Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Shhhh, Shhhhh, there there my sweetheart.....

Never thought this title for Creative Bootcamp would be so appropriate......
Three hearts are broken, three hearts are grieving

"Hush, hush, sweetheart" these are the words that I say to Dexter this morning at 7am to try to console his grief at the fact that our cat Wee Girl this morning has overnight turned seriously ill. We found hand sized pools of blood in both of our bathrooms, one next to her litter tray and the other in the en suite which is just off our bedroom where on our bed Wee Girl sleeps each and every night.

"Shhhh, shhhhh, there, there my lovely Wee Girl" are the words I said to her as I checked her over to see where the blood was coming from this morning whilst Dexter sat at my feet looking on at Wee Girl and stroked her reassuringly as did I. It was then that Dexter said "she is bleeding from her bottom", and my heart sank as I knew things were not going to be all right.

"Shhhhh, shhhhh", my lovely Wee Girl is what I and thought as I stroked her soft fur as I remembered the lovely nearly 19 years that had passed since she became part of our hearts. She joined our family just after Anders & I got married and I remember her looking so sweet and adorable as she climbed our curtains of our first home and nestled in the fold of the curtain where it was lifted like a skirt by curtain ropes - I will look these photographs out and post them, but not now, just now my post is about hush.....

This morning was the morning I had to explain to my sobbing son that the hush of death which might come to pass was also a beginning a teaching a mother dreads having to teach but knows it must be done in a way that reassures everlasting love and remembrance. The loss which is so hard to stand is one that meets us all, some sooner, some later. Wee Girl had had a wonderful long and full life with us and she had experienced love and given it back in return. I explained to him, if she were to die, then she would move onto heaven and play in the sky. There she would be loved by Hector our previous dog who died 4 years ago and whom had grown up and been great friends with Wee Girl.

My heart was breaking, seeing this beautiful cat who had been part of our family for so long and being unable to know what to do to make her better was hard. Even harder is seeing the pain in my son's face, being unable to save a creature he loved and having to share with him the sadness and pain that a permanent goodbye brings which I thought might the outcome.

As we drove to the vets this morning which opened at 8.30am, there was silence, except for when the reassuring words of "shhh, there, there, all will turn out ok" were being said to either Wee Girl or my son.

Wee girl on my lap in the car...

As we took her to see our lovely and kind vet, we hoped we might hear the words of "she needs this and it will be ok". Instead we were told that she had cancer which was so large that it had now burst and he duly took out a vet's biology diagram picture of what a cat's insides look like and he went on to explained what had happened in words and in pictures which made us all but particularly Dexter understand. She has been on kidney tablets for the last 3 years and so has been monitored regularly and had been keeping pretty well. This cancerous growth had clearly grown very quickly, and even yesterday she had been perky and last night had been on the floor snuggled into Marvin & Anders purring away.

Our vet's head lowered, his eyes full of sadness as he too had known Wee Girl for her whole life and then his mouth uttered the words "I am so sorry, there is therefore nothing we can do". Whilst Anders and I both thought that this might be the case, we all hoped to be wrong, especially Dexter hoped the vet might make her better the way a child does with an adult.

I asked Dexter if he wanted me to photograph him saying goodbye and he said yes, his eyes full of tears. He jumped on the counter and kissed her fondly on the head and stroked her whilst tears dripped from his face and onto her head which he cleaned her with.

My eyes were swollen too with tears and grief for my own loss of our family's dear dear companion, and that of my son.

I went out of the room and hugged Dexter tight and said "hush, shhhh, Wee Girl will be ok, she is going to sleep now and will awaken in heaven".

At this Dexter said "oh I do hope so as I couldn't bear it if that was just the end" - neither could I!

When we entered the room again, she was lying just as we had left her but this time asleep. Silence filled the room except for the shhh of comfort or sniff on pulling back tears. Anders, Dexter and I all hugged and then gave our final kiss of goodbye. Dexter took off her collar and said he wanted to keep it to remember her by. Leaving the room still and full of hush.......... and will return there next week to collect her ashes which we will bury in our garden somewhere nice.

Wee Girl's last ever photograph taken whilst alive
RIP Wee Girl 1991 - 9am, 16th June 2010 (90 years old in cat years)
I am so glad you have been part of the last nearly 19 years, until we meet again....

boot camp


  1. Oh My God - so sad. So sorry to hear about such sad news.
    I dont think I should have read this at work!
    At least we can help our pets when they are suffering - its the kindest way.

  2. Thank you Lou & Mel - it was such a shock to me and my family too this morning. She was fine last night, had been chirpy (as a 90 year old cat can be) walking around yesterday and even jumped onto our bed last night to sleep there as she always does. At first we thought it was Carly having gone into her first season! She had a great life, and she didn't die in pain - it was all very quick. The blood must have happened about a half hour before we found her as it was fresh. Horrible, horrible, horrible, but no suffering, and she was not in any distress - she was trying to purr in the car as she was on my lap and in my arms and purred as she was put to sleep - Anders stayed with her right to the end.....

    Thank you for your kind words, really appreciated.

  3. I'm so sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is heartbreaking.

  4. I am so sorry to hear this. I just cried for Wee girl and your sweet Dexter.

  5. Thank you all for your sympathy. It is hard to think I will not see her again - her meow in the morning telling no ordering me to go through and feed her, or snuggling up to my face each night or her coming over to request you give her a piece of fish whenever she sniffs that is what is on the menu and generally her tootling about being happy that she in in the same space as you - she was a lovely old lady, but to us she will always be Wee Girl - we never could think of another name when she was a small kitten that suited her as much and at 19 she was not young, but she was slight! She will be remembered by us though very fondly and I am so glad I wrote this tribute to her on the blog, although sorry if I made you cry reading it.

  6. You just brought tears to my eyes. It's so hard to lose a pet. Especially for the children. At least she didn't suffer long. I'm so very sorry for your loss.

  7. Joanna I am so sorry to hear about Wee Girl. Give Andrew and Dexter a hug from us. I know exactly how you feel as i had the same thing happen with wee pixicat this year at the ripe old age of 24. It's heartbreaking to say goodbye to any animal but the ones we've had in our lives for so many years are perhaps the hardest. I couldn't really remember not having pixi!
    I took her home with me and we bought a flowering cherry tree and planted it where we buried her.A pretty tree for a pretty cat.It's maybe something you'd like to do with Dexter as a remember thing.
    thinking of you all
    big loves xxxx

  8. It is always sad to say goodbye, and wow, 24, she did have a full life, nearly quarter of a century "makes a girl think" to quote Marilyn Monroe! Don't think we have the space in the garden for a cherry tree, but that is a lovely idea, but we will plant her under something nice and she will be buried next to Hector & Mortimer who are both buried in our garden too so she will be in great company.

  9. so, so sorry for your loss. We just lost our 18 and half year old cat too. I was happy for the years we had as I know you are too.

  10. So sorry for your loss. I know how painful it is so big hugs to you and your family.

  11. Again, thank you for all your kind words of condolence and sorry if it made you cry. You can imagine we all did our fair share of that yesterday.

    Deanna, thank you for following the blog, and hope to post stuff that will bring you tears of laughter to your eyes xo

  12. So sad! I know what it was like when we had to have my moms dog put to sleep. It was just me and her....all the men in the family stayed "busy".....I was about six months pregnant at the time....we stayed with Sam through it all.

    After that we both sat in the car and cried and cried. It's so hard to loose a much loved pet.

    Hugs to all of you!