4 December 2008

Lucy Is Dead

I’m crying my eyes out. Lucy died not more than ten minutes ago, put to rest by a very sympathetic vet, called out at 11pm to see to our sickly cat. It turned out that she had been poisoned, most probably by accident, and as she was in extreme pain and with only a 10%-20% of surviving, we, (Guy, Julie and myself) decided that she had suffered enough. I have just left Guy cuddling his beloved cat wrapped in the orange pashmina to which she had taken a liking over the last few days of her life. Bijou and Shadow are sniffing around aware that something terrible has happened.

As I wrote a few days ago, Lucy had come back to visit us after Tan and Angie had gone off to England. This is normal for Lucy. As soon as Tan and Angie leave on one of their frequent trips, Lucy comes round looking for food and then settles on the sofa with one eye on Coco and the other on Bijou. This time she stayed for only a couple of days and then left on one of her sojourns. Three days later, during which it had rained and rained and rained and rained, and as I was working outside the house, I heard Lucy’s plaintive meow high up in the terraces. It was a miracle that I saw her hidden amongst the autumn leaves of the bushes and trees which populate the terracing which is so common in Provence.  Despite calling her, to which she normally responds by bounding down the steep terracing, she stayed put, crying plaintively. I knew something was wrong. When I reached her, it was obvious that she had damaged her left front paw and as I carried her down the slopes, she looked up at me with gratitude in her olive eyes.

We looked at her paw, gave her plenty of fish to eat and milk to drink and she seemed fine although the paw was still giving trouble a few days later. Whilst cuddling her, I also discovered a lump on her breast. That was it. J took her down to the vets and she was given an anti-inflammatory injection to ward off any infection and was scheduled for an operation to remove the lump.

And then yesterday she didn’t eat anything. Overnight she slept on the bed and stayed there all morning. At lunch time today I tried to tempt her with some tuna but although she tried, she just couldn’t eat anything.

At about 5pm she started to get listless and floppy. She wanted her own space. No more cuddles. At 6pm she started to look for cool, dark spaces. I knew then that Lucy was dying. Her sister, Camille had sought the cave in which to die sitting on her haunches and Lucy’s posture was exactly the same as Camille’s position when found.

We tried to leave her to rest but both Guy and I could not just sit there and do nothing. We both lay on the floor stroking her head and saying how much we loved her.

At about 8pm I told Guy his cat was dying and that he should look after her. At 10pm she was obviously in a huge amount of pain and J called the vet for a house call. He arrived at approx 10.45pm and immediately diagnosed poison.

When the decision was taken to end poor Lucy’s life, I could not bear to watch. I returned after about 5 minutes following an anaesthetising injection and she was still breathing. I could not bear to watch the final stage and as I wandered down the hall in floods of tears, I heard poor Lucy cry out. It was her final sounds.

1 comment:

Allison said...

I'm very sorry about Lucy - I don't know what I will do when my dog nears the end of his life. I don't think I'll even be able to handle it!
Lucy looked like a beautiful cat, and as I said, I'm very sorry for your loss!