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Thursday, 14 August 2008

Sad news about Fitzi-cat

Sadly last week I had Fitzi-cat put to sleep. It was a really difficult decision for me, but he had been in a decline for some months, and various tests and medication wasn’t stopping the decline. In fact last week he stopped eating (which made giving his medication interesting) and then stopped drinking. He was very obviously losing weight and although moving about and sitting on the windowsill watching the birdies he didn’t seem much interested in anything else.

I took him to the vet and discussed options but given poor Fitzi had to be sedated to even get him out of the box the idea of trying to keep him on a drip over the weekend was problematic. It also became apparent that whatever treatment was given would just buy him a bit of time and in the end I decided it was a quality of life issue and make one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make. At least he went peacefully.

I miss him dreadfully as he was a constant companion. I kind of “inherited” him from a friend who was travelling a lot, and Fitz would come and stay during his absence. In the end the periods got longer and Fitz stayed for good. I’d never had a kitty before and we kind of eyed each other with suspicion for some months. However when I moved to Orkney we really bonded. We drove up to Scotland from Kent and Fitz sat on my lap the entire journey (don’t panic I wasn’t driving!). Given he weighted about 8 kilos at the time you can see it wasn’t the most comfortable of journeys!

He had always been an indoor cat in Kent due to too much traffic and I had hoped he would enjoy being more of an outdoor cat on Graemsay. However, it also became apparent that he hadn’t really figured out he was a cat! So when he came into contact for the first time with the barn cats he came off rather the worse for wear. He generally learned to give them a wide berth and I made sure he only went out during the day when any self respecting barn cat was asleep.

He also got into trouble exploring heights. He climbed onto the garden dyke (wall) which led to the roof of the old byres (which now form part of the extension) and walked along the roof ridge. I took a couple of photos. But bless him, when he tried to turn round at the end, gravity took it’s part and he gracefully slid down the roof. Fortunately it was only one level high and he landed on a nice soft clump of grass. I ran out expecting a badly injured cat, and saw him sitting there looking a bit dazed, he then got up, and walked off with his tail in the air as if to say “I meant to do that, what’s the fuss”!

He learned great respect for the hens and the cockerels always giving them a wide berth. I don’t think he ever chased them – that would require too much activity. But I think their squaking alarmed him. He did on occasions make attempts to catch one or two field birds, but when he did succeed he immediately let them go again with a look of alarm on his face – he clearly wasn’t sure what on earth to do with them next !

He was an extremely pampered kitty – when away on hols I’d leave the heating on for him….. and his favourite occupations were eating and sleeping. He lived to 14, which is a reasonable age, and certainly enjoyed life until the last few weeks anyway. So although he will be sadly missed by me for some time to come, I have lots of happy memories of him!

May the wind take his spirit and set it free.....


  1. Oh, Sian, I'm so sorry. I'm sure you made the correct decision, but you will miss him terribly, I know. Hugs!

  2. I'm so sorry. I know that is a hard decision to make. It sounds like Fitzi had a wonderful life. He was a very lucky cat to have you take care of him.

  3. What a lovely tribute to Fitzi. Wherever he is, I'm sure he appreciates it.

  4. Thanks for all your comments and offers of sympathy. Fitzi was quite a character and I shall miss him for some time to come. But I know he had a good life and a peaceful end which is all any of us can ask for really!