Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Things to do with a dead cat

We chose to end Fritz's life simply because she was old - her kidneys were failing, her eyesight was failing, her hips and joints were failing. She was probably a little senile.

Cats just aren't supposed to survive 20 years in the wild, and most cats die before they reach 15. Some people have suggested that it would have been kinder to have her put to sleep last autumn when she started to lose weight - when the vet told us that every day she remained with us was a blessing. She chose to bless us with her presence for another 6 months. But in the end she was beginning to show her pain to us. I think she knew it was time to get us to do the decent thing for her.

Fritz had a good life after she was rescued and taken in by our friend Lucy. And when Lucy decided to spend some time travelling Fritz came to stay with us. She settled in so well with my partner - at a particularly harrowing time in his life - that everyone agreed that it would be cruel to make her move home again. She stayed with us for just over 14 years.

She liked her birthday celebrations - for us an excuse to drink the hair of the cat after the New Year Celebrations. We have no idea when her real birthday was, though it is very likely she was born sometime in 1986. It's also possible that she had had a litter of kittens when she was young - maybe that's why someone chose to throw her out with the trash. She certainly hated the sight of bin-liners.

I don't want to remember her during the last few months of her life. Rather I will remember her as the cat that would go mad at the sight of a bird through the window and yet completely ignore any bird that came near her. She adored warm sunshine, good food and a long session of brushing, but preferred to garner attention on her terms, not ours.

We chose to have her cremated, but first bought her body back home after accompanying her on her last journey. Rather than hand her over to the man from the pet crematorium in a plastic bag we decided to make her her own little coffin.

She was, after all, a lady.

1 comment:

  1. Sad times. My cat Dave died not so long ago. He was 12 so taken somewhat before his time. Because he died of cat HIV, I had to plaster all the trees in the street with warnings that somewhere in the wider district there roamed a carrier cat. I buried him in the garden on the spot where he would lie, front legs tucked under, sphinx-like, watching birds of all persuasions doing exactly as they pleased. I'm currently revising a poem about Dave which I shall post as soon as it's fine tuned.

    Dick Jones