Askit has been losing weight for a while, and more recently started weeing and pooing where he’s not supposed to – on the bed, on the sofa. I thought it was stress from missing HA – they were very close – and from being left alone while I was at work or staying at the cat-allergic GG’s. So last Tuesday I took him to the vet to see if there was anything I could do to soothe him. Perhaps Feliway, or a cat behaviourist.
But she was concerned with his weight loss and took blood tests. That evening she called me to say that his kidneys were failing, and she recommended euthenasia as soon as possible, before he got really ill.
I was in shock. I took the next afternoon off work to spend time with him. He sat on my knee and was fed bowl after bowl of milk. I took lots of photos and videos, let my friends and family know, and Skyped HA to break the news and let him say goodbye to Askit. He was, in many ways, HA’s cat.
On Thursday morning GG and I took Askit to the vet, and I held him while she put him to sleep, painlessly and gently. I cried my eyes out, as did GG. In many ways it felt wrong, because he didn’t really seem ill at all, just old and creaky, but I know that he would have soon been in pain – kidney failure is a horrible way to go. But once his little heart had stopped beating, he suddenly looked better, more healthy and kittenish than he has in a long time. I know I did the right thing.
I feel quite numb, to be honest. It hasn’t sunk in at all. The flat seems much stiller and quieter than I expected it to be – he was only 2.7kg at his death but his personality took up a lot of room, more room than I thought. I keep forgetting that he’s gone, and doing the things you do when you have a cat, like making sure certain doors are shut or open, or that food is covered to protect it from curious and spiny tongues.
I haven’t really cried much since we left the vet. I’ve been cracking black jokes about it because I don’t know how else to handle it. I’ve been exhausted and in bed all weekend, which I guess is my brain processing it. I wish I could just catch up and feel the grief instead of this emptiness. I know it’ll come. I miss him a lot.
This is the last photo ever taken of him, just minutes before he was put to sleep. You can see just how frail he looked, and kind of disgusting, but still utterly lovable with his beautiful green eyes.
RIP Askit, you lazy, loving, noisy, stinky, tough old pirate cat. I hope you and your brother Baloo are frolicking together now in fields of celestial catnip.