Friday, 5 April 2019

RIP Cuddles ( 6/9/2009 - 4/4/2019 )


After taking a long time recovering from a big dental operation, losing lots of weight, being diagnosed with FIV, etc., Cuddles was making very slow progress, until yesterday..

I knew it was time to let him go and free him from pain and discomfort..

He was put to sleep at Village Vets Dunshaughlin, at 3:30pm - I held him all the way through it..

Then we went to my friend's place where he was buried in a beautiful nature spot.. 🌿


During his slow recovery, Cuddles had been confined in the (large) shower cubicle where he had his comfy bed, litter tray, selection of food, water, and hot water bottles at night..

At daytime, he was often in the living room with us, watching patio birds and cats, and just generally having family time and lap time with Mama, so that he wouldn't get bored or feel neglected in the shower flat..

Even yesterday morning, he was still interested in birds, did the "kakakaka" hunt sounds at them, snapped at Cara when she went too close to his carrier / laundry basket hut..


But he had stopped eating, although he had been eating 4-5 full meals per day, since his gums had finally healed from the dental surgery, and had finally started putting on some weight, having been down to 2,7kg..


I knew he was never going to make a "full recovery" - he'd recently had more tests done, and the results were very bad, he had bad anemia, etc.. But he was making very slow progress, he was on Doxycycline for the last few days, he was slowly putting weight on, he was eating well, he was interested in things, his skin lesions had healed with Manuka honey.. So, I was hopeful that we might get him well enough to still enjoy life for a bit longer..

But no.

When he stopped eating, and made a few sounds to show the first signs of actual discomfort, I knew that this was it..


The night before, he had a wobbly hind legs episode, which improved by the morning, but one of the hind legs remained pretty limp..


I booked us to the vets, and started getting ready.. I wanted some "last pictures" of my baby boy..


And our last "catfie"..


I was living in Bray when I lost my previous cats (outdoor cat Ginga, and my own Thatsit and Oimouttahere), so they are all buried in the back garden of my previous home.

Now that I'm renting, I had no option to bury Cuddles, but an amazing friend promised a grave spot in her lovely garden

I have a death routine, which some may find a bit macabre, but it helps my own healing process..

I write them a love letter from Mama, including some of my hair (and in this occasion, also some of Cara's hair), so that I can be forever with them.. I give them a soft toy, which is something that's very dear to me.. I take some of their hair to keep them with me forever.. And I wrap them in something comfortable - I wrapped Cuddles in a pillow case, which was probably older than myself.. I'd had it since my early childhood..

Village Vets Dunshaughlin have been so great with Cuddles, and they were lovely again for his last visit.. We got some time alone before and after - I prepped Cuddles for his funeral before rigor mortis set in, and then we were off to my friend's place..

As I was driving, I switched the radio on for some music to give me something else to think about - the first song was Everybody Hurts by R.E.M. 😭😭😭


S's cats were gathering..

I found my last scratch from Cuddles


Godmother S, digging a grave for Cuddles (picture posted with permission)

If there's ever going to be a Nobel Cat Prize, S deserves it


S made the grave all pretty, and took these pics.. (posted with permission)


The legendary Colony Cottage is right next to Cuddles' final resting place..


S even put a lantern on the grave, later on, when I'd already returned home to my Cara..

S has a Cara as well - a really shy cat who doesn't let anyone else than S touch her, like, ever.. But yesterday, Cara surprised me by coming to me, gently headbutting my hand, and even allowing me to pet her a little bit! 😍 That was so special..


When I came home, Cuddles' shower flat was still there, with food and all, just as we'd left it..

I couldn't deal with it right there and then, so I left it for the night..


Before we left, earlier on, I carried Cuddles to where Cara was chilling, for goodbyes.. (Very difficult moment for myself..)

When I came home alone, hours later, Cara was confused..


Today, poor Cara has been looking for Cuddles.. πŸ˜’πŸ’”

When Cuddles was still with us, and feeling poorly, Cara would often go check up on him.. Now she's been checking everywhere, including upstairs, clearly wondering why Cuddles is not here..


I cleared the "shower flat", and bawled my eyes out..


There was some Cuddles hair on the scarf that was his carrier bedding.. I couldn't throw it away, so I put it in the same bag where I already had some of his hair..


Here are some of the first pictures I ever took of Cuddles.. Top left, the very first one..

I moved to my current home in April 2014, and planned not to get any pets.. In June, I found Cara injured on the road, and as no one claimed her, I adopted her..

Some months later, I saw Cuddles on Facebook - his then family were moving abroad, and were looking for a new home for Cuddles..

I decided to adopt him.. I meant to get him from the previous family, but as we were not in direct contact, there was some miscommunication and he ended up spending a few days with the DSPCA.. I collected him from there, and found that we were actually his third family as his very first family had also moved abroad - but they still followed him on Facebook (It's also thanks to them, that I know Cuddles' real birth date, and have a few baby photos - I am not sharing the photos as they are not mine to share, and include some members of his first family..)

He was so good, from the very first moments.. He must have been a bit scared in the car, suddenly being with a stranger, in a new place, going to another new place.. But as soon as I let him out of the carrier, at home, he explored everywhere, and they got along with Cara, even if they never really became massively close..


It took me over a year to fully get Cuddles' trust, and he was never a lap cat as such, but when he did realise that this would be his forever home, he did often come to my lap for a long nap

He didn't like handling, but he loved headbutting, or just staying a long time, forehead against forehead.. He did also let me tickle him under the chin, but would soon let me know that he'd had enough of that now..

At some point, he was a bit chubby, weighing 6kg.. We got it down to 5 - 5,5kg, which was his ideal size.. So, to think that in his last weeks, he went down to 2,7kg...... But did gain enough in his last days, to be almost 3kg..

He enjoyed napping, and watching birds.. Cara would often try to play with Cuddles, but usually he wasn't interested, and would give Cara another scratch on her nose.. This never stopped Cara from trying again.. And they did sometimes take turns chasing each other up and down the stairs, sounding like a herd of elephants..


I was so hoping to have many more years with Cuddles, but it wasn't to be.. I didn't want him to suffer, so I had to let him go - he is now free from all pain and discomfort, forever resting in a lovely place

Bye, my baby boy.. Thank you for the memories

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Happy New Year 2019


I've been working every single day since 19th December, and it's still ongoing for a while, so I didn't have much energy to celebrate Christmas or New Year, but I got some Supervalu noms, yesterday..

I was actually fast asleep when the year changed as I wanted a good sleep, between an early and a late shift - still exhausted, though!!!

Happy New Year πŸŽ‡πŸŽ†πŸŽ†πŸŽ†πŸŽ‡

Monday, 24 December 2018

Friday, 12 October 2018

Harvest pictures


I've been blogging in my Finnish blog, lately, so poor Stello Blog has been neglected a lot..

As I've been growing this and that, over the summer and autumn, I decided to post some harvest pictures πŸƒ


I got lots of peas, and had I replaced my flimsy yarn support, when the plants started getting too heavy, I probably would have gotten loads more.. Maybe next year - I've already bought stronger support string..


I never actually planted any spuds, but I've been getting lots of them as "compost surprises"


My favourite (=lots of flavour, and the least effort to make..) is to clean and chop the spuds, mix them with plenty of oil, and all kinds of seasonings (sweet chilli sauce is a must..), then spread them on the oven tray, and roast them for maybe 40 minutes or so..


I think, here I ate them with mayo and chives, although sour cream would be even nicer..


It's been a great bean year again - I've been eating them a lot, and my freezer is full..

 

Not a great year for herbs.. Mainly because I haven't had enough windowsill space, so most of my herbs have been on the kitchen counter where they don't really get enough sunshine.. But I have frozen a good bit of mint, and I think some basil and parsley as well..


Aaaand more beans...


My tomatoes never ripened outside as it got too cool while they were still green.. So, I picked them green, and wrapped them in paper to be ripened indoors..


I didn't have any brown paper (having just recycled it all), so I used baking paper..


Some beans again.. I made a big pot of soup with mainly beans, and whatever else.. Celery and onion, at least.. Leftover salsa, sweet chilli sauce, chilli powder, wasabi & sesame seasoning.. So, the soup had a nice kick to it! It was actually really good..


More compost surprises!


Some spuds had been "pre-eaten", so I just composted them again, to become new surprises..


Free food πŸ˜ƒ


First signs of ripening..


Again, oven roasted spicy spuds..


Sour cream with chives and herbs, and mixed lettuce, with spicy spuds..


The earliest bunch of tomatoes had finally ripened They were so good, I just ate most of them with a sprinkle of sea salt..


The rest of the tomatoes are still ripening..


I made an omelette with all kinds of leftovers and such.. Top: a thick slice of ham.. the last bits of Finnish Oltermanni cheese.. Bottom: red pepper.. semi-ripened tomato.. scallions..


Three eggs, some water, sea salt, white pepper, garlic powder, chilli powder, wasabi & sesame seasoning, oregano..


I had it with mixed lettuce and another homegrown tomato