Saturday, November 19, 2005

Monlee Saqqara
6 October 1997 - 18 November 2005

It was quite terrible really. There she was, halfway up the stairs, unable to climb them. Her back legs had just suddenly given out. We carried her up onto the landing, and she began dragging herself toward the bedroom. We put her on the bed, but she dragged herself to the edge and pulled herself off with a thud.

She would lie stretched out for a bit, then roll over, then drag herself some more. Her eyes were clear, but her tongue was out of her mouth, a clear sign of pain, and from time to time she gave little cries.

Meantime I was trying to phone the emergency vet. This was 9.30 at night after all. Our vet belongs to a circle and they seem to share the 24 hour service between them. My hand was shaking so much I couldn't dial the numbers properly and had to keep retrying. The first number I dialed, the guy told me to dial my own practice as they had someone there. I dialled that after several tries, and got another number to dial, a Dr Makker. He said to bring her around immediately, so we put her in the cat box and headed for the bus stop. He was only six stops away on the 23 Bus, but there was a longish walk. By this time poor Zaq was meowing continuously, in pain. And Nisa was staring on in wide-eyed horror.

When we took her out of the cat box the vet took one look and shook his head. He tickled her feet and got no response. "It's a thrombosis in the back legs", he said. "It's terribly painful for the cat and there's nothing you can do. One can try aspirin, but I've never seen a cat recover. The best I can do is put her out of her agony."

First he gave her a sedative to calm her and let her sleep. We cuddled and stroked her as she sank into unconsciousness. Then he gave her an injection which stopped her heart.

He asked what we wanted to do, but one look at our faces and he offered to arrange a crematorium. Yes, that would be good. Did we want the ashes? Of course.

We went home in shock and very morosely drank a bottle of wine. Nisa was waiting, all agog to find out what happened. We gave her some catnip drops. Zaq was the people cat, the one who came to greet any visitors and entertain them, walking from lap to lap to spread her favours out evenly. It was she who came out to meet us when we got home. And every morning she would present herself in the bedroom to be brushed while we drank our tea.

So this morning there is a very cat-shaped hole in our lives. And I'm feeling very weepy about it.