Unfortunately, when you are the owner of a group of increasingly aged cats, the prospect of their demise becomes ever closer. Having already lost Victoria earlier this year to cancer, I had become concerned about Franklin’s health. At nearly 17½, or 85 in ‘human years’, he was becoming something of a geriatric.
And yet the fitting of a catflap gave him a new lease on life. He prowled the garden, as well as those nearby, walked across the top of narrow fences without any evident difficulty, and seemed to be bearing up well, even if he was a mite scrawny. Indeed, Eleanor, his brother (don’t ask, it’s a long story) seemed to be in worse shape.
On Thursday night, I had hosted a meeting of my Local Party Executive, and Franklin took the opportunity to introduce himself, before taking his customary place in his new cat bed (one of Ros’s innovations). He seemed to be reasonably perky but, when I came down the next morning, I found him sprawled across the carpet. Given that no self-respecting cat would ever allow himself to be seen like that unless there was something wrong, it was clear that this was serious. A quick examination made it clear that this was terminal, and with heavy heart I took him to the vet. The lack of response and of movement did not augur well.
The vet quickly reached the same conclusion, and it was agreed that he should be put to sleep without delay. I have sworn that none of my cats will suffer unnecessarily, and whilst putting them to sleep is not something I do lightly, if it is clearly for the best, and the vet agrees, then I won’t hesitate.
I’ll miss Franklin. His company was a comfort to me in some of my darkest moments, and his antics were always entertaining. Let’s just hope that he’s enjoying prowling the celestial garden…