To my beautiful Pepsi
Choosing you nearly seventeen years ago was easy. You were the cutest, most adorable, tiny black kitten that I had ever seen in my whole life. You were one of a litter of six at the RSPCA and had the cutest little black button nose. When I picked you up for a cuddle, you purred. Your purr was so loud, you sounded like a tractor revving up its engine and getting ready to plough it’s field. That’s why I fondly called you Pepsi Purrer. One of your black and white sisters scrambled up me and sat nuzzled up on my shoulder. She looked exactly like the kitten on the Felix kitten food boxes. We decided we would take her as a companion for you. We decided to call you Pepsi because of your gorgeous rich brown/black colouring and we named your sister Chloe.
We couldn’t wait to go and pick you up, after the RSPCA lady made sure that we were suitable to have you. It was so exciting knowing we were going to be able to collect you and bring you home the next day! We bought you snuggly fleecey beds that hooked onto the radiators to keep you warm, your own little bowls and lots and lots of toys. You and Chloe didn’t really sleep in the special beds but instead chose to snuggle up together on either the settee or one of the beds. You were both so tiny and precious, the vet thought you must have only been about five weeks old when we got you.
You were one of the friendliest cats – ever, you used to go into other people’s houses sometimes, just to say hello and be sociable I think. You loved attention and we used to love giving you cuddles and love and hearing that wonderful loud purr. Your whole life you would greet visitors to the house with a nudge, rubbing youself against their legs and enjoying being stroked and talked to. If we were sitting on the settee and you were sat behind our heads, you would head butt us for attention and rub your head and face against ours.
Chloe was the more adventurous of the pair of you and would quite often get up to mischief. I remember one time she managed to climb the ladder that was leading into the loft. She sneakily ventured into the loft and probably had a whale of a time in there but completely stressed me out because I couldn’t see her anywhere. Thankfully she decided to show her face again after an hour or so. Another time she decided to investigate a bucket of used engine oil. She looked like you when she came out. Much to her disdain I had to bath her and wash her again and again with washing up liquid. She once took a giant leap out of a top floor window but luckily landed on her feet. Sadly her nine lives ended when one of you managed to open a window and you both sneaked outside early one morning. That was 5th September 2004, she was only three years and five months old and for some reason must have gone onto the road. That was an awful day for us all and for you too.
A year or so before this, we had acquired a pretty little calico, who we called Millie, she was a neighbour’s cat and wasn’t being looked after as well as she should have been. She settled well into her new home and used to absolutely love joining you and Chloe for cuddles on the settee. I think you and Chloe were quite protective of her too as she was only tiny and a couple of years younger than you. After we had tragically lost Chloe, you and Millie would snuggle up and keep each other good company, although both missing Chloe dreadfully.
You were the most incredible hunter, you would stalk your prey like a sleek black panther, cleverly pouncing at just the right moment. I remember one time when you were quite young you actually managed to catch a pigeon – it was bigger than you!
Throughout your whole life you have been the most wonderful pet. Such a friendly, gorgeous, sociable cat. Beautiful to look at and a beautiful personality.
You have never complained, even when in pain. I remember, a few years ago, your leg looked a little bit sore. When I had a closer look you had some fur missing on it and some quite nasty grazes. I took you to the vet immediately and they said that you had had a run in with a car. It must have hurt you so much, you precious boy, yet you had made no fuss about it whatsoever. Another time I noticed you were dragging your tail and it didn’t go up in the usual way when we stroked you. This time the vet said you had possibly trapped it somewhere and had bad nerve damage. Yet again you made no complaints, you got on with it, took your medicine and got through it with no adverse affects, soon enough your tail was back to normal and you were able to express your pleasure at being stroked by happily putting your tail in the air. You went through many other ailments, yet never grumbled about anything.
I think you were really happy when we moved to this house four and a half years ago. Our front garden is south facing, away from a road and any dangerous traffic and flooded with sunlight for a lot of the time. A perfect haven for you.
You would lay in the front garden for hours on end, enjoying the sunshine and warmth, either sprawled out comfortably on the grass, sat protectively on the front door step, or sunning yourself on the wall enjoying the fuss and compliments you got from passers by.
Everybody who met you, loved you – hardly surprising – you made it easy with your sweet nature and delightful, friendly manner. We were doing the gardening one day last summer, when an elderly couple walked past and stopped to talk. The lady said that she absolutely adored you, you were her favourite cat and that we better be careful because you were so lovely she could steal you – she was joking of course. She said that you always jumped up onto the wall to say hello and be stroked. The couple were in disbelief when I told them you were sixteen years old! Another lady told me recently that her dog even liked to say hello when you were lying on the door step, he would stop at the gate, without fail, to look for you as they walked past. I noticed little children smile and wave to you as they walked past and call out hello. You gave happiness to so many people. If we were out in the back garden, either pottering or sat enjoying the sun, you would always be close by, either relaxing in the sun on the patio, or curled up next to me on my sun lounger – sometimes lying underneath it if the sun was too hot for you.
You weren’t even purturbed when we brought a puppy into the house. Duke was a lively yet gentle four month old springer spaniel puppy. You were a little wary of him at first because you had never really come across a dog before – well not a nice one anyway! However a couple of weeks later you completely accepted him. You used to play with his toys, lie in his bed, eat his food and snuggle up against him – he was the wary one and was never quite sure what to do when he had a little black cat trying to nuzzle against his face.
Often the pair of you would lie down on the rug together, not quite touching each other, but very close and in similar positions.
Just over two weeks ago we noticed you were drinking more than normal. We would often find you sitting in the basin in the bathroom waiting for someone to turn the tap on for you to have a drink. This was unusual because fresh water was always available to you. Maybe you wanted us to know that there was something wrong. You had slowed down a bit lately, had started to look your age more than before but now felt like you had lost some weight too. I took you to the vet on 22nd February, he did some blood tests and the next day confirmed kidney disease. Apparently cats don’t actually show the symptoms of kidney disease until 75% of their kidney function has gone. What a cruel disease. You really were against it.
We spoke at length to the vet and lovely vetinary nurse about what we could do for you, how we could help you. We were so optimistic that we would be able to get this under control with the special renal food and some powder that we could put in your normal food if you didn’t like the special formula. At first you seemed to like the renal food, but then you weren’t so keen. We mixed the powder into your favourite dinners and you seemed happy to eat this. We also found out you had high blood pressure so you were given tablets for that too. You took your tablets like a good boy and we hoped and prayed that we would be able to keep you as healthy as possible for as long as we could. About four or five days ago we were so happy when you ran up the stairs, you felt like you had put a bit of weight on and therefore we hoped you were on the road to recovery.
A couple of days ago, however, you lost interest in your food. We desperately tried everything we could to entice you to eat. We tried so many different flavours to encourage you to eat, cat food soup that you usually enjoyed, treats that you usually purred for, we cooked fresh chicken for you, tried tinned pilchards. We got cod from the chip shop because last week you had loved this and wolfed it down. You wouldn’t eat any of it.
Friday 9th March 2018, morning came and you weren’t even interested in drinking water. I put some on my finger, you briefly licked it but then just looked down. I got the first available appointment for you with the vet. My heart sank as he said you were anaemic and also had other complications from the kidney disease. I begged him to do whatever he could for you, to try and help you. He suggested trying you on a drip, in the hope that this would make you feel a bit better and therefore encourage you to eat. I left the vet in tears, yet clung on to the slight hope that this would bring some help and make you feel a bit better.
That afternoon I had the worst and saddest telephone conversation I have ever had. Ever.
The vet told me that your temperature was very low and your renal readings were off the scale. It seemed that your kidneys had stopped working and toxins were building up in your beautiful body. He went on to say that you were on a drip and lying on a heat mat but that you were pretty unresponsive and had no interest in anything. He felt we would be doing you a huge disservice by keeping you on any treatment and the kindest thing for you would be to have you put to sleep.
Honest to God this was the most devastating news, I cried and cried and cried. All I could think of was you, my beautiful Pepsi puss-cat, with your sparkling emerald green eyes and velvety soft fur. I sat in my car trying to take it in and drove home with tears streaming down my face. All I could think about was you, my handsome graceful, precious little Pepsi.
We went to be with you. You looked so tired. You lay there with a blanket on you to keep you warm. You looked rested and I hope to God that you weren’t in any pain. You poor beautiful, yet old, cat. We stroked you, talked to you and kissed you. II looked into your perfect, kind eyes and you looked into mine. There was no doubt that what we were going to do for you was the kindest possible thing we could, yet it was the most harrowing thing at the same time.
I hope you know that we were there with you at the end, I hope you could hear me telling you I loved you as I fondled your velvety soft ears and stroked your cute little button nose. I hope you know how much love, joy and happiness you brought to all of our lives. I know we did everything we could to make your life a happy one. We are truly blessed for the companionship we shared with you.
The house feels empty without you. We miss you immensely but I know we gave you a happy life with so much shared love and I am so thankful that we had the privilege of owning you and being owned by you for the last, almost, seventeen years.
I’m hoping that you are now reunited with Chloe at Rainbow Bridge – playing, cuddling and being joyful, free from any illness, until it is our time to be with you again.
So much love to my beautiful Pepsi puss cat xxx