Sunday, 9 December 2012

RIP Ginga, ~1997(?) - 2012

Ginga died peacefully at about 3:30pm today.. Although he had to live most of his life as a feral / semi-feral outdoor cat, he did not die homeless.

He was doing well and loved his new winter box, but something made me decide to let him in, last night (which wasn't even a particularly cold night, compared to some we've had recently), and I went out looking for him. I saw him sleeping in his box, so I thought he'd be fine, but he must have heard me and woken up - he soon came to the kitchen door, and I could immediately see that something was wrong.. He wasn't sitting up, he was in a low position.. I picked him up carefully, and took him in. I noticed that he could barely support his (light) weight on his back legs, and walking was very difficult..

He drank some warm water, didn't want food, and I helped him to the living room carpet where he rested - I don't think he was comfortable enough to actually sleep.. It was just after midnight, so I didn't want to disturb the vet by texting so late, but luckily he happened to see my Facebook message, so he texted back and asked me to keep Ginga warm and fed, and to text him back in the morning.

I spent lots of time downstairs, during the night, just to keep an eye on Ginga, and to help him if he needed anything.. I even held him on my lap for a little while, but as he wasn't used to being held, he didn't feel comfortable with that, and I put him back on the floor. He would rest, and maybe nod off a little bit, and occasionally take a few unsure steps to a new spot.. Eventually, he settled at the door between the living room and hall (which is always open for the cats, but which is not really used otherwise).

Pete (the vet) phoned in the morning, and we both agreed that it would be the best thing for Ginga, to put him to sleep, as sad as it was.. Pete said he would come sometime afternoon, so I had plenty of time to be with Ginga.. I was gently petting him and talking to him, and sometimes just sitting next to him on the floor, and even leaving him alone for a while, just so he wouldn't feel too overwhelmed or anything.. He was purring, and did actually get some proper sleep as well.. During the night, he drank some more warm water, but didn't want any food. He didn't even want any roast chicken..

Then it was time to say goodbye.. I was petting Ginga as Pete put him to sleep, and it was very peaceful and beautiful - and extremely sad, of course..

I had written him a letter, which I rolled and placed inside the finger puppet angel I bought in Italy. I also gave him a pink wooden heart with Love from Mama (=me), and a piece of me (=some hair), and I got a piece of him (=some hair).. I put him in a comfortable position, hugging his little angel, and wrapped him in his grey IKEA blanket, which has been with me pretty much everywhere - and lately with Ginga in his winter box.. Then I buried him under his tree in the back garden. It was such a hard thing to do, to put him in his cold grave, when he was still warm and all I wanted to do was to keep holding him.. But I am so grateful that I got to give him a home for his last night and day, and that he was as comfortable as he could have been - Pete said he could feel a tumour in his abdomen - and that he felt loved. He didn't have to die alone.

RIP my angel... (FB)

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