Thomas 1998 - 2015
Like all of you I had a very special connection with cats, and one in particular was the strongest of all. That light went out on February 12, 2015.
Tommy came into my life on October 7th 2006, when he, his sister and his owner (my then fiancÚ and wife since 2007) moved from America to the UK.
The first time I saw him "in the flesh" he was sitting at the back of his cat carrier at the airport when I picked them up. He was gorgeous. White with orange ears and tail and a large spot on the left flank, three smaller on the right. As soon as we got to our new home Tommy and I connected. His sister - an American all black and still very much alive - was all about her mommy but Tommy went everywhere with me. If I was at my computer he lay along the back of the keyboard; watching TV he was on the back of the sofa; If I was in bed he lay on me.
Tommy was my 5AM alarm, pawing and crying to be fed daily for over eight years. He was good natured, he was gentle, he never clawed or hissed, and waited for his sisters and brother to eat before he went near the ample plate. He was loving in a way that didn't mean a bribe with a treat; he wanted to be near people. Visitors would be circled and his head would rub on them til they paid attention. Everyone who met him wanted to take him home. He was our perfect buddy. our "little bud"
In later life he got bad teeth and had three different surgeries that removed all but the fangs and tiny front teeth. He recovered quickly from each one.
In the early summer of 2014 he developed a wheeze following a trip to the vet for claw clipping. I discovered the vet had given him a new antibiotic without consent as "he looked a bit wet round the nose". The wheeze developed over the course of a weekend and I took Tommy back to the vet and without asking she pumped more of this product and a steroid into him, and we almost lost him. Being a strong and well loved cat tommy pulled through.
By August the wheeze had gone and the new vet said it was most likely a reaction to the "Convenia" injection of which I forbade use if he ever needed to go back.
Over this last Christmas his wheeze returned following a new flea treatment and again we thought allergic reaction. But as February dawned I noticed he was losing weight and eating more and more. Some days would see him eat 9 pouches. A blood test said that he did not as I suspected have hyperthyroidism and we returned home two weeks ago.
Over those two weeks the weight loss was scary and on Monday I took him to another vet who said that Tommy had a very pronounced heart murmur not on any of his other exams. She also pointed out that his abdomen was doing all the work and he was inflating and deflating like a balloon trying to breathe. She suspected fluid on the lungs and Tommy received 4 shots and three sets of tablets "that he will be on for the rest of his life"
When we got home the change was remarkable; his breathing was better he seemed brighter than he had in 6 weeks and he slept through the whole night something he had not done in months.
On the morning of the 12th he awoke me for his breakfast and waddled away - his legs were sticking out at odd angles. My wife stayed home to monitor him and by the middle of the day was worried. But he ate and drank and I got home at 18.00 to find him breathing like a fish out of water.
I rushed him back to the vet and they said that they would X ray to see where the fluid was and drain it. I was asked to wait at home (I in fact sat in the car for over an hour outside) and I was called in.
The X ray showed his lungs were clear but that he had a tumour next to his heart. Tommy wasn't going to get any better.
It was 8.20PM and they left me alone to say goodbye.
How do you say goodbye to your right arm; to a son? I held and kissed him and he closed his eyes in his cat smile. I know that its me just imagining and hoping but we connected and he told me it was time and it was OK
Moments later our eldest, Thomas, was no more. His head went limp in my hand as the injection worked speedily. The vet listened and said that was it he was gone
My whole world caved in, I cried like a child - more than when my parents passed away Im ashamed to say - and Tommy left me and his mom for peace and rest
I love you Tommy and the tears are welling as I write this post. I have had cats before, we still have three and a stray we feed. But there will never ever be one I love as much as you
Goodbye my sweet beautiful boy.