on the kindest thing

in the midst of the chaos and emotion of the past few weeks,  one member of our family is slowly slipping from us. Our wonderful cat, who has been a companion and friend to all of us is unwell.  She arrived some fourteen years ago, a gift from a boy who could no longer give her a home and from day one she was ours.  The friendliest and sweetest bundle of black fur that ever lived.

She has been with us throughout all our adventures, moved house as we did, helping every new place to feel instantly like home.  Snuggled on the sofa on winter nights, climbing trees in the summer, she is the most perfect of pets.  She has travelled, somewhat unwillingly, to our place in Wales, having holiday fun in the garden there, making new friends and chasing shadows.

Universally loved and admired by all, her favourite place during the summer months has been on our front wall, there, sitting in sunshine, she lapped up the attention of every passerby.  Often there would be a small crowd of children and adults stopping for a chat and a stroke.

She remained tiny forever, never growing more than kitten size, people couldn’t believe she was an old lady.  Looking at her today she seems to have shrunk even more.  We know she has been unwell, a recent trip to the vet confirmed this, it seems the end was nigh.  The vet was kind, she explained that we would know when she was ready for her trip over the rainbow bridge, when enough was enough.  She said that when that day comes we will be doing the kindest thing we could ever do.

That day is today.  We have put it off, told ourselves she is rallying, she is ok.  She isn’t ok.  She is sleeping a lot, not wanting to eat and the light is leaving her once bright eyes.  We still get a sense of her, gentle purring as we cuddle and stroke her, but this is the end.

We cannot bear to wait until she is more ill, until the effort of moving becomes too much, until her swollen belly consumes her.  Today is the day.

Anyone who has ever loved an animal will know what we are feeling.  We have been blessed for so many years, with this quirky, cute and clever bundle of fun.  Sometimes the kindest thing is the most difficult to do.  Goodnight gorgeous Maisie, you gave us all much more than we ever gave to you.  Sleep well beautiful one, dance with the shadows of your dreams.  A part of you will be forever in our hearts.

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