I’d always wanted a cat of my own and now I had three. They trashed my house and were more entertaining than TV.
Less than a year into her life, I lost Juicy on the roads of Lancaster. She was a beautiful Tortie and the friendliest of all 3 of the sisters. I moved to a cottage in a small village to try and protect Huge and Useless but within another year Huge had a serious run in with a car breaking her pelvis and damaging the nerves around her tail. She had numerous surgeries but was never quite right leaving me with the heart rending decision to put her to sleep. She came and rubbed against me in the kitchen and never even felt the needle, purring away right to the end. I was gutted. I spent the next hour sobbing my heart out with grief, guilt and sadness on the phone with my mum. That was over 10 years ago and Useless is still with me. She has fallen out of a bedroom window, moved house at least 6 times and had a constant love affair with food and fluffy stuff (she suckles it). She is loved by pretty much everyone who meets her because she loves everyone.
She will be 14 years old in September and that makes her a geriatric (cats are adult till 7, senior till 12 and then geriatric from there onwards). She developed diabetes at the beginning of 2009 which has waxed and waned but is under control with twice daily injections of insulin. She got noticeably stiffer and less active over the previous few years and therefore started treatment for arthritis. More recently, whilst I was away on a 6 week filming trip, she developed breathing difficulties and had to spend some time in the practice. When I got back home I brought her back into the practice to try and determine what was causing the breathing problem. I used ultrasound to look at her heart despite it sounding normal and found she has got heart disease. One of the chambers in her heart is much larger than it should be and she is danger of developing a thrombus (blood clot). She is now on 3 different heart medications and her insulin to keep her comfortable. Her breathing has got much better, her appetite is coming back to normal and she is a lot more active again. However, I haven’t ‘fixed’ her heart. I have merely taken the pressure of it.
Her body is wearing out and she is coming to the end of her time. She has been the most amazing companion and like most pet owners I am only just realising just how amazing now time is running short. I know the time will come when she lets me know she’s had enough. I just want her to be happy and comfortable. I’ll keep you posted.