Saying Goodbye to Michelle

Michelle was my wife Jacinta’s family cat for the last 14 years. When I say “family cat”, I of course mean, Gerry’s cat, because Gerry took special care of all the cats in the family until she got sick and the burden of care mostly fell on my father-in-law Frank’s shoulders. He will tell you himself that he was never a big fan of cats, but if you saw the care and attention he lavished on that cat it was obvious she was special to him.

Unfortunately, Michelle was almost 17 years old. Her mother Patches was a regular in the household. She had a litter of kittens and Michelle, the older sister, acted as baby sitter many a time while her mother roamed the neighbourhood searching for food. Gerry took Patches in, and Michelle wandered in crying within a week. She became a permanent fixture and never wandered away again! Of all the cats that came and went, Michelle had a special place in my wife’s heart.

We took Michelle to the vet this afternoon. This was our third visit in the last two months. She had a large tumour, her appetite had disappeared, and she was very weak. We couldn’t let her suffer any more. The vet, Stephanie, let us say our goodbyes and gently put Michelle to sleep. Michelle was very calm through out. She lay there, letting Jacinta stroke her and cup her head in her hands, as the enormity of what was about to happen sunk in. I was fine until the needle went in and then memories of my own pets came flooding back and I was as inconsolable as Jacinta. It never gets any easier.

Michelle will be missed by all who knew her.

Surprisingly I only ever posted one photo of Michelle, when she was snug in her own little home in the back garden. I really like that photo. It’s the first I posted with the Canon 50mm f1/8 lens.

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