A guy I know only from his postings on Wild Dogs posted a poignant story today... here it is, I hope Andrew does not mind me borrowing it...
"We have a stray that has hung around our offices for many years. She was already old when I first saw her.
Over the last 2 years she has tamed up a bit but doesn’t like to be picked up and will only tolerate being scratched in small amounts. Some of the staff here feed her now and then. She is not what you'd call a "house cat". I have had to answer more than a few ADT alerts as a result of her being locked in the offices and was half keen to “get rid” of her on those occasions where 3am on a Sunday wasn’t funny anymore.
She was never what you’d call a good looking thing; always thin, ribs and the left overs pelt from a bad dose of mange years ago had seen to that. She was not the brightest and unusually, for a cat, looked it too. She’d always half look at one as if it was always a bit of a struggle to put two and two together.
Recently she slowed down a lot and over the last week gave up on eating. She had a large cyst in between her front legs and only walked with clear discomfort.
I had to take her in for her first and last ride in the car this morning. She was unexpectedly very calm and easy going into the cat carrier.
When asked by the front desk lady her name, I was a bit stumped, we’d never given her one, nobody had owned her, “will Skin and Bones do?”
We sat quietly for 10 minutes or so while I was worked into the queue.
Finally, after a bit of a honest conversation with the Vet about options, the humane thing was decided.
The vet asked, “did I want to stay during her last moments?”
I hadn’t thought about this as it was all a bit unexpected. It seemed very cowardly to leave her to it on her own. She’d never asked for much, just a few 3am callouts.
I couldn’t talk on the way out and thank goodness for dark glasses. Who would have thought a stray would be that hard on the plumbing? That was a tough morning. I couldn't be a Vet for sure!
I knew you long but lightly.
I am sorry that you had to go.
The lightest of touches, away.
I’ll miss your light time here
Come back how you wish
Anytimes fine, Dear Stray
Cheers Girl, come visit when you have time."
I still have tears in my eyes... good on you Andrew.
"If animals could speak the dog would be a a blundering outspoken fellow, but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much." - Mark Twain