Just over six years ago, in a cat sanctuary in Kent, I adopted a pair of kittens, from the same litter. I went with my Daughter Kasia, and her partner Harvey. We named them, Louis and Ella, a Tabby and a Tortoiseshell. Brother and sister. I loved them more as each day passed. My tiny furry friends.
They had a garden to explore, a glorious Ginger Cat living next door but one; Theo, and they became a gang of three. Much fun was had, chasing butterflies, mainly losing to the little winged creatures, flapping up into the sky. Too high for Cats. Playing around the small pond…being like furry kids in a playground together.
For me, living in a new town, alone, they were a blessing.
Sunday 22nd January.
It is a Sunday, usually a quiet day. Something is wrong. Louis didn’t come to my bed on Saturday night.
He crept under my desk in the little room where I write and check my emails. Big font for my dimming eyes. Something is wrong. He doesn’t move. His eyes are sad. He begins to pant.
Monday morning early. I rang Sara, a friend who loves her animals. Dora the dog and Tiff the Cat. At 9 I ring the Vet. ‘Bring him in, they say, at 11.’
Sara rang Carolann who had a car, together we would take Louis.
So long to wait, will I be too late? On the bench outside the surgery, Louis utters two meows, sonorous with pain and anguish.
The vet said, ‘I must give him Oxygen.’ He disappears behind a door.
Minutes pass; it feels like an hour. He re appears. Without Louis. ‘It’s not looking good,’ he says.
My heart lurches in my chest.
‘It is his heart,’ he says. ‘He is struggling to breathe.’
Saying the words I don’t want to hear. The words I dreaded.
Sarah, Carolann and I go for a coffee. To talk it through, what do I do? Invasive surgery or?
Twenty minutes later, the vets face is solemn.
‘He has deteriorated,’
he says, with sad eyes, and returns to the place behind the curtain.
Returning, with Louis wrapped in his blanket. Looking so small and fragile. I bent forward, to hold him, whisper words of love, kiss his little head and pink nose, my eyes dropping tears upon his furry Body. Stroking him gently for the last time.
‘I love you little Louis. I love you.’
His glorious, green eyes met mine. Sobs are choking me. My heart breaks and he is gone.
Louis, you were a glorious creature.
Below. The three cats visit each others homes, Theo, Ella and Louis.