For the past few years this column has evolved into me just sharing my life with you.
Ups, downs, highs, lows have all featured and maybe I’ve been a bit too honest, sometimes to the point of boring you or oversharing.
When I was first asked to write it, I was mixing with a lot of celebrities and I think the idea was to write about exciting things. As I certainly had done my fair bit of travelling around the world mixing with the stars, that was quite easy to talk about.
However, it soon became clear from all the letters from you readers that sometimes it was the everyday things which happened to us all that you related to most. So that’s where we have got to. A column where I share my week with you and, quite often, you will be going through similar things.
This week I apologise in advance for me writing from the heart.
Rimple and Timple
Last night our beloved cat, Timple, was put to sleep. He was only six and we hoped we would have many years with him and his sister Rimple, but it wasn’t meant to be.
We got Timple after rescuing an elderly cat who was run over 10 weeks after we got her. We missed having a cat around the house.
We were very upset to lose her, but she was elderly, and we had known from the start we may not have her for long. So we rescued two cats who were around two years old, Precious and Gizmo, as they had been named by the cat rescue centre we took them from.
We renamed them Rimple and Timple because those were, for some reason, the nicknames I gave to Emily and Ollie when they were little. Those two cats soon became real family members and even though I had previously not been a pet person at all, I fell completely in love with them.
I was the sort of person who, if someone lost a pet would have thought: “Oh, that’s sad. They will be OK, though, they can just get another one.” I really didn’t know that the death of a pet is a very real grief because they have real individual personalities which can’t be replaced.
A clever, talking cat
Timple became ill over the weekend and, at first, we didn’t know how bad it was. He had been out for hours because, as a boy cat full of mischief and adventure, he was always off killing mice to bring home to us or just strolling around the village.
Every time Timple came home, he announced his arrival with a very loud greeting. This often sounded like “Muuuum” or “heeeelllo” so I used to boast about the fact my cat was so clever it talked. I have previously told you in this column about his talking and Carol Vorderman even played a recording on her radio show.
This weekend when he came home and was sick, we assumed he had eaten something bad, but we didn’t know how bad. I told you a few weeks ago about him having a piece of grass stuck in his throat which had to be surgically removed, so we thought it was something like that again.
Apparently, though, he had ingested a very dangerous toxin. Of course, we will never know what or where from, and we don’t need to know.
When we took him to the vets he was not himself but I assumed a course of antibiotics and he would be as right as rain.
The first phone call to say he had severe kidney failure was devastating.
They tried for a couple of days to save him and, due to Covid, we didn’t see him at all during this time.
Let’s hold our loved ones a little bit tighter
I know he was just a pet but it brought home to me how utterly devastating it must have been for families with loved ones in hospital during Covid not being able to visit them at all. Many of you will have gone through this – standing by the phone, waiting for updates every few hours and dreading it ringing. I’m so sorry you had to do that. It’s cruel and compounds an already awful situation.
Even in the end, we couldn’t go to into the hospital to be with Timple.
The vet brought him out to the car where we cuddled him as she administered something to put him to sleep. We were then allowed to take him home. It was by now around midnight, I think.
Emily had driven home from Liverpool so she could say goodbye to Timple. She and Gordon dug a little grave under a tree while I just cuddled Timple and then we put him to bed for the last time.
I know we won’t be the only ones grieving this week and I am acutely aware of how much worse it is for those of you grieving for a family member. I’m sending love to all of you.
Let’s just hold our loved ones a little bit tighter this week.