Sunday, 2 January 2011

Who knows what the year will bring?

Here is my calendar page for January. As you can see I have featured Marvin, my ginger and white cat.

The reason I didn't post this before was I wanted to tell you about Marv. He has been poorly for sometime with an inflammatory bowel disease, which we have got under control with steroids and hypoallergenic cat food. But when he went for a check-up the week before Christmas the vet was concerned about his weight loss. He was a very large cat, weighing well over a stone (14lbs) and I had to buy an extra large cat container to transport him! So I just thought he was looking leaner and healthier under his new food regime. However a blood test confirmed the vets fears that he has diabetes. So we were faced with a horrible dilemma - do we start to treat it, or let nature take its course?
Treatment for cats with diabetes is exactly the same as for humans, twice daily blood tests and insulin injections. Committing yourself to such a regime is not to be taken lightly, so we took a couple of days to make a decision and talk about it with friends and family who know our situation and the cat's personality. we took the sad decision to let nature take its course as I felt I could not commit myself to pinning the cat down four times a day, twice to take blood samples and twice to inject insulin.  My husband would find it difficult to help especially as he is in need of some care himself having had a stroke some while ago as well as not being physically robust. Also Marvin was named after the paranoid android in 'Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy' as he is of a highly paranoid nature. I have given up trying to get a collar on him, and treating him with a spot flea treatment is a nightmare.  He is also inclined to ''wet his pants' when he thinks he is going in the cat basket - and then runs whenever he sees me for the next couple of days! I cannot imagine having to go through the routine needed to treat him. We would all be nervous wrecks. Also I asked myself, what would happen if we wanted to go away, who would we find to go through this for us?  So I am writing all of this, because I feel so bad, Every time I look at poor ole Marv I have a little lump in my throat, and I want you to understand that I am not being unkind - am I? At the moment he is fine ( see the photo below)
 
Marvin expresses his opinion of New Year's TV
His coat is a bit scruffy as he has bad teeth and dribbles - (the vet doesn't want to treat them and they aren't effecting his eating). The vet couldn't predict how long it would be before his quality of life is affected, but at the moment you wouldn't know anything was wrong, I've had enough cats over the years to know you can tell when that moment has come.  So please excuse me my maudlin over my pet. I know he will continue to pop up in my posts frequently. Reading this thorough - only a pet lover could imagine why anyone keeps such a cat in the first place!
A page from my Marvin sketchbook when we first got him
Marvin came from the marvelous local Animals at Risk Shelter(no web site), which has accommodation for all sorts of unhousable cats as well finding cats' homes. The couple who run it are devoted, and when we visited there were lots of resident cats sunning themselves in an immaculate garden with not the tiniest 'whiff' of cat. The cats waiting for rehousing were in a very homely, light and airy out house, and 'Rusty' as he had been called just rolled over at Mr T's feet for his belly to be tickled, so that was that!
He had been brought in by the security guard from a local Iceland store. We think he must have been well fed because he was rather fat, but totally paranoid at being shut in.  He goes mad if he is in a room with the door shut so goodness knows what had happened to him. Which was why we re-named him.
My nephew made us smile when my sister overheard him telling a friend that his Auntie had a cat that had been rescued from Poland!! Well Iceland...Poland what's the difference!
Thank you for sticking with me through this, I feel better for getting off my chest and I sure you will understand why we are making the most of Marv while we've got him.

24 comments:

arts4all said...

Poor kitty! They come into our lives and hearts and stick there. Hope he gives you much joy in the coming days, limited though they may be. He's a lucky fellow to have you!

thekathrynwheel said...

First of all I LOVE your January page - it is a wonderful tribute to Marvin. Secondly, I wanted you to know that every time we have intervened in the health of any of our pets it had seemed to make things worse and has put them through a lot of unnecessary suffering (although of course, hindsight is a wonderful thing....) I'm sure Marvin has had a wonderful life with you especially when you consider his start in life and he certainly looks content in your photos :-)

PaperPumpkin said...

Your calenddar is so touchingly beautiful. I just love it and could look at it all day...all month! And, you are a loving cat owner, don't question yourself. Having a sick pet is so difficult, and vet treatments don't always make a pet feel better, sometimes worse. it's a tough decision (my heart goes out to you) but I think I would do the same. Nature has a reason. Nature takes its course. Nature knows what it's doing. Your love will make Marv feel better when that time comes and he feels sicker. When you hold him and pet him, he'll know that you are indeed helping him. You are in my thoughts. ~Kath

Sandra Hall said...

Ah Jill, what a heart you have for your cat! To include him on your January page is a wonderful testament of your love for him. Whatever happens and however long you have him for, you'll have great memories in that sketchbook :) Anyone who reads this post can see the love you have for Marvin so don't feel bad about the choice you've made re not treating the diabetes - we all seek make the best choices for our loved ones. x

Eileen said...

Thank you for sharing this Jill. I don't think you are being unkind at all. You had a very difficult decision to make and it sounds like the right one to me. I hope that Marvin has many happy times ahead of him yet. I love the diary page, and like the picture of him at the end of your post even more: it seems to show his character very well.
I wish you and yours the very best for the year to come. xxx

flutterbycrafter said...

What a lovely cat, and how lucky for him that he found you and your husband, he's enjoying life and I totally agree with your decision. Love the January page.

Carol Q said...

Fab January page and what a horribly difficult decision but I think I would do the same if it was our cat.

Lalabibaby @ Dreaming of The Simple Life said...

Don't chastise yourself Jill you are totally acting in Marvin's best interests and he will be loved till his end. It's the downside of having pets isn't it ... we had a similar experience with an old cocker spaniel years ago. Jasper was our first pet and I can still see his little face as we said goodbye at the vets and here I am some 26 years later with another spaniel with those same eyes. Too much intervention in animals and humans just prolongs the agony so enjoy what time you have left with him. The Animals at Risk shelter is just down the road from me. Lovely January page x

Michelle said...

I, too, have a giant, rescued ginger & white cat. His name is Marley and he is perhaps the naughtiest kitty on the planet (just a moment ago the Christmas tree got knocked over & he attacked my son's new slippers). However, he also has the sweetest moments and in spite of his behavior, I love him dearly. I completely understand the place you are in with Marvin and I hope you have lots more time with him. Your journal page is a lovely tribute!

marigold jam said...

Oh Jill - I can't bear to think of you having to go through this dreadful decision making business. I am sure you are doing the right thing though and that Marvvin would prefer to continue as long as he can with "normal" life. He sounds like the sort of cat who would rather die than go through all that aggro and knowing how poorly some people with diabetes can feel and how hard it would be to know if he was having a hypo or hyper or whatever it is would be a nightmare. He has been part of your family for for so long it will not be easy to see him decline but at least he has had a good time whilst he was able which is more than some cats. Please do feel free to write about your thoughts and feelings if it helps as I am sure it will. My thoughts are with you and with Marvin too - bless him.

Jane x

Patrice said...

Love the cat references; Morris is quite an inspiration!

JP said...

I so understand the decision you have reached - I think you are totally right - tough love is always hard - we have had cats for 40 years( ever since we have been maried - so i am totally with you - take care

Emma said...

Oh, poor you, what a decision. There's got to come a time when as has been said, we need to let nature take it's course. We got 2 rescue cats 16 yrs ago & one turned out braindamaged from being left under a bush enclosed in a plastic bag. She has had to be shown & re shown her food 3 or 4 times per meal, doesn't clean herself so we watch tv teasing out the matted bits but when you look at her she purrs, when you scratch her chin she practically turns upsidedown with joy...& dribbles into your hand. Sounds yummy but as you say you have to be a cat lover!The other one meows at every closed door but loves my lap, what would i do without her?

I ramble but i'm saying i understand.

Fabulous umbellifer stitching & calendar pages, i've loved coming here over the year - thanks for your kind comments, Happy New Year!

LOVE STITCHING RED said...

I adore your header photo Jill
Happy new year to you dear
x

Beverley Baird said...

What a horribly difficult decision to have to make. We have an 18 yr. old and I can't imagine being faced with that decision. I am sure tho that I would have made the same one you did, given all the points you raised. Just love him up!
Love your January calendar by the way. I have just started to do this as well.

webb said...

Dear Jill,

This is one of the hardest things in life - to love a dear pet and then let him go when the time comes. Of course, you are doing the right thing. Our pets can't tell us what they need, but clearly Marvin needs peace and space. To force him to be pricked four times a day would be torture for him. Better to allow him the dignity of old age.

Doesn't mean it will be easy for you. Talk to us as you need or want to. We're here for you. Marvin is a great cat, and we will all remember him fondly thru your words and pictures. Love.

Clare Wassermann said...

Bless you and bless your tom. I think you have made the right decision - a hard one but the less stress your boy can go through, the better, even if his life is a little shorter. Thank you for sharing your tale and your beautiful diary xx

Joyce said...

I am so sorry you are going through this. I've been there and know how hard it is to give up a beloved pet.

Trece said...

My heart grieves with yours. I'm adding Marvin to my prayer list; hopefully he'll be around for a long time.

I love the calendar. I have a question: what size is your notebook, and how big are the squares?

Suzanne Brookfield said...

Hello Jill, found your blog through the Kathryn Wheel and Art of Moodling. I hope to join in with this year's challenge and have uploaded Jan's pages.
Your pages are fab and a lovely tribute to your pet. I admire your decision and the thoughts behind it.....

Loved seeing all your pages from 2010 together. Thanks for saying you dont always write on each place...that's helpful lol :) What size do you work on?

Looking forward to looking at your blog more!

Suzanne

Printed Material said...

Oh Jill, what a big heart you have. Firstly you and Mr T gave Marv the home he needed. You've let him live within his own boundaries and not tried to change him. He's been a lucky cat and whatever you choose to do I know it will have been with whatever is best for him at the centre of it. There may be more tough decisions to make in the future but your innate compassion will ensure you make the right ones for all concerned. Lesley x

Dawn said...

This is my 1st visit, but it won't be the last. To here yo talk about your beloved Marvin I just know your a wonderful person and that all wonderful people should be encouraged. It's sad about Marv but at least you know and now it will be as stress free and painless as possible.

I came because of your journal pages directed for another blog (another for the 1st time) I am hoping to do one of these journals this year I have a journal I just need a few bit so I can get cracking love the inspiration here

Love Dawn xx

abitosunshine said...

Ah! Sweetness for Marv!

Smile! You've been given a Stylish Blogger Award and you can pick it up here:
Poetic Creations by abitosunshine

Lynette (NZ) said...

So inspired by your pages I have decided to join in - thanks for the encouragement :-)http://lynettecollis.blogspot.com/2011/01/2011-calendar-challenge.html