Wednesday, April 28, 2021

goodnight sweet pelle, 2005 - 2021

Yesterday caught me completely by surprise and deep sorrow. My darling Pelle, who turned 16 a couple of weeks ago, is no more. And the circumstances of his demise are bizarre, unexpected and so unfortunate in a way that only deepens the sorrow.

When I got home yesterday afternoon, I opened the door to the garden, letting the furry gang outside for some sun and fresh air. Pelle went to his favourite sun trap in the scillas behind the lilacs hedge for a cosy nap. 

A few hours later everyone but Pelle had come inside. I went out to see where he was hiding and called for him. To no avail. 

When he was a young chap he regularly found his way up the tree, over to the garden shed and then made his way out on adventures unknown. During the early days he made me crazy with worry where he’d gone roaming, but as there clearly was no way of stopping him from not doing his neighbourhood rounds (but for never letting him out into the fenced in garden at all) I kind of settled with trusting he’d always found his way back home to us.

As an old gentleman the running away on adventures had lost its appeal though. Sleeping, eating, drinking, cuddling, snoopervising, sitting in the sun and eating grass weather permitted, was his melody of life.

Why on earth should he had ventured outside the garden now? So I waited a bit before I made a Pelle search party.

Around 7 pm a woman called and presented herself as a neighbour in my hoods, and also being an animal welfare inspector at the county administrative board. She had been made aware of a cat in very poor condition walking around in the neighbourhood via a local Facebook group. Found the cat in question and took him to the vet. Where his ID-chip, registred to me, was discovered.

She said he was very skinny, dehydrated and in extremly poor condition. She was very civil but at the same time I felt rather questioned and seen as a suspicious, incompetent cat owner.

I explained that yes, he had become thinner lately, but that’s very common with old cats and as long as he remained his usual self, had an appetite for food and water, which he had, I didn’t concidered his state alarming.

So what had happened during those few hours. How could he have become dehydrated so quickly? And had I been so blinded by our close relationship that I hadn’t seen his deteriation? And on the scale of really bad meowmies, where do I fit? 

I talked to the vet and we decided to let him peacefully be put to sleep that evening. As I don’t have a car, or driver, and public transport is out of question in the time of corona, I couldn’t get to the vet clinic (not the one within walking distance) I lost the opportunity to say a proper goodbye.

And despite being identified as his owner and that he had vet insurance, the payment, for some weird reasons, couldn’t be cleared directly with me. Instead he ended up being taken into custody by the county administrative board, which officially decided on him being put to sleep (given his state) with the vet’s advice and me agreeing to it.

They will get invoiced the vet bill and then send they will invoice me. For no reasonable reason at all, but bureaucracy. And who knows how many extra charges I’ll be forced to pay because of that.

I decided long ago that I will never ever again, after nasty situations with incompetent veterinarians, put 10+ year old cats through lengthy or invasive procedures. The only one who will reap any real benefits from that is the veterinary clinic in terms of pricey vet bills. So given the extreme circumstances I think the decision of the final sleep was the right one.

That doesn’t stop me from forever blaming myself for not seeing his uncharacteristic jumping the fence decision. For not doing a search party early on and taking him home. And then taking him to the local vet instead, not putting him through that extra stress of being probed and surrounding by strangers for the last few hours of his dear and precious life. 

To add to the surrealism of it all, apparently that local Facebook group (of which I’m not a member, didn’t know existed and have no interest whatsoever to be a member of. There’s just an extra kind of stupid flourishing on Facebook. And even more so in those local neighbourhood groups) see fit to discuss the situation and the *fact* that I shouldn’t be allowed to own cats. Seriously. 

With exactly zero knowledge of the background story, not knowing anything of who I am, my extensive experience with and love for cats (including those 20 years of being a flawless breeder of British Shorthairs), they are apparently self-appointed experts on everything related.

People are idiots. And even more so on Facebook. How about that for a fact.

To add an extra layer of craziness to this, I came home today and put on a pot of delicious chili sin carne leftovers for lunch. I then sat myself down in the garden in the sun, thinking about Pelle, about life, and how things have a tendency to sneak up on us unexpectedly, and hello sorrow, my old friend, I wish we didn’t have to meet so soon again.

Forgot about the chili. Which had then turned into a smokey, black mess when I went inside. The kitchen was dense with smoke, thankfully without fire. But it was sticky and nasty. The fire/smoke alarm didn’t react until later, when I tried to air and  ventilate as best I could.

Myself I coughed and whined, and my throat is still sore and dry. The smell has kind of stuck inside my nose. But the cats were basically, whatever, can we get more wet food now?

My only really big pot was obviously ruined. And that nice stirring spoon too. Whatever was I thinking (if at all) when I let a plastic spoon in the pot without supervising it all close at hand?

So no anticipated vegan chili leftovers for me today. And I don’t trust myself with the stove now. So I had grilled sheese sandwiches and a salad for dinner instead. Plus gulped down a litre of blood orange juice, after that ordeal. 

On the second day in a row feeling like a complete nincompoop.

I deeply wish April 2021 had been rounded off on a high and happy note. Not like this. Nothing whatsoever similar to this. 16 years of loving that quirky, sweetest of sweet tyke named Pelle. And then that story ended like this. How unnecessary and painful is that?

Two days left to prove yourself to be a better month, April, can you do it? 

Saturday, April 03, 2021

happy nine years day, littlest ågot

Nine years ago today, the last of Luddkolt’s British Shorthair litter were born. It wasn’t a concious choice at that time. It just became a fact. Been there, done that, everything in life has its time. And admittedly, breeding quality never quantity brits may be filled with both joy and sorrow, and lots of oxytocin filled cuddles, but it doesn’t exactly save the world.

So after 20 years, countless of cat shows, weekend hours on the roads all over Sweden and Norway, and seven generations of teddybearish kitties the decision grew that it was enough.

Today the littlest of the beloved bunch of tykes turns 9. She doesn’t look a day older than 2.

If my memory serves me right (and who knows after this corona-year) I have a couple of oldies turning 16-17 this month too. 

And then they were seven, left. I’m not sure how to live, or even cope, without brits in my life. All kitties are created equal, but after spending decades in the company of these plush characters, the love story is solid and forever. So I’ll just not think about the bleak prospect of old age taking its toll.

Anyway, it may be Easter Eve today, but it’s also Caturday and most of all it’s Ågot-day, the happiest of birthdays to you, darling fluffster, may we have many more lovely years together, me, you and everyone else in the Luddkolt’s family of very special kitties! 

EDIT: Bad Meowmy with brain fog or a case of April’s fool, I thought Easter Eve was April 4, Ågot’s birthday. So technically I posted this a day early. Oops. 

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