Paw Prints on our Hearts

I have written many times about the fact that our pet dogs are Joshua’s best friends, but I have never previously written about our cat. Sadly I had to take our 12 year old cat, Star, to the vet to be put to sleep yesterday. He had been unwell and receiving steroid treatment for toxoplasmosis for 5 years and he lived in a spare bedroom, as the steroids weakened his immune system, meaning that his latent cat flu took hold , despite vaccinations. He has had many emergency dashes to the vets when I thought it was the end; they would put him on a drip as he was dehydrated and give him a bumper dose of IV steroids, and the next day, he would be bright and well again. So we affectionately knew him as ‘Miracle Cat’ and he was well loved at the vets as he made these dramatic recoveries, which must have been satisfying for them. But I knew that last week was different, he was not responding to the increase in steroids and was getting weaker.

On dry or sunny days, he would spend his time in the garden but that was more challenging in the winter, but I would try to put him outdoors for at least an hour when the weather was kind enough. He would tend to jump onto the window ledge and glare at us to let him back in. So Joshua did not see much of Star, because he was either in his bedroom or in the garden. But he does a good impression of me calling ” Star!”, both when I would take him some sliced ham in the morning to wrap around his medication and when I would open the back door and call him in from the garden. In fact, whenever I open the back door, Joshua will shout “Star!”. Although he has not been sitting on our knees for a few years now, Star was still a big part of our routine. On the days, last summer when we were sitting on the steps of Joshua’s pod, Star would often come and visit us and sit with us too, watching the world go by. When he was feeling well enough, Star would come for walks with us, either around our field or even up the lane on occasions.

Star was part of our family and today my husband will dig him a grave in our back garden, alongside his brother and every dog and cat that we have owned in the 26 years that we have lived in this house. We will say some kind words and share some memories of Star as we bury him and will plant some spring bulbs to mark his grave. I cried for Star last night and , although he was not as integral part of our family as our dogs are, he was still a special cat and he will be missed. I imagine that Joshua will still be calling for ‘Star’ in his high voiced impression of me, for months, or maybe years, to come. Rest in Peace Star xx

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