Monday, 28 October 2013

Tough Love

Well I don't know what happened to the storm of the century but it didn't visit my village.

Yes we had some heavy rain and a bit of wind but nothing like the raging storm we'd been promised. That's the trouble with this country, we like to big things up and send people into a panic when there really is no need. Yes there were trees downed and there was flooding but nothing on the scale predicted and in all I think we got off quite lightly. However the travel companies have added to the 'chaos' by cancelling trains, grounding aircraft and generally buying into the whole 'it's going to be a disaster' culture whipped up by the media.

That sounded a bit grumpy but then I'm a bit grumpy this morning. I had to ring in sick as my cold has now descended to my chest and I'm coughing up gunk like there's no tomorrow. I'm so sick of my body where, unlike the weather, even the mildest cold turns into a major problem in the blink of an eye. I've tried to get rid of it, I was in bed by seven in an effort to sleep it off, though I'd already rung in sick by then so there was little point. The race is now on to get back to work by the weekend.

However my early night did not turn out as restful as I'd hoped. Within half an hour I heard a cat being sick and found Tarmac had hurled all over the spare bedroom floor. On my own in the house I had no choice but to get my gloves, bucket and cleaning liquid and sort it out. I'd only just finished when I heard a yowling from our bedroom and walked in to find Tarmac taking a wee on our carpet. This alternate vomiting and weeing went on for a further hour and I was on the point of calling the vet when he stopped as suddenly as he started. Thoroughly awake now I took a quick shower and got dressed ready to take off if he started up again.

I decided to call the emergency vet anyway and quick consult confirmed my worst fear. Tarmac had been diagnosed with cancer almost exactly a year ago and I was told he had weeks at most. We were sent home with me tearfully promising to bring him back if he showed any signs of pain or discomfort. Amazingly he rallied and was soon charging around the house like a two year old and fighting with Smirnoff so I put 'cancer' to the back of my mind and we got on with it. There was the occasional vomiting session but it didn't seem to bother him and he never seemed in pain so I left it for a few more weeks, and then a few more. Let me say here and now if there had been the slightest sign of distress I'd have been back at the vet in heartbeat. I would never let an animal suffer.

The advice I got was to keep him in overnight and monitor him. If he started up again or displayed any other odd behaviour I was to ring again and bring him straight in. I spent an uneasy night getting up and down to check under the rocking chair. Each time he was sleeping peacefully and I found myself hoping he'd pass peacefully in his sleep. By the morning, with no signs of any more vomiting, he was still there and for one brief moment I thought it had happened. Then he lifted his head and his eyes said it all. He struggled to his feet and wobble unsteadily to the bed, I picked him up and cuddled him gently, pressing my cheek onto the hard little head and I cried my heart out.

And so as I write this I'm bracing myself for the inevitable. I have an appointment and in my heart of hearts I know it will be his last. I've selfishly delayed just for a few more hours with him. I'm sorry I'm going to have to stop. The tears are falling so fast I can no longer see what I'm typing.