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Happy and Sad this Christmas

My fella and I have been looking forward to much to Christmas this year. For the first time in being in each others lives from when we met over 8 years ago, we are free to be together, and celebrate this Christmas as our first proper one together. His elderly father died at the age of 96 in mid November and the last few years our Christmas time has evolved around a sick and increasingly frail old man who had had enough of life and was ready to slip out of it, and was fortunate to do so in his own bed.

So, now we can do what we want, when we want, how we want, and that in itself is a wonderful thought.

And the one that has been at the forefront of our planning, for the last couple of weeks. Just us, and my cat Remus, for Christmas.

Except, on Thursday 21st, my beloved 13 year old cat Remus at 7am started to make heart wrenching yowls of pain, and when we found him, his back legs were paralysed. It was heartbreaking to see, and my fella rang the nearest vet when they opened at 8am, whilst I tried to find out what had happened to my cat, who had seemed perfectly normal at 7 when he got up for breakfast as usual. The vet was willing to see Remus as soon as we could get him into their surgery, so we wrapped him up into the basket he had crawled into in his pain, and got him there by 8.3o. The vet saw him five minutes later and said the word I had half expected, and yet, had dreaded .. “euthanasia” and I tearfully asked what the problem was, as he explained that its a blood clot that gets into a cat’s blood supply, and when it gets into the spine, they are paralysed. I held him and comforted him as the vet gave him the injection, and he quietly fell to sleep within a few short minutes, so quick, so final, so heartbreakingly brutally cruelly quick. By 9.30 am we were home again, and I sat and cried and cried and cried over the loss of my beloved cat. Such a big heart, such a loving cat, such a rapport we had together, as true companions. Such a big hole he has left in my life.

I’d had him since he was five weeks old, from the farm that he lived on, and saved him from the bleak existence that it would have been if he had stayed there. I always felt he was grateful for the life and love he was given. Such a loving, easy going cat.

Maybe its because I haven’t had children that I put so much love into that cat, and he was a true companion, as we spent so much of every day together. He’d sit in my studio as I painted, sit on my knee as I watched TV later on, sit with me in the garden in the summer, and come to have his ears rubbed when I had my breakfast, amuse me when he asked for custard if a tin of it was opened, and play “tap” and “chase” up and down the stairs and through the banisters. Everyone who saw him loved his easy going ways. 

I knew when he died, whenever it was going to be, he would leave a big hole in my heart.

I just didn’t expect it at the middle age of 13, or so cruelly sudden. I am still weeping and in shock the day after as I write this.

So, although I as I write this, I am looking forward to Christmas, I will also miss my cat, desperately.

So, I’d like to wish everyone a Happy Christmas, and hope you are surrounded by your loved ones as you celebrate this family time of the year. And I will raise a thankyou glass to my man for being so wonderful, for the future we have together, and also to my good companion and true friend Remus for the happy and wonderful times we have had together over the years.