Just when I had got to thinking that all was well with little Chim, ‘things’ have turned out to be decidedly not so. She had been eating well, and generally mucking about to almost her normal level, she had managed a few lengthy sorties to the neighbouring gardens, with little to report other that a bit more fatigue than on previous occasions, but given that she has been so ill that was not surprising. She was out for most of the day on Monday as I had a major house cleaning session and she very sensibly made herself scarce. When she eventually returned it was after dark and I was not surprised to see her crash out onto a cushion, but a little concerned that she stayed there for the rest of the night and didn’t eat. We were running around madly on Tuesday, and I only saw her in the house once or twice, but she had been eating and seemed OK, if a little lethargic. She disappeared out of the front door on Wednesday morning after breakfast and again we didn’t see her for the rest of the day, assuming she had recovered her strength after a long sleep and was off re-establishing her presence in the neighbourhood, I wasn’t too concerned.
It was long after Moo had gone to bed that I happened to pop out to retrieve something I had left in the car and I saw her lying in the middle of the path. I called her, and she could barely move so I picked her up and brought her inside. To say she was a bit floppy would be a gross understatement of the fact, it appeared that none of her muscles had any kind of tension to them at all. I laid her on a hastily prepared bed on the sofa, and gave her a dose of vitamins, left over from the last vets visit, that had done her so much good previously. She tried to stand but couldn’t even do that so I fed her some water from a syringe. I probably should have taken her to the emergency vet then and there, but the mum in me told me not to wake up Moo at this late hour and take her into the freezing cold night, but to wait for a few hours till she was at school, and then I wouldn’t have that to worry about too.
Now I am almost sure I made the wrong decision.
I couldn’t get to sleep so I came back downstairs to sit with her, as I came down I heard a pitiful cry from the corner of the living room. She had fallen off the sofa and couldn’t get back up again. I placed her on her blanket once more and went to get a drink before rejoining her. I held her on my lap and it became clear she was losing the fight. Less than half an hour later and with only a tiny whimper to mark the moment, our little Chimney lay dead in my arms.
I don’t know if the vet would have been able to do anything more for her as it was less than 2 and a half hours since I found her till she died. The rapidity of her decline makes me think that there would not have been much they could have done. Maybe the anti-biotics she was on were simply masking more serious symptoms as the time from her last dose, and apparent health, to her death was just 2 days. Or maybe she had been foraging and inadvertently found some rat poison. I know some of the locals have started putting it down now that spring is here, and that would certainly account for the speed of her demise. The fact that I will never know if she would have survived, had I taken her to the vet when I found her last night, will more than likely haunt me.
I am so very sad right now. We had just been though a life and death scenario with her and it made me realise just how much a part of our family she had become, and to lose her so soon is heart-breaking.
I haven’t broken the news to Moo yet. I thought it best to wait till after school when we can lay her to rest together. I’m sure she will deal with it better than I.
I will go out this morning and dig a grave for her in our back garden.
Au revoir et repos dans la paix ma petite Cheminée.