Yesterday afternoon was one of the most miserable afternoons I have known for a long, long time. As the icy January rain lashed down outside I sat beside my phone waiting to hear the prognosis from the vet with whom I had left my ailing cat, Eddie.
I sort of already knew what the outcome would be when I took the fluffy little fella into the surgery at 3.00 p.m. Since Saturday morning his back legs had been getting weaker and weaker, which suggested to me that his state of health had become pretty poor but the vet wanted to make absolutely sure so that we weren’t ending a life unnecessarily. I went home and Eddie stayed behind to have his heart scanned. On a happier day I would have asked if this was a CAT scan but I wasn’t very happy, so I didn’t.
At 5.45 p.m. the phone rang. Eddie had chronic heart disease which had caused a blood clot to form at the base of his spine. This was the reason he had lost the use of his back legs. The conversation lasted about five minutes. The vet did most of the talking. The conclusion was that it would be best for Eddie if he was put to sleep. I put the phone down feeling desperately sad. Eddie was gone.
I’m not really a cat lover and I had talked of finding somewhere else for Eddie to live where he would get more attention. He was well fed and looked after but missed out on the affection that he loved so much that he would contentedly extend his claws and rip the skin off our thighs, in a loving way I’m sure, whenever we stroked him. Also, I hoped to move myself to somewhere smaller and probably without a garden so I wanted Eddie rehoused in a cat happy home before I could do that. Despite these factors I missed him the second I walked out of the veterinary surgery and I felt bad about previous hopes and plans for him to live elsewhere. Poor little bugger.
Eddie was called Sonic when he came to us at the tender age of two. He had done time in Bath's top security Claverton Down cat detention centre from which we rescued him along with his partner in crime, Baggie. Poor health caused Baggie to pass away in the late summer of 2009.
We didn’t think Sonic was a name that suited the young chap back then and it would have suited him even less in his twilight years as lethargy set in and licking his arse took over from maiming innocent and beautiful creatures one hundredth of his own size as his main pastime. So we changed his name to Eddie for the following reasons:
(a) Eddie was a grey tabby and the Leeds United manager at the time was Eddie Gray. A feline legend named after a football legend!
(b) In his youth, Eddie couldn’t be messed with. He was quite a tough nut, in fact. We named him after comedian, Eddie Izzard, so that we could say, “Eddie is ‘ard.”
(c) In 1960 rock ’n’ roll legend, Eddie Cochran, was involved in a fatal car accident less than two miles from our home so we thought Eddie would be a good name for our cat. A feline legend named after a rock legend!
(d) Fleas were the scourge of our puss’s life so he was constantly living on the Frontline. It would have been rude not to have named him after reggae star, Eddie Grant.
Eddie had a huge floppy lower lip due to the fact that he had been allergic to the venom on the skins of the toads he picked up in our garden and Eddie loved to lick his backside. Sometimes he would do this with such vigour that his permanently swollen lip would produce an awful sucking noise, rather like a sink plunger in action, as he went foraging up his own jacksie. I’m pretty sure that this was a characteristic unique to our cat and although he had many other endearing attributes, this is how I will always remember him.
But I definitely will remember him, with great nostalgic affection, the poor little bugger.
1999 – 2013
Poor Little Bugger