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wittley
50 years old
Gender Not Set
Cambridge, UK
Born Dec-7-1968
Interests
Art, music, cinema, travel and of course..pusses. My 2 furbabies, Basil & Winston, were both a huge part of my life until Winston was sadly taken from me due to aids. I am so glad to have found friends at Lightning Strike who can share their stories, & comfort eachother in times of need.
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Joined: 6-February 05
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Last Seen: 4th February 2008 - 05:57 PM
Local Time: Dec 12 2018, 09:38 PM
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wittley

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7 Feb 2005
Thankyou all so very much for your very kind responses to my story about Winston, who I made the decision to have put to sleep, due to illness from aids, on Saturday morning. And reading the tales of sadness & bereavement of others, was so touching. I ended writing my story last night at 2.30 in the morning (being from the UK Iím in a different time zone). (And apologies Ė I accidentally placed it twice - the first time the picture was huge so I tried to go back in & edit, only to accidentally post it again, albeit with a slightly smaller picture Ė I assure you I read responses to both, though.) I canít tell you how touched I felt by all your responses, when I checked this morning. I cried when I read them. And I canít tell you how much it helped that there were people willing to listen, & offer words of comfort, in my time of need. The pain is still almost unbearable. I thought going to work might distract me, but I was good for nothing all day, & very tearful. Before I went to work this morning, I crouched down in front of the cat statue that stands proudly on Winstonís grave, & shed a few tears. So very very difficult to come to terms with the fact that his little body is lying under that cold frosty earth, when only a couple of days ago he was warm & alive. Itís just such an extreme sense of sadness Ė the knowledge that Iíll never see my dear little friend for the rest of my life, & never hold him, never nuzzle my head against his wise old furry little head. It almost brings me to my knees with sadness. And then the sense of guilt, did I give him enough cuddles, was I there for him enough, what kinds of things were going through his head in the last few weeks, was he feeling dreadfully ill, and then, in his last few moments, was he scared, having his little forearm shaved, & a needle slipped in? My greatest worry was that he didnít now how much he was loved. Muffins (Denise) reassured me that he knew very well. And hearing about Rainbow bridge, which Iíd never heard of before last night (although Iíd always hoped there was a heaven where we can be reunited with our dear furbabies) reassured me that, hopefully, one day I will see him again, & hold him & tell him how much I love him. I didnít know, till I talked to the vet that morning, that together we would make the decision to put him to sleep then & there. Although I knew it would be on the cards over the next couple of weeks. I wonder whether it would have been easier or harder to bear, waking up on Saturday, knowing that he only had a couple of hours left. Then maybe I could have made more use of the short time I had left with him. As it was, I left him sleeping in his spot under the bed, when I should have been cuddling him & spending time with him. But I guess there is always going to be regrets with any death. Although I think actually he was happiest under the bed Ė I did briefly manage to get him on my lap earlier in the morning when I first got up, & he only stayed for a minute then jumped off & crawled under the bed again. Iím glad heís at peace now Ė it broke my heart seeing his once vital lively little body, turn frail & weak. I know I did the right thing Ė he was so ill - & how would I have been able to live with myself if I had come back from work one day to find heíd died, alone, in my bedroom? At least I have the comfort of knowing that when he went, he was with someone who loved him. And I firmly believe that the love between an animal & a human is one of the purest loves there is. I just hope, in time, this sadness becomes easier to bear. The house just isnít the same without him. I just really miss him.
6 Feb 2005
I'm new to this site, but I'm finding it hard to cope with the loss of my beloved cat, Winston, who I lost yesterday. Friends & family are sympathetic, up to a point, but when I return to my home (I live alone with my other cat, Basil) I'm accutely aware that a presence is missing, of someone I loved dearly.
I moved in, with Basil, over 4 years ago. Winston made an appearance that winter, & it was obvious he was living rough. I let him come in the porch occasionally, & gave him food there - I was wary about taking him initially as I felt it wasn't fair on Basil. However, as the weather got colder & he wasn't looking too well, I took him in. I tried to find out, in the village, if anyone owned him, but no-one came forward. I got him checked out at the vet, who reckoned he was about 8 years old, & they gave him all the vaccinations etc; & he became a fully-fledged member of my little household.
In those early days he was difficult to love. He was very aggressive - often he attacked me if I stroked him. Just as often, he would attack me again if I stopped stroking him. He would frequently go for my toes, & I found the best thing was to stroke him briefly, then run quickly! For a smallish cat, he had tremendously strong jaws, & I often had painful bites on my hands! Poor Basil suffered too, & they decided from the start that they hated eachother. I got the strong impression Wisnton may have come from owners that had abused or teased him - although he had obviously been living wild for a while, he must have originally belonged to someone as he had been "done". I felt the best way to deal with his wild ways & his temper, was through love & patience. I didn't want to give him to a cats home as I didn't want to unsettle him even further - he was nervous & insecure as it was. It paid off. Within a year, he was a different cat. He was settled & secure. He was never a really affectionate cat, like Basil, but he had found a home he loved, he had calmed down alot, & occasionally made a grand noisy entrance with little presents for me (of the mouse variety).
Where Basil was/is big, soppy, fluffy & a bit silly, Winston was a real cat's cat - a black, lithe, sleek, lean mean killing machine. He was a very serious cat, but had occasions of being a little more light-hearted - he never did the "goldfish" (that writhing about on the floor thing that cats do) until one day when he saw Basil do it, & saw how the result was getting stroked & made a fuss of. After that he did it regularly. I grew to love Winston every bit as much as Basil. As well as that, I had enourmous respect for him. He was a highly intelligent cat, who had got used to living by his wits. He was survivor. He was also a very regal cat - he had dignity, poise & grace, & was permanently in stealth mode. The 2 cats still didn't like eachother very much, but they learned to tolerate eachother.
Late Autumn last year, he seemed to have trouble eating, & was starting to lose weight. The vet said he had a bad gum infection, plus needed some teeth removing. This was done, & he was then on a course of antibiotics for a while. He improved for a short while, then started losing more weight, & seemed to have very little energy. Blood tests were done, & they suspected thyroid problems, plus a cold. Having previously slept in the living room, he then decided to make a home for himself under my bed. He seemed too tired to move half the time, so I put his food & water under there, & he went out once or twice a day to do his business outside. The day he passed water on the floor under the bed, I knew something was very wrong. He was always such a clean, dignified animal & would normally never do that. More blood tests were done. I thought maybe it was just old age (maybe the vets had got his age wrong) & didn't want to admit it may be leaukaemia, or feline aids. A few days later, the vet phoned me up at work & dealt me the blow that Winston had aids. I was devastated. I read up on it, & found that it's very common in strays & feral cats. Cats can live quite happlily for years with the virus, but Winston now had fully blown aids, & he was catching any cold or infection that was going. He was also anaemic, & by now had lost 2kg in weight. Despite this, he still seemed bright-eyed, & still purred when I stroked him, although to do so, I had to shift the mattress so I could stroke him through the slats in the bed. He now lived under there, & had a litter tray under there, so he was warm, comfortable & self-contained, & refused to come out. He had a steroid injection, & tablets to help get rid of the anaemia. This was about 2 weeks ago. Last week, he stopped eating. I tried to tempt him with everything: beef mince (which he loves), fresh fish, liver; but he wasn't interested. On saturday morning, when I saw he had eaten nothing for the third day in a row, I took him to the vet. Before I went, I carried him around the garden, which he hadn't seen for some time - his old hunting ground. We stood there in the spring sunshine for a few minutes. I had told him many times that I loved him, but I wish I'd told him again then at that point - I didn't realise it would be last time he saw home. At the vet I asked if there was any injection, anything, that could give him some strength back. The vet shook his head, & said his time has come. I could either do it now, or do it in a few days. Winston had lost another half a kilo in a week, & barely had the energy to even stand. Much as I was nowhere near ready for it, I realised it was the kindest thing to do. I find it hard to cry in front of other people, but at that point I just broke down, & just about managed to get the words out - ok, do it now, if you think that's best. I held him for a few minutes, my tears streaming onto his head. I stroked him as they put the needle in, & told him how sorry I was. He went quickly. My boyfriend drove back as I held him to my chest, his tiny body lifeless. We buried him in the garden yesterday afternoon, in his favourite spot. Then we went to a local garden centre, where I bought a couple of plants to put on his grave, & a found a garden sculpture of a proud, slim, upright cat -just the pose he always adopted - & put that on there as well. I've been inconsolable ever since. My boyfriend has been brilliant, & I love Basil with all my heart, but nothing can fill the gap left by Winston. From being a bad-tempered aggressive animal, he had grown into a fine, handsome, well-behaved dignified & loving cat, that I had loved & respected with all my heart. The 4 years he was with me were far too short. I had no idea that the whole time he had been living on borrowed time. I realise now that he knew he was dying, & was just waiting to die, under the bed. My mother said that when she was young, she had 2 dogs, who, when their time came, left the house & went into the woods & lay there. Animals know these things. My only hope is that he knew how very much he was loved. I just wish I had had more of a chance, in those past few weeks, to cuddle him, instead of reaching under the bed to stroke him. And I regret all those times, when he had been healthy, when he had wanted to sit on my lap, but I had been too busy doing something round the house. And I hope he hadn't been lonely, lying under the bed while I was at work all day. I hope that somewhere there is a cat heaven, where he's scampering about, in full health, in the sunshine. He was such a strong character & things aren't the same without him & I just miss him, so, so much, my little soldier.
Thankyou so much for reading this.
Attached File(s)
Attached File  Winston3.jpg ( 40.76K ) Number of downloads: 0
 
6 Feb 2005
I'm new to this site, but I'm finding it hard to cope with the loss of my beloved cat, Winston,
who I lost yesterday. Friends & family are sympathetic, up to a point, but when I return to
my home (I live alone with my other cat, Basil)
I'm accutely aware that a presence is missing, of someone I loved dearly.
I moved in, with Basil, over 4 years ago. Winston made an appearance that winter,
& it was obvious he was living rough. I let him come in the porch
occasionally, & gave him food there - I was wary about taking him initially
as I felt it wasn't fair on Basil. However, as the weather got colder & he
wasn't looking too well,
I took him in. I tried to find out, in the village, if anyone owned him, but
no-one came forward. I got him checked out at the vet, who
reckoned he was about 8 years old, & they gave him all the
vaccinations etc; & he became a fully-fledged member of my
little household.

In those early days he was difficult to love. He was very aggressive -
often he attacked me if I stroked him. Just as often, he would
attack me again if I stopped stroking him. He would frequently go
for my toes, & I found the best thing was to stroke him briefly, then
run quickly! For a smallish cat, he had tremendously strong jaws, &
I often had painful bites on my hands! Poor Basil suffered too, & they
decided from the start that they hated eachother. I got the strong
impression Wisnton may have come from owners that had abused or
teased him - although he had obviously been living wild for a while, he
must have originally belonged to someone as he had been "done". I
felt the best way to deal with his wild ways & his temper, was through
love & patience. I didn't want to give him to a cats home as I didn't
want to unsettle him even further - he was nervous & insecure as it
was. It paid off. Within a year, he was a different cat. He was
settled & secure. He was never a really affectionate cat, like Basil,
but he had found a home he loved, he had calmed down alot, &
occasionally made a grand noisy entrance with little presents
for me (of the mouse variety).
Where Basil was/is big, soppy, fluffy & a bit silly, Winston was a real
cat's cat - a black, lithe, sleek, lean mean killing machine. He was a
very serious cat, but had occasions of being a little more
light-hearted - he never did the "goldfish" (that writhing about
on the floor thing that cats do) until one day when he saw Basil
do it, & saw how the result was getting stroked & made a fuss
of. After that he did it regularly. I grew to love Winston every
bit as much as Basil. As well as that, I had enourmous respect
for him. He was a highly intelligent cat, who had got used to
living by his wits. He was survivor. He was also a very regal
cat - he had dignity, poise & grace, & was permanently in
stealth mode. The 2 cats still didn't like eachother very
much, but they learned to tolerate eachother.

Late Autumn last year, he seemed to have trouble eating,
& was starting to lose weight. The vet said he had a bad
gum infection, plus needed some teeth removing. This was
done, & he was then on a course of antibiotics for a while.
He improved for a short while, then started losing more
weight, & seemed to have very little energy. Blood tests
were done, & they suspected thyroid problems, plus a
cold. Having previously slept in the living room, he then
decided to make a home for himself under my bed. He
seemed too tired to move half the time, so I put his
food & water under there, & he went out once or twice
a day to do his business outside. The day he passed water
on the floor under the bed, I knew something was very
wrong. He was always such a clean, dignified animal &
would normally never do that. More blood tests were
done. I thought maybe it was just old age (maybe the
vets had got his age wrong) & didn't want to admit it
may be leaukaemia, or feline aids.

A few days later, the vet phoned me up at work & dealt
me the blow that Winston had aids. I was devastated. I
read up on it, & found that it's very common in strays &
feral cats. Cats can live quite happlily for years with the
virus, but Winston now had fully blown aids, & he was catching
any cold or infection that was going. He was also anaemic, &
by now had lost 2kg in weight. Despite this, he still seemed
bright-eyed, & still purred when I stroked him, although
to do so, I had to shift the mattress so I could stroke him
through the slats in the bed. He now lived under there, &
had a litter tray under there, so he was warm, comfortable
& self-contained, & refused to come out. He had a
steroid injection, & tablets to help get rid of the anaemia.
This was about 2 weeks ago. Last week, he stopped eating.
I tried to tempt him with everything: beef mince (which he
loves), fresh fish, liver; but he wasn't interested. On saturday
morning, when I saw he had eaten nothing for the third day
in a row, I took him to the vet. Before I went, I carried him
around the garden, which he hadn't seen for some time -
his old hunting ground. We stood there in the spring sunshine
for a few minutes. I had told him many times that I loved him,
but I wish I'd told him again then at that point - I didn't realise
it would be last time he saw home. At the vet I asked if there
was any injection, anything, that could give him some strength
back. The vet shook his head, & said his time has come. I could
either do it now, or do it in a few days. Winston had lost another
half a kilo in a week, & barely had the energy to even stand.

Much as I was nowhere near ready for it, I realised it was the
kindest thing to do. I find it hard to cry in front of other
people, but at that point I just broke down, & just about
managed to get the words out - ok, do it now, if you think
that's best. I held him for a few minutes, my tears streaming
onto his head. I stroked him as they put the needle in, &
told him how sorry I was. He went quickly. My boyfriend
drove back as I held him to my chest, his tiny body lifeless.
We buried him in the garden yesterday afternoon, in his
favourite spot. Then we went to a local garden centre,
where I bought a couple of plants to put on his grave, &
a found a garden sculpture of a proud, slim, upright cat -
just the pose he always adopted - & put that on there
as well. I've been inconsolable ever since. My boyfriend
has been brilliant, & I love Basil with all my heart, but
nothing can fill the gap left by Winston. From being a
bad-tempered aggressive animal, he had grown into a
fine, handsome, well-behaved dignified & loving cat,
that I had loved & respected with all my heart. The 4
years he was with me were far too short. I had no idea
that the whole time he had been living on borrowed
time. I realise now that he knew he was dying, & was
just waiting to die, under the bed. My mother said that
when she was young, she had 2 dogs, who, when their
time came, left the house & went into the woods & lay
there. Animals know these things. My only hope is that
he knew how very much he was loved. I just wish I had
had more of a chance, in those past few weeks, to cuddle
him, instead of reaching under the bed to stroke him.
And I regret all those times, when he had been healthy,
when he had wanted to sit on my lap, but I had been
too busy doing something round the house. And I hope
he hadn't been lonely, lying under the bed while I was
at work all day. I hope that somewhere there is a cat
heaven, where he's scampering about, in full health,
in the sunshine. I just miss him, so, so much, my little soldier.

Thankyou so much for reading this.


***Hi....My name is Denise (Muffins), and I just wanted to let you
know that I edited your post, in that I shortened the right side,
so that readers wouldn't have to "drag - left to right", in order
to read each sentence....

**I DID NOT CHANGE, OR DELETE ANY WORDS***
Peace & Love, Denise (Muffins).****
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Attached File  Winston.jpg ( 46.75K ) Number of downloads: 0
 
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