Dolly lies now under a young apple tree which this year blossoms for the first time.
We’ve planted forget-me-nots there. Each April we’ll be reminded of her green eyes, the Jane Austen middle parting of black draped over her pretty white face.
I took her to the vet to have two teeth removed. The vet phoned to say that I could pick her up in half an hour. She had recovered from the anaesthetic and was having something to eat. Ten minutes later Dolly keeled over, dead. There was a post-mortem. She was found to have heart disease.
When Rob carried her home to bury, her mother, Flo, yowled. Rob thought it best not to show Flo the body, as it would no longer smell like Dolly following the autopsy, but would smell of blood and chemicals.
Flo survives, aged 19, to Dolly’s 14. Lately Flo yowls in the night and I go down to stroke and reassure her. She used to come upstairs and sleep on the bed, but I think her almost blindness confuses her. I now leave the light on in the hall for her, so she can find her way to the litter box. She drinks masses of water – kidney failure. I squash her thyroid tablet into a tiny morsal of favourite food before giving her the kidney diet. I do give her a tiny bit of more interesting food with her thyroid tablet mashed into it. And she still has the occasional titbit of cheese or fish or chicken, as, if it was me, and I was as ill and ancient, I would hate not to have my tipple of whiskey, my piece of chocolate, even if they would shorten my life. What is life without chocolate and whiskey?
(Rob occasionally has night horrors – he screams in his sleep. Between his yelling and Flo’s yoweling, nights are never dull.
Hawke’s Point, April