goodbye suki

My beautiful bright-eyed girl - less than 18 months ago

I know that I have mentioned my cat in a post on here before – and in fact it brought me quite a few Google searches – mainy from people looking for a ‘London cat lady’ for some reason. there must be some mad old bird in london somewhere who keeps all the stray cats in one area, has a house that smells of wee, wears purple and tea cosies as hats and shouts at children.

That’s not me though. Yet.

More than 20-21 years ago, my cousin’s cat had kittens. Four of them.  Me and the guy who was to become hubby #1 had just bought a house and got me a rescue cat (I don’t like cats, I’m a dog-person, but wanted a pet) and my cousin wondered if we would like one of the kittens – she had even picked one out for me!  Me and three of my friends ended up having one each.

I had the most adventurous of the lot…the one who was always trying to escape the room in the house my cousin rented, the one who climbed the laundry mountain, the one who was always hiding and pouncing out on her brother and sisters.  So when she was just a couple of days shy of 6 weeks old, we drove her from Collier Row to Gillingham (through the tunnel – no bridge at that time!) and brought her home.

The first photo I ever took of her (hence why so faded)

I remember watching her practice how to jump – leaping off the sofa and quickly turning round to see how far she’d made it, and then scrambling up and trying again.  I remember her getting stuck in the net curtains, about 7ft from the floor and dangling by 2 claws, I remember her getting shut in the fridge and how as a kitten she just generally terrorised my other cat (in a loving, mischevious way).

She has outlived two marriages, countless relationships, forgiven me for having a baby, moved 4 times, must have caught about 500+ rats/mice (but never birds as I nursed an injured bird in the first week of having her, and I think she felt they were off-limits) , fought other cats and even foxes off of her territory, annoyed the hell out of me, and generally always loved me more than anything/anyone.  No matter what, she has always been my cat.

She was never really a lap-cat and didn’t particularly like other people, gaining her the nickname of ‘Hellcat’ from my cat-loving friend who she seemed to hate for some inexplicable reason.  However, over the past 5 years or so, she’s been an old girl and mellowed out, and wanted to be closer to people and get some fuss.  She still went out every day though, leapt overhe 6ft fence and regularly brought us small rodents (or parts of them) as a token of her love.  She had even spent the past couple of years refocusing her attentions onto The Girl as she had become chief Suki-feeder.

Last night she was fine – old, yes, a little bit stumbly, yes, all fur and bones, yes – but still moaning for milk if we went in the kitchen, jumping in the bathroom sink to get us to turn the tap on and wandering around happy enough.

This morning, The Man said to me “I think it might be the end of the cat’s line – come and see”.  She was lying on the sofa, but with her head at a funny angle.  No matter what we did, she couldn’t lift her head up properly.  When I went into the kitchen, she half-slid off the sofa and attempted to follow me, but her legs kept giving up on her.  It wasn’t right. SHE wasn’t right.

We cuddled her and stroked her and had her sitting on my lap, she was purring and giving me nose-love, but she couldn’t ‘be Suki’.

The last photo I ever took of her, this morning

I had always said that as she had lasted so long with only two trips to the vet in her life (both times for fleas – once at 7 weeks and once 11 years ago) that I didn’t want her to be in pain, didn’t want to feel she wasn’t enjoying life, didn’t want to ‘keep her alive’, I had always promised myself and her that when she couldn’t maintain the life that she has always loved so much, that I would let her go with dignity.

From realisation to decision to booking to saying goodbye took less than three hours – and for that I am grateful.  Me and The Man took her together, sobbing like idiots, held her all the way, talked to her, said goodbye and held her as she went to sleep.  I am grateful that The Girl went away with her dad yesterday for a week as it is her birthday tomorrow and this would have ruined it for her.  I have asked him to prepare her for it a couple of days before she comes home so that it isn’t a shock.  I am going to make her a collage of photos to keep in her room. I have also told ex-hubby #1 who was very sad and glad she went out without declining.

RIP Suki-cat.  Miss you already.  I wish you were here to lick the tears from my face like you used to.  Thank you for all the memories, joy, laughs and entertainment.  If we get infested by rats, I am going to blame you kitten xx


11 thoughts on “goodbye suki

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  1. Oh, sweetie. My heart is breaking for you right now. I am so sorry that this happened, and I am sending you a hug. Your post has me crying and I hope that your pain heals soon. She seemed like a wonderful lively cat, and she was lucky to have you in her life as well. Hugs to you and your family.

  2. Hi, Like you I have an ancient cat. Jasper is 29 years old is very wobbly and like Suki has never had an illness in his life. Like you I have made my mind up that when the time comes I will ensure that Jasper leaves us with plenty of memories and with his dignity intact.

    Take care, Suki is in my thoughts. I will tell Jasper all about her later tonight.

    Mick Narrowboat73

  3. I am so sad about what happened to Suki, I never meet her but still I felt all the pain you just felt letting her go. I was a pet owner before but not from a cat but a dog, and he passed away like what happened to Suki. That was really sad and really uncomfortable, but still I have to face the reality that the pet I’ve loved and took care for almost a year, needs to go and say goodbye.

  4. Although I feel quite sorry for you and the girl, your post did not make me cry…it made me think back lovingly to my cat who was a dead ringer for Suki as a kitten. She too waited for someone to use the bathroom so she could get a drink of fresh water. I had a small window that was left open year round for her to go out so I never had a litter box – but once, evidently in an emergency, she peed exactly in the middle of the bathtub drain, and once in a small handpainted china cup on my desk (no, I never drank out of the cup – before or after). At the time I was furious, but now I just have to laugh. She got a bit crazy as she aged, but then I seem to be doing that also. I am sure you have countless precious memories and you can take comfort in knowing you lovingly helped her out of this world.

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