Loss of a great friend
Updated: Dec 9, 2019
I remember standing chatting on the doorstep with my sister. "Get here now!" a man shouted as we pretended not to hear anything and look away thinking he might be a weirdo...as you do! When he started walking towards us, we spotted a tiny ball of white fur scurrying in front of him and passed us in to our back garden. "He's a little swine! He's so naughty and disobedient" the guy said to us as we replied "erm, your welcome to go round and get him if you want, he's a bit young to be outside". "Nah, he'll come back when he's hungry!" the guy said as he stormed off! Turned out this little kitten, Mosh, was just 2 months old. Clearly he was excited about the new world he had just discovered so he was hard to catch as he went off to explore.
Over the coming days, we'd be sat watching telly and spot this little white tuft of hair trying to peer over the back doorstep to look in the house and, worried he was out at all hours in all weathers at such a young age, we started letting him sit in the door hole out the rain. It wasn't long before he wanted to come in the house full time and would instantly jump up in your lap and fall asleep.
He'd be kicked out as his owners would go to work and have to fend for himself all day, then be turfed out for the night again. It wasn't the first time that house had got pets and 'gave them away' to neighbours after the novelty wore off!
"He keeps coming round to our house if you were wondering where he is" we told the owners. "Oh right, you and everyone else's" they said. Turned out he visited everyone on the street but mostly spent time around at ours. "He's pretty young to be out all day and night, plus he seems to have something wrong with his eye that should be looked at" we told the owners after calling round to their house worried about his swollen eye. "We don't want him, he's the streets cat....or yours as far as we're concerned". After hearing that, we instantly took him in and got his eye seen to, only needed a few drops and some flea stuff and he was right as rain again!
As a typical teenager, I had issues the world would never understand and I was all alone and stressed out. I got myself in such a twist I began having panic attacks and was miserable. All doctors said was 'drink some water or sit up and read a book'. It works a little, but I was still in a state. Nights were the worst, it even got to the point mum would sit with me until I fell asleep because I was so worried about having another attack that I would work myself up to having one! Nothing seemed to work and it was getting me down. I think mum was hoping it would sort itself as well as some nights she'd be sat there in to the early hours when she had work the next day herself. One night I was particularly upset, just sick and tired of always being sick and tired, when this little white ball popped his head round my bedroom door. Dad had let him in as he was crying at the door. Mosh jumped up and curled into me purring. He kept pawing my face so I lay with him. The next thing I remember is waking up to him spooning me! As I stirred, I was rewarded with a big stretch and claws down my back. I was more concerned with how I'd actually fell straight asleep and slept through the night...with no panic attack! Every night from then on, Mosh would be let in and dash straight on to the bed with me. Long story short, my panic attacks instantly stopped! Of everything we tried, it took a little kitten sleeping with me every night to stop them. He wouldn't just curl up at the bottom of the bed like a 'normal' cat either, oh no, Mosh liked to lay straight with just his head popping out of the covers on the pillow like a human! He'd stay like that all night as well, sometimes turning in to you with his arm stretched out around your neck.
As the years went on, Mosh proved he was one of them cats that could charm the birds out of the trees...literally! He'd sit on the stump at the front wanting to greet everyone that went passed, and he soon became the star of the street. People we didn't even know would stop us in the local shop and ask how Mosh is doing or where was he as he wasn't there to greet them today as he usually did. He kind of became the street cat in true form, and would always pay every house a visit, although he would always come back after an hour or two - he'd never vanish for long. It was as if he wanted to do his daily rounds but would check in every so often just so we knew he was ok. All the school kids would stop to talk to him and give him a stroke on his stump as well, they all seemed to love him, and you could hear him chattering away to them. If they asked him something he would always natter back. Of course we worried sometimes, but he had come to us like that, and he seemed generally happy being around people and getting fuss. Some cats just have certain personalities which are impossible to hold back, no matter how much you try.
When dad passed away, Mosh seemed to know the family needed him more than ever so he'd stay in a lot more than usual. Maybe he sensed my brother was having a rough time of it, as he made it his mission to always be in his room watching over him and sleep on his bed. Mosh was always there, a permanent important feature who would always be part of the family. He was there to great me when I graduated, came back off driving lessons, when I got married...always excitedly nattering on his stump as if asking how it all went.
I'd heard of this special human-animal bond. I'd had animals before, and loved them very deer and treated them like the family they are, but that special bond people spoke about....I don't know....I thought maybe it was a slight exaggeration. Mosh changed all that. That unconditional love and companionship felt deep within, like a proper soul mate, I now understood. It was unthinkable one day he wouldn't be there. This little man who had been with us through everything.
One night in October 2018 he didn't return home. He always came in of a night so it was instantly strange he didn't come running for his Dreamies at bedtime. It was a little cold out so maybe one of the neighbours had let him in and he'd fell asleep? When there was no sign the following day, and night time began to set in for a second night, that's when panic started to set in. It wasn't long before a mini search party was formed who walked for miles around shouting and looking for him, asking neighbours to check sheds and so on. By the 3rd day of no sign, nor any local vets or the council having any record of him being there, everyone began worrying something bad must of happened. Appeals were sent out all over social media, and there were a few sightings of similar looking cats reasonably nearby, so family from around the country were preparing to drive up and help the search. On day 4, my brother went to go to work at 3am and, due to it being so quiet, he thought he heard a faint cry coming from a few gardens up. He stopped and listened before following the cry. It led him to a bush in a vacant houses garden, and knew it was Mosh. As he jumped over and went in following the cry, he saw Mosh lay there crying. He reached in and pulled him out but he instantly noticed he seemed extremely limp and was evidently in discomfort. He was also cold, wet, filthy dirty and shaking. He quickly took him inside and wrapped him up warm and placed him on the bed, and phoned the vet who rushed him straight in. Mosh had been hit by a car and left unable to move for almost 4 days! The bush he was in was barely a meter from the road he must of been hit on, had the driver stopped, he would of instantly found him and could of notified us so we could of got him help. Instead, they chose to drive off leaving him scared, alone and in agony. For almost 4 days he lay crying out with completely smashed up insides. Vets said he would of been suffering, and he was in shock!
Due to his age, and damage done internally, surgery was not advised. "There's a very high chance we could lose him during the operation. Even if he could make it through, there's a very low success rate given the extent of the damage" the vet said. "So there's 2 options...give him that chance and potentially lose him, or lose him without giving him that 1 small chance?" I said. "Well... I would highly recommend we didn't...." "I'll stop you right there. He's my cat and we're paying. I'm not losing him without a fight" I sobbed to the vet. Hesitantly he said it could be arranged but only following a series of other tests before hand. The tests were carried out, all of which shown problem after problem. Again I asked can all his issues be sorted and the vet said they would need to do further blood tests before they knew that, which would take a few days to come back at the very least, possibly a week.
"We can't operate until the results come back in but the issue is he only has 24/48 hours at best in the state he is in, and he continues to deteriorate. "Should you chose to go ahead regardless, and he miraculously survives until the results come back, he'll be in excruciating pain. He's not in a good place at all at the moment and he's suffering immensely, regardless of the pain relief we're attempting."
The vet got a 2nd and 3rd opinion who relayed their thoughts back to me...I think to try and sensitively try and talk some sense in to me... all of which said he is in agony and all would strongly advise against putting him through any more of it. Each said they would go as far as to say he would not be a candidate for surgery in his current state anyway so they can not guarantee they would operate if he did make it that far.
I asked for 5 minutes to absorb everything and have a think. How could I let someone go ahead kill my little boy? Gone forever! With my authorisation! He was there with me through everything, and the one time he needed me my hands were tied. I either euthanized him or allowed him to suffer immense pain with almost a 0% chance it would make a difference anyway. Was I giving up on him, or was I just struggling to put his needs before my own?
Someone thought it was perfectly ok to smash in to one of my family members, my best friend, with their vehicle and drive off like he was nothing.
Even worse, leave him suffering for almost 4 days. In agony all alone for days on end, for what? because some subhuman was so evil and selfish they thought better of helping him when they had every power to do so.
I knew what I had to do for my boy. I'm better than the driver who hit and ran!