Flowers for Flossy

We had to have our 22-year-old cat put to sleep a few days ago. She was given to us by our neighbours following their divorce. The first time, they came round to enquire if we could do them a favour and we were happy to help. At that time we were told Flossy was about 12. A short time later we received a phone call to confirm and arrange for them to bring her round. Now they thought she was a bit older at 13. By the time Flossy was delivered, they had worked out the dates and were sure her real age was actually 14. At that point we didn’t have many cats get past that age and we didn’t expect to have her for much longer. I’m so glad we were proved wrong.

She was a good cat. Quiet and inoffensive and in the eight years she spent with us, she never put a paw wrong. About two years ago I noticed the tell-tale signs of early renal failure as she made increasingly frequent trips to the water bowl in the kitchen. We got her blood tested for a diagnosis, she went on Fortekor tablets and she was provided with her own special food and water supply next to her bed. She did remarkably well for her age, but we could do nothing about the steady weight loss and I dreaded any trip to the vet as I felt so guilty when placing her gently on the scales.

She came down with the snuffles a few weeks ago and in conjunction with an antibiotic injection, the vet kindly allowed us to do sub-cutaneous fluids at home to improve her hydration. It seemed to work wonders and suddenly Flossy could be spotted making regular trips to the kitchen once again, to sample the food put down for our other cats. It wasn’t her renal diet of course, but it was good to see her with a renewed interest. Over the past couple of weeks, the trips to the kitchen increased again, but this time it was to sit by the water bowl, although we had no idea why as her own bowl was changed daily. It was as we started the morning rounds on Saturday that I noticed how weak she had become and we decided we didn’t want to see her decline any further.

We gave her a lovely warm shower, which she seemed to enjoy, followed by a gentle blow dry in front of the Aga. We put her in a harness and took her for one last walk round the garden in the sunshine. As we crossed the lawn, she spotted a butterfly and for a moment I really believed she was going to give chase. She explored thoroughly before settling down in a warm patch of grass. It was there that we buried her a few hours later. As I walked away with tears running down my face, I found this little orchid and I took a photograph bright and early next morning. Flowers for Flossy…

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