Today was a sad day in the Russell house. We had to say goodbye to one of our 3 cats. His name was Tom, and he was about 20 years old.
He came to live with us about 9 years ago when we were living in Wokingham. He was a raggy, saggy mog that lived in the shed that was by the stables at the bottom of our garden. The couple who rented the stables fed him cheap, nasty cat food and left him behind when they moved on, and the new lady that moved in brought her own cat who was pregnant and poor Tom got moved out.
We'd been feeding him after he was left by the previous owners, and during this month he had begun to come down the garden and sit near the pond half way down, eventually being brave enough to follow one of our other cats into the house through the cat flap.
He didn't get on well with Manic at first, there was a little fighting and he tried to claim his territory by weeing on the carpet (many times!) but we stuck with him and he became part of the family, and moved house with us 6 years ago.
When we got him his eyes were bad, he was smelly, raggy and full of fleas, but after a few trips to the vets, a complete de-fleaing he began to come out of himself and we found him to be a very placid, friendly mog who was actually frightened of loud noises, sudden movements and anything that he was unsure of.
Pic: Tom just after his eye operation:
Over the last 8 years we've shown him love, paid a small fortune in vet bills and given him the life he deserved. He was still smelly and earned himself the nickname Stinky Tom, but we still loved him. Even when he pooed on the floor from time to time, or wee'd over the edge of the litter tray because he couldn't get his bum in!
He's not been very well for some time. He had a growth in his mouth that the vets think was a tumour, but because of his age and his fear of vets we opted not to operate. His kidneys were also failing, but at an estimated age of 20+ we felt it was better to not put him through the trauma of a major operation.
A few days ago he changed. It was like Mr Tom wasn't there any more, we aren't sure why but he became lethargic and confused, and when he didn't really eat anything yesterday we knew his time was close - One thing Tom loved more than anything in the world (other than his cuddles) was his chunks in gravy.
We took him to the vet this morning, who sadly confirmed the kindest thing for him was to put him to sleep. I've never had to do this before, but we know it was right for him.
He passed away at 10.30am, into a deep and peaceful place.
We will miss him.
Goodbye Mr Tom. This will always be our favourite picture of you x x x