Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Happy Christmas!

Christmas Eve candles in the kitchen..

I've done the first seven days of (at least) 19 days of work without any days off, so I'm pretty exhausted, and I'll be on split shifts for Christmas Day & St. Stephen's Day, not leaving much time to celebrate Christmas, but I had a 7am-2pm day today, so tonight was my "Christmas" πŸŽ…πŸŽ„

My next 7am-2pm day will be this Friday, so I'm planning to have a much needed "maintenance day" as the weekend will be all split shifts again.. But we actually have lots of fun at work (also, lots of chocolate.. LOTS!!!), and, of course, we love the dogs and cats.. So, it's not too bad!

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Been a while..

A few recent pics as I hadn't posted anything since PeepPeep's death..

Christmassy mood with lots of lights, candles, etc..

Cara and my curvy Barbie..

Introducing Midnight..

I finally have a decent phone, too


Sunday, 4 August 2019

RIP PeepPeep ( ?/?/? - 30/7/2019 )

Last Tuesday was a difficult day.. I'd had a busy morning, I was at home for some lunch, and I had about thirty minutes left until heading out again.. I was planning to just chill, but one of my outdoor cats (TabTab), and the main house rottweiler, were being loud, which was unusual - I decided to go out and see what was going on..

As soon as I approached the patio door, I saw the little white body, next to the paddock gate.. I didn't even have to get closer to know that it was PeepPeep (another one of my outdoor cats), and that she was dead.. πŸ˜­πŸ’”

I couldn't change my plans for the day, but I also couldn't leave her there.. Absolute panic..

I grabbed a pillow case (one of my ancient ones, with Snoopy and Woodstock, and lots of hearts..), plastic bags, and gloves, and found access to PeepPeep as the actual gate is currently not in use..

I have no idea what happened.. She had no marks on her, she hadn't attempted to drag herself to a hidden spot (which is something that any injured or very ill cat would do, if at all possible), her eyes were still open, and all clear.. There was only a very small amount of strong yellow vomit, on the side of her that was against the ground - it had come from the side of her mouth, so there was no sign of any "foaming" or such, which could have suggested some type of poisoning..

Whatever it was, must have killed her very suddenly - a small mercy..

She was quite stiff, but I was still able to slightly adjust her position (when wrapping her in the pillow case), so I'd estimate that she had died about an hour before I found her..

As I was wrapping her, TabTab and Little Mami (her daily breakfast and dinner friends) were watching, and so was the main house rottweiler - they were all clearly very upset.. 😒

At first, I was going to leave her waiting for me to come home, later, so that I could maybe find a burial spot for her.. But then I thought, she may have had people missing her as she was not feral at all, so I decided to take her to Village Vets Dunshaughlin, on my way out, and have her scanned..

She wasn't chipped, and I decided to have her cremated, with the ashes returned to me..

It's massively expensive (especially for my budget - €200!!!), but my other cats have been buried, and as that wasn't an option, this time, I could not just let her go.. I know I would have regretted it forever.. So, now she will come back to me, and maybe someday, I can find a beautiful burial spot for her ashes..

I don't remember when I first saw her, but it started with occasional patio visits, and as she was always so tame, I assumed that she had a home in the nearby area..

She had no tail - there was a big, puffy bump instead, and I always wondered if she'd been born like that, or if her tail had been amputated at some point..

She had the cutest high pitch voice, which is why I named her PeepPeep..

She got along well with TabTab and Little Mami - they would sometimes hiss at her, a little bit, but mostly they all accepted each other..

She even did a few kissy-kissies with Cara, at the patio door

Here, she was eating with Little Mami and (her son) GinGin..

It's so heartbreaking, that I'll never hear that sweet squeaky meow again.. πŸ˜­πŸ’”

She was the first to explore the new patio bed I bought them, earlier this summer..

Coming too close to the camera..

Maybe she didn't have a home anymore - she must have had one, being so tame.. But she had started spending more and more time on the patio, and ate 2-3 full meals per day, so I don't think she was fed elsewhere as she wasn't overweight at all.. But she seemed happy, and enjoyed herself in the sunny spots..

This was my last picture of her alive.. It's bittersweet..

She seemed quite young - I wish she could have stayed with us for many more years..

I'm also torn about not having had the time to do the usual "burial prep" for her.. I usually take some of their hair, and give them some of mine.. I write a letter, and select a toy to go with them.. But with the shock, and the shortage of time, I could only find her a pillow case I'd loved.. But she's coming back to me, in a different form..

Bye, my sweet PeepPeep.. I'll always love and miss you

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