16 November 2010

The Final Farewell

Today I found myself making a decision I dreaded, and one which I had hoped not to make until the New Year.  My well loved and aged Taz cat (affectionately known as Tazzie) had to be put to sleep.

It hardly seems just over a year ago that I was in the same situation with my first cat, Chivers. I had always thought that Chivers would outlive Tazzie, but it wasn't to be.

I adopted Tazzie in 1992 from the appropriately named, Cat Orphanage in Billingham.  Her loud purr and sandpaper-like licks won my heart from the first moment I cuddled her. Tazzie was only about 8 months old when I adopted her, but like many poor un-neutered cats she had already had a litter of kittens and had endured a pretty tough start to life.

Tazzie, the food & drink cat burglar

Tazzie was the original cat burglar - especially where food was concerned. Despite always being well fed by me, she couldn't get rid of the instincts that I suspect were ingrained into her every fibre when she was a stray.

I will always remember Tazzie at a family barbecue, with her perfectly manicured talon swiping a sausage from under my Dad's nose. To this day, I don't know who looked the more surprised - my Dad for losing a sausage or Tazzie for her tasty foodie victory.

It wasn't all plain sailing with Tazzie though.  In her first year with me, I lost count of the number of times she urinated on the carpet: a change of cat litter (away from those hard dissolvable pellets) and ceramic tiles instead of carpet soon sorted that, along with the realisation that having a cat flap on the litter box prevented her from using it. There was also one time when me and my first husband had been away overnight and we came home to find that Tazzie had peed & pooped in the middle of our bed (and somehow managed to turn the radio on too - must have been one hell of a party).

I'm sure that these mishaps may have put off other owners, but not me. I persevered, read as much as I could about cats and their behaviour and learnt lots from both Tazzie and Chivers.

Stevie & Tazzie sharing a snooze

When Tazzie was around 13 years old, she was introduced to Mina.  She coped very well and took living with Stevie and Jasper in her stride.
Fast forward over 18 years and my beloved Tazzie was an OAP with failing health. She had become deaf in the last few years and seemed to live in her own little bubble. I was always very careful when approaching her bed and used to tap my fingers on the floor, to wake her up gently and not startle her.

Her quality of life had diminished and her world had shrunk to the size of the utility room. She could no longer groom herself and despite my regular sessions of brushing her coat, she still had matted fur that she just couldn't reach.  In the last few days her health had declined even further, leaving me with the heartbreaking decision that took me to the veterinary surgery today.

It's fair to say I have been in floods of tears and am still sobbing as I write this.  I wanted to be with Tazzie in her final moments and, as hard as it is to see your pet and companion slip away, I felt I owed it to her to soothe her passing with quiet words and cuddles.

Some people may question why I'm crying and grieving, after all she was 'only' a cat.  However Tazzie (and like Chivers before her) was not just a cat, she was my cat and companion.

Over the last 18 years she has provided me with companionship, cuddles, laughter, unconditional love and has been a constant presence during life's ups and downs.  Through deaths, divorce, redundancy, life changes, marriage, house moves and ill health Tazzie has been there with a loud purr, an emery board tongue and unlimited supplies of affection.

Our pets provide us with so much and their time with us is fleeting. I will miss Tazzie tremendously and I'm sure that the hounds too will wonder what has happened to the black and white ball of fluff that used to follow them around.
RIP Tazzie
1992 - 16 November 2010 


  1. Being with them at the end is the biggest tribute we can pay them. She was loved and comforted to the end.

  2. This brings back memories of having our little rescue cat put to sleep, through kidney failure at only 3 years of age. Melody was only with us for just over a year when we had to make the decision everyone dreads.

    My heart goes out to you, it really does.

  3. A very sad day. Tazzie was obviously a very much loved family member, cherish the wonderful memories and remember you gave her a wonderful life.

  4. I'm so sorry to hear about Tazzie. I'm sending you a giant hug and I hope the pain fades in time to leave the happy memories. H x

  5. So sorry to hear about Tazzie, animals are there with us through the good and bad times and Tazzie will be in your heart forever.

  6. Thank you for all your kind comments. They really are appreciated. x

  7. So, so sorry to hear about Tazzie. I totally understand how you feel, I hope your memories of her can comfort you now xx


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