My cat (bring tissues)

UPDATED: Tuesday, May 13, 2008 19:03
PAGE 1 of 1

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 12:15 AM


When mrs ff and I finally settled down, we bought a cat as our first pet. It was a seal point birman which look like this:

We got him when he was about 10 weeks old and we named him Champaka Ramanayake, after a Sri Lankan cricket player who was touring NZ at the time. (We wanted an Asian name for our Asian breed of cat and no name is more euphonous.)

Later, when ff jr was born in 1994, he and Champaka bcame the best of friends. In fact, ff jr is a bit of a cat whisperer and can do things with the most viscious of feral cats that I wouldn't have believed. Then we had little miss ff in 1997 and she too loved our darling "first bought."

Sadly, Champaka has grown old. We bought him in 1991 and in the last year or so he's started to show signs of deteriorating brain function (and arthritis of the spine). He sometimes walks in circles and he often goes to the hinges of the door when asking to be let out.

So we talked to a vet and he said there was no need to put him down but that was also no concern about introducing a new cat into the house. Ff jr, who had been adament that we would not buy a new cat when Champaka died because he was irreplacable, deemed it acceptable to buy a kitten now as a companion for Champaka.

On Saturday, we brought our new cat home, Rumesh Ratnayake. (He's named for a slightly less euphonous Sri Lankan player from the same team.) As kittens, birmans look like this:
P.S. these pics are googled; they're not my specific cats.

At first Rumesh was a little terrified of this big fella that he'd never seen before but, because Champaka treated him with total disinterest, he soon stopped hissing and just got on with being a kitten: pouncing on pompoms, chasing string, scratching everything upright.

Then last night, Champaka had a seizure when Mrs ff picked him up. He jumped and started spinning on the ground. He suddenly stiffened and went absolutely rigid, apparently not breathing. Mrs ff and ff jr screamed that he was dying. I was downstairs watching telly and little miss ff was drawing. We both charged upstairs where I saw Champaka staggering with no controls over his back legs and little purchase with his front. His body was twisted in a longitudinal spiral. He had lost bladder function and his rear quarter was covered in his own urine.

I held him and stroked him until his movements settled then Mrs ff and I took him to the vet. The diagnosis was either epilepsy (after 17 years without any sign), a brain tumour or a stroke. We asked the vet to administer a lethal injection and brought him home in a cardboard box.

I dug a grave in the garden next to the back path. We all kissed him and ff jr placed a gold coin in his paw to pay the ferryman. Little miss ff said a few words (as a family we're not generally given to praying) and we buried him.

I'm trying to write this as a cathartic experience; my general response to pain is to ignore it and let it go away but I want to get this one out as fast as possible. Our brilliant plan to have two cats lasted a whole weekend. I miss my cat. - my life


Tuesday, May 13, 2008 12:34 AM


I'm so sorry. We lost our cat at the beginning of this year, to a combination of old age and illness. We had to have the vet visit us. At least you get to say goodbye to them with peace and dignity...I'm starting to cry, typing this.

Remember the good times, and enjoy your new kitten. It's not a case of replacing the irreplacable, but gaining another new personality into your lives.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008 4:34 AM


Losing a cat is very hard. My prayers are with you and your family while you get through this.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008 4:53 AM


So sorry Hugh! I've lost two cats, one I had for 18 years, one I had for 4. It's not easy. They really are family members and the grief of losing them is quite intense.

Hugs! It'll get better!

hmm-burble-blah, blah-blah-blah, take a left


Tuesday, May 13, 2008 8:16 AM


The following is on another board I frequent and like the author, thought I'd pass this on.


There is a bridge connecting Heaven and Earth. It is called the rainbow bridge because of its many colors. Just this side of the rainbow bridge there is a land of meadows, hills and valleys with lush green grass.

When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place. There is always food and water and warm spring weather. The old and frail animals are young again. They play all day with each other.

There is only one thing missing. They are not with their special person who loved them on earth. So, each day they run and play until the day comes when one suddenly stops playing and looks up. The nose twitches. The ears are up. The eyes are staring. And this one runs from the group.

You have been seen, and when you and your special friend meet, you take him or her in your arms and embrace. Your face is kissed again and again and again, and you look once more into the eyes of your trusting pet.

Then you cross the rainbow bridge together, never again to be separated.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008 7:03 PM


I am sorry Hugh.

We had to put our Seal Point down last year. He wasnt a cat really, he was just a furry person. We buried him in the garden and I like to think of him as being out there terrorizing the squirrel population.

I am on The List. We are The Forsaken and we aim to burn!
"We don't fear the reaper"

FORSAKEN original






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