For the last 6 months Claude had been struggling with irritable bowel syndrome. We had tried so many dietary changes, but to no avail. On Thursday he had a shot for arthritis. The vet also took urine and blood samples in the hope of gaining more information about his declining condition. At the time Mr Claude, still had a good appetite, but at 18 years of age he was very much a senior gentleman!
Over the weekend, he decided to stop eating all together and tempting him even with his favourite foods was pretty much to no avail.
With a cat of such age I did not want him subjected to any invasive tests or proceedures; nothing that would cause him any prolonged suffering.
The decision for him to be euthanised was an easy one. He had indicated through his body language, eyes and lack of appetite he was ready to pass over. Over the last 6 months he had lost over a kilogram. Given we had long struggled with his waistline, watching him fade away to a shadow of his former self was incredibly difficult.
Still, he was comfortable and followed me around the house, sticking to his regular routine and sleeping at my side every evening.
I managed to tempt him with a few pieces of shaved roast lamb and a tiny taste of jarlesburg cheese between Friday evening and today. In contrast, even last week, he would be wolfing down his meals and looking for more. Normally, Claude lived to eat and nothing brought him greater joy than a very full stomach!
Even now there is a void, where his litter tray and food bowls usually stand, let alone his own magic presence that brought me so much joy over so many years.
I wonder how I will sleep tonight without his gentle purr and smooges as he cuddled up to me in bed?
Claude was dumped at the school I formerly worked at, as a five month old adolescent moggy. He chose me to adopt him and over the last 18 years, has supported me through all of life's ups and downs; a constant reassuring presence in my life.
I will miss my darling Mr Claude, with whom I shared an extraordinary interspecies bond and so much love for the rest of my life. He had long earned a place in my heart as one of the great feline characters of all time. His loyalty and zest for life, is something many humans could learn from.
Named because he stretched out his claws, then instantly velveted them the first time I held him in my arms, his namesakes' were Claude Monet and Claude Debussy; two humans who made a lasting impact on the world through art and music.
It is also fitting Claude's death should occur during the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, as one of his penchants, was to sit in front of the television and follow the balls as they were hit along the court. We watched many hours of tennis together over the years.
I only wish my own death, when it comes could be so peaceful and full of love as Mr Claude's was this morning. Claude had a dignified and beautiful passing, that truly fitted his wonderful and gracious life and being.
Thank you my darling ginger and white angel!