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...

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....

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

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 :)

**** *** **** *** **** ***
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,