus on the good.

I think you can do two things when someone you love has an incurable illness. You can either start to grieve straight away, and so grieve early, and while they are still with you, and it becomes a long, drawn out grief unless you let yourself go numb, stop any feeling towards them.... when the loss comes, there is an element of relief, of closure, of abilty to move on. The trouble with this reaction is that you spend a little of your time with them grieving. You mourn while they're still here. Isn't that a waste?

The other way is to postpone the grief, carry on as normal, say that life is life till the end, and it isn't the end yet, so keep going as before. Smile, enjoy the time you have. Push away any numbness that threatens to close round your heart. Say that no, you will instead love with all your strength till the end. 
This way takes more strength, I think. And when the loss comes, the blow is harder.

And yes, I do feel qualified to describe these things. A dear friend was diagnosed with leukaemia in March, and a prognosis of 6-9 months. We continued as before, with lots of laughter and gossip. The prognosis was over-generous; she died at the end of May. I can't describe the shock.

I haven't had time or space to grieve for her. I've gone straight into caring for Scooter, straight into his seizures coming more frequently. 

What makes it all the more cruel is that my friend's husband is a vet, and she was a nurse, so whenever I had a worry about Scooter's health, we would talk about it. She would confer with her husband for me. So I've gone from losing her to straight into a situation that I would share with her.

I have been trying to love Scooter the same way as I loved her, positive to the end, focusing not on the end but the good in the present. But I am flagging. Running out of steam. I don't want to look back in the future and think, I didn't strokehim when I could, or talk to him enough, or blah blah blah whatever it is that I can't do right now..........

Now I am waffling........... I will go and get some tea, and check on him. I think he's gone back into his bed....

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Love, tea & cake,  

Sunday, 26 August 2012

A week on...

 Scooter waiting for one of his soft blankies to dry...

Scooter had another seizure on Wednesday and a 'twitchy' episode yesterday. He is now having another. I've given him some NutriDrops, a mixture of glucose and vitamins. I hope it brings him out of it. He has retreated to back of his 'cave' (an enormous box laid on its side, with a quilt and pillow inside for him).

The only way to prevent the seizures is regular food. But he won't eat. Same as yesterday, and Wednesday. He looks interested in the food you bring, sniffs it, then turns away. He isn't depressed; purring and putting his paw in your hand, letting you make a fuss of him. He's alert, too. It's confusing and painful that I can't stop the seizures. On a good day, when he is eating, he is his old self still.....

THANK YOU for all your advice and kind messages. I know that some of you revisited painful memories in order to write what you did. Your kindness is helping. I think I know some things sometimes but just need reminding, or to hear someone else say it.

I have found myself wondering whether his reluctance to eat is Scooter's way of saying that he has had enough. Then again, reluctance to eat is also a sign of the hypoglycaemia! So it could be wrong to interpret it like that.

I have sat and talked to him, telling him it is OK to let go if he is too tired of it all, that his sister, Figs and Fluffy, and his Mama cat, will all be waiting to show him to his next adventure. I told him we'll miss him but be ok, and that he will still be able to see us if he likes. He put his paw on my hand and purred. 

Last night he was out, inspecting the woodmice that live under the decking. I think he may want to hold on till he gets one ;)
We are here for him round the clock. Especially as a new behaviour has begun- suddenly, he is calling out in his sleep. I go to him and reassure him, then he settles down again. But it's such a tiny, plaintiff meow it breaks my heart to hear. I don't think he's in pain. I wonder if he wakes up with temporary blindness, as he eyes look opaque for a few minutes- a possibility of this condition..... poor Scoob. Or maybe it's bad dreams.

The more the symptoms add up, and the more often he won't eat, the more often the seizures come..... I am keeping a note of these things, and we'll just have to try to fathom when he's had enough, or when his quality of life has declined too much.

My emotions are on a yo-yo; one minute I am resigned to saying goodbye, then he gets better and I am elated. Then down I go again, then up. Mum is worried, but doesn't say much. She was hoping we would take her to a dog show today, but we can't go out, so she is disappointed. She gets bored, I know, and I know that this has been a diffcult summer for Luvbug too. But I can't be going on days out all the time wondering how he is here alone, and whether he is having another seizure, or calling out...
I've caught Luvbug in tears. 
I wish I could wave a magic wand and make Scooter all young again! No matter the strain, I feel I owe him my best, buckets of love, and every last chance.


The NutriDrops don't seem to have had any effect. He has remained lying on his pillow and recoils from contact. We're leaving him to sleep, and just wondering whether he is going to go into a seizure, or worse, a coma. The v-t doesn't work weekends. If this continues through the night, I'm afraid Scooter's adventures might close tomorrow...


I've just managed to tempt him to some raw chicken. He may be going to suprise us again. 

**** *** **** *** **** ***
Love, tea & cake,  

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Advice, please.....

Well we are all still here, fighting on!

Without the support of steroids it is very hard to control Scooter's blood sugar. 
We are keeping a food diary for him, noting what is offered, what is eaten, and how he is in himself at the time.
It means monitoring through the night, too.

When he eats regularly he is fine, he is like his old self, and you wouldn't think there was a problem at all.
But sometimes he won't eat. Whatever you offer him, he acts as though he is actually repelled by it.
This in itself is a symptom of hypoglycaemia, refusing to eat, depression, disinterest. When he is like this the blood sugar has already sunk. Bearing in mind that it was only 1.6 when the vet tested it, and that was on a good day, when he'd been eating ok.

He had one more seizure in the week, and couple of times I have spotted that he is on the cusp of one- staring, glass eyes, twitches.

I asked the vet about glucose supplements, and he said that they do sometimes have capsules of glucose in stock, and that owners of diabetic pets sometimes have them for emergencies. But there was nothing said about me getting some. Arrgh. 

I went online and looked up 'raising a cat's blood sugar' and checked that honey was ok to give. Today and yesterday I've loaded my finger with thick honey and wiped it onto his tongue. This has lifted him out of a stary-eyed state enough to get him to take a few mouthfuls of proper food. They recommend a tablespoon of honey for a cat. I manage maybe a teaspoon :(

When he eats a lot he is alert and active. Otherwise he is depressed and wobbly and weak. I guess no matter how much food we offer, we can't control his appetite. If he isn't hungry, he won't eat. That's it.

I found something on line called calo-pet paste. It's a meaty-flavoured paste that's basically vitamins and minerals in a water and glucose base. It's 20% glucose. I've ordered some and will start either putting it in his food or in his mouth.

Mum has been telling me to let him go. When will I let him go. I've got to. Blah blah blah. I was in tears. This was in front of him. I don't want it discussed in front of him! I'm convinced he knows what we're saying. 

Yes, I do think we are in palliative care mode. 
Yes, I do think we are losing the fight. 
No, I don't think we can control the blood sugar. 
No, I don't think it's fair to keep him if he is constantly either depressed or having a seizure. 
But what about the times in between when he is  his old self? 
Do I give up on those too? 
How many of those times is too few to carry on?

I am exhausted. I am in my fourth day of a migraine. But I can't part with him because of MY tiredness.

I don't know what to do.

I shall try the glucose supplement I've ordered. I'll also nag the vet for glucose capsules. I have to try. I have to be able to look back and know I tried everything for him. I owe it to him, surely.

It is just so hard to accept that he is slipping away from me, because he is such a BIG cat, still capable of getting up on the windowsill and purring away, rubbing his scent on his box to claim it as 'mine', and holding his mousie between his paws.

After nearly 19 1/2 years, Fiv, hyperthyroidism and flu, it is a crime to lose him to low blood sugar. I know it will damage his brain if it continues. Do I wait for pain? For brain damage? Do I wait till he can't walk? Till he can't get to his poo patch? Surely I don't want these things for him. It is a game of chicken, knowing when to call time.

Please send your best healing vibes, purrs and purrayers that he will feel better and also that I will know when to let go...... I realised last night that the low blood sugar causes depression, something I hadn't considered. Why the hell not, considering my past??? I don't wish depression on anyone! Poor Scooby.....

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Love, tea & cake,