Wednesday 30 July 2008


Clyde died today. I don't really want to be writing this and I expect it'll be complete rubbish because I'm crying, but I do need to give him an epitaph because he was a star and I love him so much, and anyway I think it'll help me to write it down as it was such an awful shock.

This is Clyde last Christmas unwrapping his present - a wind-up turkey. We called it Gwyneth Poultry. Clyde preferred the box and the wrapping paper...

I like this photo because he looks well and happy - and he is - oh, God - was - such an easy-going soppy boy... He used to sleep with us - on the pillows behind our heads, with his back feet tucked under The Toyboy Trucker's chin, and his front paws anchored in my hair - and he'd purr all night long - and we sometimes used to grizzle at him (especially when it was a hot night) - and now he'll never, never do it again...

Can't believe what's happened really. All too quick. If you've read the earlier bits in the blog about Clyde, you'll know that the vet thought he was okay, but I still had my doubts because, well, you know your own children, don't you? And I just wasn't happy with him - he was simply a bit off... So, this morning I took him back to the vet, accompanied by my lovely friend and neighbour, Vee, because I didn't want to be on my own and The Toyboy Trucker is away and Elle is still on holiday.

Clyde, after a good breakfast of pilchards, travelled well in the car, and behaved perfectly in the vets. She checked him over, still couldn't find anything amiss, and said she'd do some blood tests as I wasn't happy. Vee, Clyde and I waited - and the results were fine - no FIV (feline aids) or FIL (feline leukaemia) both of which I was dreading as they're death sentences and we've lost cats to them before - in fact nothing untoward at all except a high protein count on the liver test which would indicate he was jaundiced. So the vet suggested that she kept him in for an hour or so, did a scan to see how damaged his liver was, and then prescribe a course of treatment. I asked if he'd be okay - and she said yes, as long as we got the right level of medication there was absolutely no reason why he shouldn't carry on for years. Clyde was standing on her table, purring, happily head-butting all the equipment, so I gave him a kiss and told him I'd be back in a couple of hours and he could have chicken breast for lunch. Then Vee and I - massively relieved - set off home.

Within an hour the vet rang me (and yes, I knew) to say that the scan had shown a mass behind his liver, and would I give permission for her to do an exploratory op to determine what it was. Of course I said yes, but my heart was on the floor... I paced up and down, feeling so, so sick - and twenty minutes later she rang back to say he had a massive lymphoma behind his liver, attached to his spine and ribs and growing into his kidneys.... There was absolutely nothing she could do.

As he was already unconscious, we agreed it was best to put him to sleep immediately.

So, I fell apart. I never said goodbye to him. I can't, can't believe it. To be so optimistic and then for the worst thing in the world to happen in such a short space of time... The vet did everything she could, I know that, and I did take him as soon as I knew there was something wrong, and so he didn't suffer at all - but none of that is helping right now... I just love him, and miss him, and want him back...

RIP Clyde, my beautiful, big, soppy boy - I love you.


karen said...

Dear Christina,
I'm sooo sorry to hear about Clyde.As a cat owner I know exactly how you feel. My cat BigBoy was put to sleep in July of this year, he was 15 years old.
He was so much part of the family, he was a best friend to all 4 of my children and now he sleeps peacefully under our plum tree.
Clyde may be gone but he will live forever in your heart Christina.
Take care,

Christina Jones said...

Thanks so much for your kind words and your understanding, Karen - and so very sorry about BigBoy. Heartbreaking doesn't come close does it?