Liz Jones & # 39; Diary: In which I am no longer a crazy cat lady
"You got what the vet called a" geriatric cocktail ". I could go with one of those & # 39;
They say bad things happen in three. (Why don't even good things happen in them?) When my cat Susie died, I took Sweetie and Minstrel home with me. Those who should no longer be named (aka my ex David) said they were fine, but I was not confident.
Sweetie was very thin, her fur terribly matted. I took her to the vet five times in the first week and she seemed brighter: she got what the vet called a "geriatric cocktail". I could handle one of them. Her eyes shone and she jumped on the bed.
Minnesinger was fine, but had an operation on Friday to scale and polish his teeth. But then, on Monday, just two weeks after I brought her home, I woke up and found Sweetie sleeping on my pillow when she usually strutted around crying out for breakfast. She looked shaky. So I took her back to the vet. It turned out that she was suffering from acute kidney failure. For the first time, she let the vet stroke her; I would normally take a pair of oven gloves with me.
The vet said there was nothing she could do and that Sweetie was on the verge of death. So she was put to sleep. My second tabby in two weeks. Path. She was Bad Thing number three, because my assistant Nic's beloved assistant Nic, Zac, was also depressed just last week and suffered from a non-operable tumor in one of his kidneys.
Sweetie came into my life because of a newspaper job. So it happened that I had most of my animals (turkeys, sheep and my dogs Hilda and Missy). At Christmas 2004 I was sent to the Celia Hammond Animal Trust in Canning Town in east London to volunteer. I didn't mind leaving my home on Christmas Day as it was good to get away from my passive-aggressive husband who refused to rely on a yoga class to cook. He got me a DVD The L wordwho might be trying to tell me something: it wasn't even the box set, just a random episode.
The clinic was filled to the rafters with stray cats; They were even stacked in baskets on the toilet. I posed for hundreds of photos, kept cats, and scrubbed cages, but the story didn't run when the devastating tsunami hit Asia, and my editor suspected that nobody cared about cats under the circumstances. A few days later, Celia called my husband. “We took in a very special kitten. It is quite lively, which means that its previous owners beat it up and broke a tooth. She could have some brain damage because she was blown away so violently. We think Liz should take her with her. "
I didn't really want cats anymore, but when I got home from work, she was shown on the spare bed. I didn't buy the oven gloves long after that; Tea towels weren't a defense against the kitten that we intuitively called sweetie. She was never quite right and always lost her balance. She once fell into the pond and appeared soaked and embarrassed and stank of fish for several days. And now it's gone. My last connection to my old London life.
Anyway, I thought I should tell David that Sweetie died because he "looked after" her for three months. So I sent him a text. No Answer. I often wonder why people are allowed to use cell phones when they are not in use.
After four million years, he answered. & # 39; I'm so sorry to hear that. You gave her a long, comfortable life. I hope you are fine. & # 39;
"I hope You are fine." Who am I, his aunt? Would be "How are you?" Not more appropriate? Flowers? A memorial bench in Sweetie's memory? Even my old London cleaner, who had often looked after my cats during my absence and had not seen them in 11 years, was more exuberant. "They were your babies. I've known you long enough, Lizzie, to know that you love your animals more than people. I hope You are fine. "
Nic takes minstrel, my last cat. I'm officially no longer a crazy cat lady. Neighboring farmers are no longer able to spot "witches" on walls. It is the end of an era. I write to Nic the night before Minstrel leaves me: "I hope he settles with you. He is a very special cat. He kisses on demand and really listens to you and looks you in the eye when you speak to him. "
More than can be said for most men.
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