Where do I start?  Beautiful Tom Kitten.  He came to us at just 10 weeks old, via a work colleague of my partner, Julian.  We had put the feelers out that we would like another cat to join our existing cat, Tinker, and soon after we had a message back that there was a black male kitten available.  We didn’t even see him and we said we’d take him.

Tom_KittenI was so very excited on the night we went to collect him.  I’m not really one for getting excited over most things, but I was desperate to pick up this little bundle of fur.  When we got to the house, he was being held by my partner’s work colleague and was just adorable.  He had the tiniest ‘meuow’ and the most wonderful blue eyes.  On our way home, he curled up on my lap and duly went to sleep.  I remember turning to Julian and saying “I love him already”. 

Tom_KittenWe had already decided to call him Tom.  He slept on our bed that first night – swamped by the duvet but seemingly exhausted and just content to be sleeping somewhere nice and cosy.  He soon settled in.  If he couldn’t find us in the house, he would let out the loudest miaow.  It was almost as if he was calling for us, asking where we were.  He loved to lie across the back of the sofa, or even better, sit on my shoulder.  He would sit for hours quite happily perched across my neck and shoulders, and I absolutely loved it.  I would talk to him, and kiss his paws, and he would half close his eyes as if he understood every word and was enjoying it too. 

 Before we’d had Tom, Julian had already planned to do the Coast to Coast walk in the Lake District with a friend.  It was only for 3 days (Julian was only doing part of the walk) and so I’d agreed to go with him.  Tinker and Tom were booked into our local cattery.  I felt dreadful leaving him, as he was still so young, but the cattery were excellent and it was a lovely place, and they assured me they would look after him and give him lots of cuddles. 

We’d been away a day and half when I got the call on my mobile.  Tom was sick and at the vets – he was walking funny and seemed lethargic.  The vet came onto the phone – he thought Tom had renal failure.  My head spun – why would such a young cat have renal failure?  I burst into tears.  All I knew was that we needed to go home to Tom.  I had failed him – I’d put him in a cattery and he had taken ill, and I wasn’t there for him.  That was a Thursday.  All throughout the drive home, I prayed so hard that Tom would survive, but deep down I had an awful feeling he wasn’t going to make it.  We got to the vets on the Friday morning, and oh he was so ill.  He was swollen, and made the most awful crying noise when he saw us.  I was broken hearted.  There was nothing I could do to help him.  I kissed him, and talked to him, but it physically hurt to see him in such a terrible way.  Tom died at 5pm on Friday 20 August 2010.  The vet said the renal failure was just too much for his little body to take.  To say we were devastated doesn’t even touch on it.  It was hideous.  He was 19 weeks old, he was just a baby.  He’d not known life properly – he hadn’t even been out in the garden.  We loved him so so much, and he had been such a happy little thing with us – so adored.  I couldn’t comprehend that he had gone. Then it hit me that wherever he was, he didn’t know anyone, which devastated me even more.

We went to see him at the vets afterwards, and I kissed him and lay my head on him, with tears streaming down my face.  My beautiful Tom.  I wrapped him in my pashmina, and asked the vet to ensure that he was kept in it, and cremated in it.  I wanted him to be wrapped in something familiar. 

It is now Thursday 18 August 2011, and it has taken me a year to write this.  I miss Tom terribly, still.  I love him so much, still. I cry now as I write this.  I only hope that wherever he is (hopefully with my Granddad, who passed away in March of last year – so 2010 was a pretty horrible year for me) that he is happy, and loved.  Life is incredibly cruel sometimes, and anyone who has never had an animal can never, ever know what a joy they are, and what it is to love them, and then lose them. 

Tom - I love you, and miss you terribly.  I am so sorry you died so young, and I still have no idea why the renal failure happened.  It is agony to think of you suffering in those last two days.  All I can say is I am glad we had you, and you had us, even though your time here was so terribly short.  We will meet again.  Wait for me.

A Cats Prayer

Lead me down all the right paths,
Keep me from fleas, bees, and baths.
Let me in should it storm,
Keep me safe, fed, and warm.


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