RIP Scamp

May 3, 2008

Well I said this wasn’t going to be a cat blog, and it won’t be, but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t include this. My beloved Scamp, our boy of seventeen-and-a-half years, died this morning. Not exactly in our arms, but with our hands on him, stroking him as he purred himself into oblivion and we tried not to upset him by sobbing on him before he went.

He had chronic renal failure, diagnosed in Sept 2006, which had progressed slowly over the last year-and-a-half, and he had also developed hyperthyroidism. Thanks to this site, and the yahoo CRF support group, as well as Dr Lisa Pierson and our own wonderful vets in Dublin, we had managed his symptoms very well, and kept him pretty happy. He was more or less symptom-free, and content with a regime of meds that didn’t traumatise him or make him unhappy. But last week he developed an upper respiratory infection and it turned out to be too much for him. Not the cold itself, but to get him over the hump of it we had to give him a feeding tube, and he was so frail he didn’t really recover from the GA. We knew it was a risk, but doing nothing wasn’t an option either: he had wanted to eat, and had perked up enough to make his feelings very well known, but couldn’t smell enough for the food to be tempting (‘no smell, no eat’ is a cat’s mantra) so we had to try to make things better for him. We tried syringe feeding but that obviously wasn’t going to be an option for too long, so the tube was the next best thing, and other than the GA would not have presented any problems. However, the GA left him very weak and feeble, and in the end he decided that enough was enough, and to let go, and all we could do was let go too.

Scamp came into our lives with his brother Pucci, as tiny kittens from Cats’ Aid in October 1990, and what a pair of sweeties they were.

Pucci, who became diabetic but went remission (thanks to Dr Elizabeth Hodgkins), died in February this year from cancer. Scamp was such a diminished boy after that: he seemed like just half a cat somehow. And now that Scamp is gone it suddenly feels more real that Pucci was gone too—now he’s really gone—and it’s a double whammy. It really is the end of an era and I just can’t believe that my gorgeous prima-donna, handsome, cantankerous, thunderface, kitten-still-at-heart, playful, loving, beautiful beast is gone. It’s just not right, just as seeing him in an old, frail body wasn’t right for his young, Scampish spirit. Right up until he got this cold he was Scamp by name and Scamp by nature.

We know that we did the best for him, both in his treatment while alive, and for his death, but it doesn’t take away from the pain which is now red raw, as anyone who’s lost a much-loved pet will know. I wish there was a way to fast forward through the grief and just appreciate the long and happy life he had.

But ah, my boy, you are so much missed. RIP, handsome beast.


Scary First Post…

April 23, 2008

Well, they say that the first step is the hardest, or something, so here I am in front of the famous blank page and with fingers that seem to want to type something. It’s after 11pm and I don’t have to be up spectacularly early, so I don’t even have to feel guilty about being here.

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs recently, well, okay for a few days, and thought, ‘oh maybe I could do that!’ because of course the good writers make it look so easy. Hah! So what to write about? I’m not writing on techy stuff, so that’s out, it’s not a diary of what I do each day (because yeah, that would really keep the punters awake) so I think it will just be random bits and pieces of things that interest me, and a bit about me. A bit of a scrap book perhaps.

Here’s a tune to start us off that makes me smile, though I haven’t yet worked out how to play without opening a new page, or found a link to the whole song. Still, it’s worth buying. Slow Club: ‘Me and You’

First thing, and don’t be put off by this: I like cats. No, truthfully, I love cats. There will be more about them anon, though it’s not what this blog will (mostly) be about (that happens elsewhere).

Some big changes have been happening for me lately that are prompting me to want to write. Firstly, I’m coming out of a period of crap health, and it feels like coming into the light of energy after being in a tunnel. So things are looking different and my energy needs to go somewhere! And part of this has been the rediscovery of the joy of going to gigs! After many years of only listening to classical music, which I love, I’ve suddenly realised that there is still a whole big world of great bands out there ready to smack me in the face with their rhythm and energy.

For my birthday I got an iPod Touch. :o) (And a white chocolate duck. Poor duck.)

I heart my iTouch.

Since the end of March I’ve been to a load of gigs, certainly more than I’ve been to in the last twenty years altogether! And I’ve another six or so lined up for May – cool! I’m collecting bands I like on MySpace, and buying far more music than I can afford – and downloading podcasts by the dozen. For in-car it’s Phantom Radio which is responsible for many of my new discoveries. As the years, ahem, push on a bit, I’ve finally rediscovered that I LOVE dancing and I’m not bloody well going to stop now! So some of this might be about gigs & music, though some of that is blogged over in MySpace. I’m not sure about OpenID so I’ll keep that one separate for now. (Blog on that to come.)

I’ve been a fan of messageboards for years, but have just discovered twitter, blogging, and social networking in general. I want to find out more about web 2.0 which seems to crop up a lot.

But first, in the tradition of another blogger (sorry can’t remember) who started this, here are seven random things about me.

Turquoise is my colour of the moment
I hate coconut and cinnamon (bleurggh, food of satan)
I love chocolate (of course) and pesto, mmmmmm, but not together
I love the sound of oystercatchers and curlews
I like working out – which is a HUGE recent surprise to me
I get really cross at people walking into me in the street, and they’re lucky I don’t yell at them
I like the smell of rain on the earth

That’s enough to begin with I reckon. :o) Woohoo! First one done.

More anon.