Friday, 14 May 2010

Goodbye George

I write this with a rather heavy heart. Sadly today our "rather large, daft ginger cat" George had to be put down today. He'd not been well for a couple of weeks and over the last twenty-four hours he had deteriorated rapidly. The vet came to the house which made the whole ordeal much less distressing for George - animals aren't stupid and a trip to the vets in a plastic box is a huge source of stress. As it happened he was sitting on my knee with Suzi and I both stroking him. A horrible experience but the right thing is often the hardest thing to do.

If you're not an animal lover you may find this hard to understand, he had become a real part of the family since we got him about a year and a half ago. He was 16 then and had been in a shelter with a local cat charity for three months; due to his age many people just weren't interested - the charity didn't even want a donation for him just as long as we gave him a good home. He'd ended up there after his previous owner had to go into a home and her family took him to a vet to be put down but the vet refused to put a perfectly healthy animal down but offered to pass him to the charity. Those who weren't interested missed out on a cat who was incredibly affectionate and attentive not to mention completely daft with an appetite which could have bankrupted a number of small countries. The usual comment when people saw him was to say 'he's huge!' It seemed like he was the world's largest domestic cat! He was around three times the size of Thomas' birth weight! He adjusted to Thomas' arrival far better than we could ever have hoped - often ending up lying next to Thomas on the sofa when we were all in the lounge!

Although my blog tends to concentrate on railways of various sizes I wanted to share this. If you want a cat (or indeed other pets too) a rescue one can make a wonderful pet and addition to the family. George came in and in a short space of time became an integral part of the household despite spending half of his time asleep (and it seemed like the rest of his time purring!) and wrecking all three sofas to some extent when he continually moulded them to make comfortable beds! But we aren't really bothered about small details like this!

We knew that taking on an older animal would mean we wouldn't have them as long as a we might have had a younger pet but, despite the end, it was all worth it and I hope we gave him a happy year and a half's 'retirement'.


  1. Very sorry to hear that James, but I'm glad you were able to give him a peaceful end in a loving home.

  2. Very sorry to hear about your loss of George. You seem to have given him a truly excellent last few months.

    Our cat, Splat, is now 17 and was diagnosed with cancer last October. despite this he fights on with all the spirit of a (slightly arthritic) kitten and takes a constant interest in whatever is cooking.

    Splat's done far better than we ever expected, but it will still be a sad day when there is just an empty fur-lined depression in the sofa at the end in the sun...


  3. Cant say I am a cat person but can empathise, we lost a rabbit to old age. My wife and I both look to the corner of the garden when we peg out the washing. Frostie used to stand on her back legs in her run watching, but no more.

  4. Very sorry to hear about George. Having been in a similar situation last year I know how upsetting it can be. However we now seem to have acquired another 'stray' recently whom we have named 'Jet'. Hope he gets on OK with the rest of the cats here!
    BTW: nice working with you for the first time helping to rebuild the Mountsorrel branch this week. Many thanks for your help - hope to see you again soon.


  5. James - as a fellow cat lover who lost his own large daft ginger moggy (missing, presumed coyote chow) last year, I can empathize with how you and Suzy are feeling. At least you know that you made his last year and a bit comfortable, and repayed the joy he gave you.

    My other (larger, dafter black) cat was as lost as I was for a while. He's more than stepped up, though, in becoming more affectionate (if that were possible!). I've had to ban him from the railway room, though...

    Once the initial pain has healed, go "rescue" another, if you can. I'm currently "saving" yet another stray feral beastie...



  6. Very sorry to hear about your lovely cat. I can sympathise, having had to do the same thing with my first cat who had cancer of the nose.
    There's no better feeling than running model trains with a cat purring contentedly on your lap or in a basket nearby.

  7. Thank you all for your kind comments. I think you're all as soft as I am when it comes to animals!

    George is still hugely missed - considering we only had for a a year and a half he was huge part of our little family. He was a very special cat who I think was very aware of what was happening around him. Just a few days before Suzi's emergency ceasarean section she'd felt awful and called me to get home as soon as I ccould. In the that time, maybe just twenty minutes, she'd blacked out and fainted - George went and sat right beside her until we got home and could help. We also miss his ability to miraculously appear in the kitchen, regardless of where he'd been, as soon you open any packet or tin of food!

    We have taken in three more rescue cats now; all quite deserving of a home and again not the first choice for many people or families. Firstly we have Daisy, who's at least ten, whose 95 year old owner couldn't cope anymore - she just wants affection and a knee to sit on! We also have Toby who's semi-feral and only about ten weeks old and is a little bit more work than other kittens (he broke out of his pen so he could play with the big cats!) but I think it'll be worth it. He was found on a main road just by his mother who'd been knocked down. Not an easy start in life. And finally we have Jasmine who's nine weeks old and the runt of her litter - she's still tiny!

    Hopefully we'll have a lot of fun with them - the kittens, especially Toby, could be a lot of fun for Thomas too as he grows up!

    PS Gary, I really enjoyed the working week - hoping to be back when track laying recommences!