I went to say my goodbyes on Tuesday night. Claud had an appointment with the vet yesterday to end his life. I was glad to see that despite all his troubles – kidney failure, weak back legs, trouble peeing – there was still a sufficiency of Claud about him.
He even sat on my knee for a while.

We raised our glasses in a toast to him; a distinguished old gentleman who had the best whiskers for miles, and who certainly wasn’t behind the door when good looks, charm and personality were given out.

How do you decide when the moment has come to let your pet go? Octavia didn’t want him to be at the point where he was suffering so much there was no joy in his life, and so arranged for the vet to come to the house. I believe she made the right decision. Phoebe, Claud’s housemate for many years, had a similar visit a few weeks ago. Cancer riddled her body and she was fading. Further intervention would have been cruel.

Which means the Grey Ninja is the only cat in the house. Mind you, she had her paws full with domestic duties on Tuesday evening.

We drank more wine and watched her.


32 thoughts on “Claud

  1. Thanks Isobel. We used to say that Claud was a Buddha (a rather naughty one). We felt privileged that he’d chosen us to spend his life with.

  2. That’s a good question: when have we to end their life? In our case, when I saw our pet did not eat any more, this was a signal, and as we both work and do not wish to find our pet dead when coming back from home, which means he or she died alone, we went to the vet to put our pet asleep.

    It did not happen that way with our beautiful cat Fame. She had a tumor, but was still eating and drinking. On a September evening, we went to an organic fair, I would feed our cats and dog before we went, but no cat in sight, so we left and fed the kitties when we came back. I had been struggling since a few weeks with the idea of putting asleep Fame, but I did not want her last ride to be one to the vet and was always postponing the date… That evening, I don’t know why, but I took her in my arms and whispered in her ear that she had been such a sweet kitty and had brightened up our life, she ate and went to sleep in a chair. When we wake up the following morning, I took the decision to take her to the vet the next Friday, but when I opened the door, she laid there, dead… I was so sad, but at the same time I was relieved that I did not had to go to the vet… I don’t know what to think, and above all, what to do…

    Claud was a beautiful cat, a tuxedo, my preferred ones!

    • This s the poem that comes to mind:

      A 14-year old convalescent cat

      Gavin Ewart (b: 1916)

      I want him to have another living summer
      to lie in the sun and enjoy the douceur de vivre –
      because the sun, like golden rum in a rummer,
      is what makes an idle cat un tout petit peu ivre –

      I want him to lie stretched out, contented,
      revelling in the heat, his fur all dry and warm,
      an Old Age Pensioner, retired, resented
      by no one, and happinesses in a beelike swarm

      to settle on him, postponed for another season
      that last fated hateful journey to the vet
      from which there is no return (and age the reason),
      which must soon come – as I cannot forget.

  3. What a gorgeous boy Claud was….my condolences to your friend Octavia for having to say goodbye to two of her cats in such short order. It’s the kindest thing to do – sparing them any further trouble when their time is close but it doesn’t make that final goodbye any less painful really…….I’m glad you were there with Octavia – and had a chance to say your own goodbye to Claud.

    Hugs, Pam

  4. It’s always so hard when we have to make the decision. I would rather it be over swiftly than to have a beloved fur-baby suffer. But it’s so distressing …. losing a member of the family.
    Hugs and prayers for Octavia AND you.


  5. Such a beautiful cat. Claud and Phoebe were both very lucky cats. They had someone that loved them and respected them to the very end. In my experience, my heart just knew with each of our kitties. I did it too late with Z Cat because CH couldn’t let her go. She suffered.

    • That is so true. Both were very loved, and their welfare was a high priority. Both are mourned, will be remembered with fond affection, and the knowledge that their lives were not extended painfully to satisfy their humans’ needs.

    • We take on pets knowing they will die. We love them, and part of that responsibility means making sure they do not suffer unnecessarily. It’s a tough one.
      Claud was a great cat. I am glad I knew him, and I know I shall miss him.

  6. I miss both Claud and Phoebe, and as I have an elderly cat with kidney failure, am facing the same prospect one of these days, although she’s ok at the moment. Have never forgotten O. bringing him with her to stay when he was just a kitten, the first time I met him.
    On another topic, how on earth do you get snow to fall on your blog?

    • Tell us the story!
      As for the snow, it is an option on WordPress every Christmas. I signed up a few years back, and now it turns on automatically.
      I hope your cat has a good while of quality life left yet.

      • It’s not really all that exciting – O. brought him up to Yorkshire when he was very very new, I think it might have been over Xmas. He was terribly timid, as I recall, and utterly gorgeous – a ball of black and white fluff.. He lived in the kitchen I think. I’d never known anyone travel with a cat before, I thought it was only dogs who travelled!
        As for Muffin (aka Madam), she sits right in front of me on the computer desk, whenever I’m working on anything, and every minute or so she pats me with her paw, claws (no longer retractable) extended, to gain my attention (she’s just done it now!) because I ought to be focussing on her. She frequently succeeds as I find myself having to disentangle her claws from my clothing or remove them from my person, calling her rude names the while, because they are sharp!

  7. That is the hardest part of having pets…they do not live as long as we do. I had to get the vet out for my 17 year old kelpie a few years ago and it was heartbreakingly sad to have to make that decision. It is never easy. Give Octavia my best.

    • It is quite a daunting responsibility. Seventeen years is longer than some marriages last.
      Octavia reads this, in fact she has commented below, so I am sure she will be comforted a little by the comments people have made here.

  8. It’s a horrible decision to make, no doubt, and we can only hope that our timing is right. I agree with Octavia that it’s better to do it before the suffering begins. I’m sorry she’s had to make this decision twice in such a short span, and send her my condolences.

  9. I’m brokenhearted to hear about Claud and Phoebe but Octavia was right, they don’t need to suffer much longer. I’m sure, in cat heavens, they’re smiling and thankful to have such a blessed life.

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