Goodbye to my cat! #TruePrue

Goodbye to my cat!

Whenever I show signs of doo-lallyness, like thinking it’s Monday when it’s Sunday or calling my son by the dog’s name, my husband John asks “Vet?”.  It’s partly my fault because I bang on about how much better off pets are than their owners, as, when they are long past it, they get a kindly jab from the vet.

Well, last month I sat on the sofa with my ancient and much-loved Magnificat on my lap waiting for the vet to arrive. Mags was asleep and purring, occasionally half-heartedly kneeding my leg. His coat felt silky-soft and clean and he was obviously content. I started to have second thoughts, becoming tearful and anxious. Surely he was still enjoying some of his life, between the bouts of vomiting everywhere and yowling? Yes, he was a bag of bones and he’d obviously lost his mind, mistaking the front door mat (and any corner anywhere) for his litter tray. But he ate like a horse and loved to be petted. He particularly liked our Cavalier spaniel to lick his ears, inside and out.

The vet was due at noon. When a smartly suited man arrived I was surprised. For some reason I’d expected one of the female vets I knew, but he looked vaguely familiar, and kind. He sat on the sofa opposite me, and asked me how I was.  I’d been weepy before he came and now I found myself blurting out all my anxieties, desperate for reassurance that I was doing the right thing. As I blathered on, jumping from Mag’s yowling and weak back legs to his shiny coat and purring. On and on I went while he looked increasingly concerned. Finally I just said “What would you do? Do you think I’m right? Should I be putting him down?”

He frowned, shaking his head. “No, no, don’t land this on me! I can’t make that decision. I’m your accountant! I’ve come to help you with your tax form.”

When we’d stopped laughing, he went into my office to look at invoices and was replaced by a female vet and her assistant who did the deed most sympathetically and gently, while Mags went from purring doze to that deeper sleep from which no kittycat returns, without waking.  They left me a pile of literature about memorial pet caskets and tombstones, ceremonial burials and grief counselling. I’m afraid we just dug a hole for Magnificat in the garden under a tree planted in memory of my brother. I wonder if it would be legal for me to go in there too one day? I think you have to be six feet deep and 50 metres from a water course. I’ll check.

What a strange day. A lot of sadness and a lot of somewhat hysterical hilarity. When regaling my mistaken identity blunder to John, he just said “Vet?”