Rain falls softly on the newly dug earth

This episode took soooo much effort to publish as it was hard to write and sad to re-read. Every story has to have an ending though, or does it?

Read on, right through the end:

Rain falls softly on the newly-dug earth

This was the hardest of Tiddler’s’ tales to write. You may have sensed already what I have to say.

Tiddler has passed away. On Saturday, after a brief struggle with fluid on the lungs which did not respond to medication, the decision was made to let her leave us. Believe me, she did not want to go, only her little 2.4 kg body was failing her and she was in a lot of pain and distress. “I hurt” she told me and I hated to hear that. She also said “this has been the best part of my life”.

On Friday her energies had been very weak, though she had not started the process of the leaving in esoteric terms. Alan held me while I cried myself calm so I could take her in. She was worn out. Dave the vet however decided as she looked so good, to take blood samples and low and behold one measure was better than 8 weeks ago, so he gave her diuretics to see if the fluid would ease off the lungs and gave me extra to continue with and if a good result we would use pills thereafter. When we got back home Jimi stared at her “whats she doing back here?”. She lay panting, cold, by the AGA side that she had taken to in the last week, it being less effort to move from there to her cuddle and food spots. The only movement she made was down to pee on the floor. I dropped a towel down quickly so she did not lie in the urine. She was exhausted by the effort of leaving the sofa. She took a little water but nothing else.

Evening surgery time came. I thought I might take her in again but she had disappeared. I discovered her in my bedroom where she had been early in the morning. It must have taken a great effort. I wondered if her pain was associated with the kitchen and she was ‘escaping’ that. My room has my smell, a sense of security for her. She felt cold. Reluctantly I administered the Furosemide jag. She was too weak to object. She did rally to lick a little fish and drink water. I put down a low litter tray and electrical heated pad for her but she moved away from them. Her respiration rate was too high at 74 per minute, her diaphragm heaving and she was pain-purring to make herself feel better.

She kept the water in this time but I worried about dehydration. She took water again, refused cat-milk. She curled up the best she could, facing away from the food she did not want.

By look she said “there’s too much pain, I don’t want to eat”

I woke frequently in the night to check her breathing and where she was. Her respiration rate stayed the same. Morning found her sitting up, paws tucked under her in a better way. She drank only what was put to her face, enough to moisten her lips, tiny dabs from a petite cat. She slept again.

11am found her lying in a patch of sunshine on the carpet, a good sign that she could make herself more comfortable. She chirped at me and curled into my arms. Her eyes seemed brighter. Was it one last effort? I asked Alan to tell me how she feels. He said she is not saying anything. There is still pain and she has not eaten for days now.

It was time to go before morning surgery ended. Dave wanted to assess whether or not to issue more diuretics. I put her, unprotesting, into the cat basket, closing the lid in case of any mishaps en route. I considered having her on a harness for closeness but because of the pressure which that would create on her chest discounted it. She turned her jade and citrine eyes on me brightly and we engaged in a loving gaze. Then she complained about the car in her accustomed way. Ah Tiddler!

The car was hot from sunshine which suited her, if not me and Corrie and I drove with my left arm over her basket while she pressed her head to its lid, a safety cuddle for us both.

The vet surgery was remarkably empty, unlike the day before when we had waited in the car to avoid barking dogs. There was ample time to discuss the last 24 hours. Dave watched her chest rise and fall, noted there was no change from the day before despite the drugs. Nicki the vet nurse said “You feel you want to do everything you can, give them a chance”. Yes indeed, but Dave knew and I knew that the kindest option now was to let her go. “She would have a slow uncomfortable end” he said, “We can avoid that”.

I held her, kissed her head. Then had to hand her over for her leg to be numbed. I cuddled her again. Her claws left tiny scratches on my shoulder and wrist. She lifted her paw obediently for the vein to be raised.  That same leg was used yesterday to give blood. This time a trickle of yellow barbiturate entered her vein and she startled in shock. I held her tightly, wrapped to my neck as she released into her leaving and let her heart cease beating. The end to breathing was easy for her as that had been so painful. Her will to live was strong. She and I were bonded tightly. 

Her little head dropped, white whiskers sharp against her glossy fur. “Her coat is so shiny” remarked the vet and we fell into mundane chat, about caring for the old and how fur conceals other body changes more visible in a human frame. Coping, coping, we made talk to work through the hurt. I folded her into a semblance of repose, wrapped her in soft bedding. “Yes,” I answered him “I have somewhere to bury her.” Next to Spots in a new graveyard for my animals. For there have been many over the years.

Nurse Nicki wanted to help me outside. Grief is hard to see and they so often have to bear others’ emotions. I accepted her help as support, knew I must not cry yet as I had to drive. My eyes were hot and raw. I went straight home, left her at the door and found Alan. 

“What did Dave say? Really? Shall I dig the grave or did you want to do that?” “Yes, you dig. Next to Spots please.” I wanted to hold her for a while.

woman holds cat

losing a friend is devastating

I nursed her still warm fur, her body floppy in my arms. I let the dogs smell her. They were unconcerned. I took her up to Jimi, to let him see she was now gone. I laid her down near to him for a moment. He checked her. She looked like her old self fast asleep. Her lovely glossy black fur and thin old hips fell under my fingers. I could touch her now without causing hurt. Her densely furred tail, her brilliant white chest, white toes and boots, her long pale whiskers and old tartared teeth. A nub of cat-food was still on her nose from days ago. I could not get it off her before without distressing her, nor that on the tip of her right ear. Those ears, they felt so cold as her body gave up the fight.

I made her a shroud from her AGA towel. It was clean, a bit holed and scorched. It is what she would be lying on if she could. I kept her collar and the 3 aggravatingly loud bells as memento, took last photos and laid her in the rich Ayrshire soil. 

She is buried under a holly tree, her grave marked by a slab of white marble, as befits a queen, so her rest will not be disturbed.

Tiddler, at 21 years was a grand senior kitty. She was my pest and critic, my regal girl who spoke her mind. 

The kitchen now feels enormous without her. The sofa is entirely ours again and the AGA apparently has 2 hotplates and is not an underfloor cat heater plus cat kitchen. Her comb, full of soft undercoat fur, still lies on the windowsill but there is no old lady to groom any more. At breakfast time today Alan found he could choose where he wished to sit, instead of the wee one demanding he be at the sofa corner for her best cuddling convenience.

When out shopping I took my accustomed pause to choose Tiddler morsels then realised she would never taste them. She has taught me a lot about premium international cat foods and dainty morsels. The outer kitchen has been relieved of a crate of Tiddler treats and temptations. The fridge and freezer still hold her milk, cheese triangles and king prawns. 

She took over our lives for five memorable years. She has taught me to love a wee minx whatever awful things she did to my house and home. She expected rugs and cushions and nests and six meals a day and servants to run round after her. Breakfast had to arrive by 06.30 or the howling would begin. I could not go away as the consequent howling would be unendurable. She manipulated our days and nights.

There will be no more regurgitated food for Corrie to mop up; no tiddles in the corner of the hall when a visitor arrives carrying alien smells. Kitten Patch feels free at last to spend time in the kitchen and explore my room. He has been checking on us regularly to see we are okay after noticing how upset we are. Jimi cat is offering his calming love. I write, I cry and we hug.

On Saturday night I felt a softness at my neck, a vibration at my right ear, the sort that indicates to me there is an etheric presence nearby. I sensed Tids saying “I love you”. Alan said she was saying her thank you. I think she knows now why I asked Dave the vet to give that last injection. I know she is at peace and free of pain.

Dragon’s going to miss you too Tiddler. 

Goodnight pretty princess.

xxx ‘Mum’.



I gave my heart to you

you carried it away to the stars

your attitude gave me courage

your bluntness made me laugh aloud

a skinny wailing old waif you entered my life

a failing cat who liked to have her say and spray

who chased out my favourite feline, segregated

our household into zones of Tids’ and Toots’

demanded that I find the weird and wonderful patés

creams, raw and freshest foods for your selective delectation

You told the vet what you thought of his pills

sometimes you even liked them, found him kind

 taught me how to care for your body 

as your ‘deaf servant’ so you could shine

impressed visitors with your health and verve

sparks of fire flashing in your claws and 

eyes, clear till the last prick, bright lighted stars

like constellations you’ll return from when

one day

I’ll hear your call.


Return of the unstoppable (the blog continues)

Well would you believe it? Mum went off to a shamans camp in Greenland and it was all about communicating with ancestors and elders. I thought: well thats me, I am a passed over elder now. I can step right back in through the ritual doors she has created. 


Mum opened a gate to my new world

You didn’t think you could lose me that easily did you? It was only having a mortal body which held me back.

Now I can travel anywhere and keep an eye on all her doings. Yup, no more confined to Aga and sofa, I am a girl of the world and otherworlds. I am SuperTiddler

To be continued- if and when I feel like it as I have greater things to do now, haha!