Monday, 15 August 2011

me, Velvet

I am getting very big now.  I still like to give Merlin a squash.  He is a sweet little cuddly toy, I do not hurt him.  He often comes in the front door to avoid me.  Hahaha, but I get him in the end.

I know I don't really fit in this bed, but at least if I am in it, Ted or Merlin can't have it.  I am bigger than in this photo now.  Vanessa hopes I am full size, I hope I go on getting bigger, so that she cannot lift me up!

Sunday, 13 March 2011


I thinc it is abowt time i asserted mi rites to be  skwoshed les.  it is OK for a littorl wile, but then i get orl gloopee and kuvvered in Velvet spittorl.  yuck. and her tethe hert. as yu kan see, we get on wel. butt ther ar limmits.  and shee wil gett bigga and more hevi and I wil get mor skwoshed.

enuf is enuf. too skworshes a day, maximum. OK?

Tuesday, 15 February 2011


Hello.  My name is Velvet.  I have come from Many Tears rescue, I was staying with wonderful foster carers in Wales and now I live with Simon and Vanessa at Michael House. A wonderful organisation.

I am having lots of fun. Berri is great to play with, he is nice to me and we play and play. I am already in charge of him! Barney doesn't seem to want to play and the Vanessa and Simon uprights try to make me stop jumping at him and making him woof. The cats are fun. One of them hisses and spits at me and runs off, but the other one lets me squash him, I think he almost likes it. The uprights are a bit perturbed!
At first I could get out of the dog garden and run around in the main garden and even get out of that. The naughty Simon has now blocked it all up and I cannot get out any more. The cat flap is shrinking. Soon it will be too small for me. I will just push it off.

I am very good at night. I sleep in the soft crate thing, I do not make a fuss and I just ask to go out once a night. I had not weed or pood in the house for two days, but it did go a bit wrong this morning, I was playing with Berri and it was such fun and I forgot to go outside. I think the Vanessa one had got complacent as I had been so good. I think I know a lot of big words, as I am only three months old still. I am very clever.

I like the pots houseplants go in, especcially those wickery ones that people apparently give each other at Christmas with handles. The secret with them is to empty the plants and soil out over a large area of carpet first, then you can have a good chew on the wicker without eating too much soil.

I am looking forward to my first proper walk on Thursday. I am getting used to the lead, but sometimes try to pull Vanessa or Simon along. We practice in the garden. I am going to puppy classes in a few weeks, it is all booked. I can sometimes do 'stay' .


Saturday, 15 January 2011

I miss Sky too

Sky was my friend and playmate.  She chose me and welcomed me into the home, telling me who was in charge straight away.   She was.  I am sort of waiting for her, or for a new playmate, I feel a bit miserable, but I know that Sky has gone.  Barney is OK, we get along, but he is not one for playing, he gets all confused and only plays for 2 seconds, then goes away.

A lovely walk along the beach woudl help.  That is my favourite place. 

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Sky, now in the past tense

I can't quite comprehend that it is only a week since we saw blood was coming from Sky's bandage and took her to the vet on the Wednesday.  The splint had caused a sore and we were told the sore would not heal.  It was a matter of days we were advised.  And now it is already several days since she left us.

More blood leaked out immediately after the bandage was renewed, then it stopped and started.  We had the bandage redone on the Friday, and were offered the option of having her put to sleep then.  We had had a sleepless night the night before, but felt she was still enjoying life too much to leave it yet.  She was still eating, clean in the house, interested in everything, even going out for  short walks.

On the Friday, the day started well. After having the bandage redone, the bleeding was controlled for most of the day.  We went to Stone Cottage, and Sky spent quite a lot of the day sitting in the back of the car, quite restful, and in the kitchen at Elizabeth's house.

After being in Stone Cottage for a while, the bleeding started showing again. This distressed Sky.  She sat awkwardly on the journey home, she was not happy.  She only ate a little food that night,  one bit at a time, on the floor.  Her tongue and nose were pale.  She insisted on walking up the stairs alone, and dripped a lot of blood on the way.  She was not enjoying life at this point.

We knew this was our last night with her.  I didn't want to sleep, I didn't want to miss any of the last hours with her, or the feel of her next to me on the bed.  When we woke, she did a little, last howly howl.

In the morning we took her in to the vet for the last time.  She struggled a little as she was put to sleep, and made a yelping noise, which will always haunt me and was awful.  She looked straight at me, I hope she did not blame me for what was happening, and I can not now make it right with her.  Although, who knows what communication can extend beyond death?  The vet was lovely and the staff there are fantastic.  It was one of the hardest moments of my life.

On that Saturday, 8th, I was very upset, as was Simon.  I felt like a part of me was missing, but there was relief that we had spared Sky any suffering and done it at the right time.  Berri saw the body and we feel he has adjusted well, but he misses her and having a play mate.  Barney appears oblivious, but who knows how he feels?  The cats are probably glad not to have anyone staring at them and jumping up at them all the time!  Simon made a big hole in the garden and we buried Sky there, near to Shian.

On Sunday, we went out and it felt a lot better.  We saw the starlings at Rough Tor, they were the best I have ever seen, and heard, and smelt!  Wonderful sunset, still evening, then the birds started to stream through just after the sun went down.

Monday, not the extremes of  anguish of Saturday, but a miserable, low rumble of sorrow all the time, tears and loss.  Yesterday and today, I feel I am starting to get used to the change.  I know I get over things quite fast, I tend to do a lot of grieving before the loss, it had made me cry to think of losing Sky for at least two years, I had often thought of it and what it would mean.  I am sobbing as a write, but I think putting it all down is helpful to me as part of the process of recovery  and recording details I may forget.

What a special girl.  I'm sorry that I do not feel the same about Barney.  But, in a way, I think it would be speciesist to feel alike for all animals.  I do not have the same regard for every human I meet, so why for every animal?  And, in a way I identify with Barney, the odd one, funny looking, never chosen for the team.

I miss needing a ball each time I go out, I miss giving Sky the medication she had every night for years, my routine is all messed up. I even miss looking after her when she was ill, carrying her up to bed, making sure she ate as much as she could, even if it was cat food in the last days.  I miss her howly-howl, her noise, her playful, yet deadly serious and earnest attitude to life,  her nuzzle, the lovely roundy top bit of her head and pointy stand up ears.  The little plumpy bit each side of her mouth.  I miss her rolling over for a tummy rub.  I miss being proud of her, of how well she was for 15, and how amazed everyone was when i told them her age.  I miss  her visiting the ladies at the White House and disappearing for crumbs under the chairs and our singing in the car on the way there and back.  I miss my close relationship with her, our bond, her trust. 

It will be hard telling all the guests who have known her, I must alter the information in the booklet.  I have spoken of it on Facebook, and got some lovely responses and warmth and know how much so many people loved her.  She loved Dawn who adored her.  I feel like we are waiting.  For her to return?  I love the image of the Rainbow bridge, where all our loved and departed companion animals are waiting for us when we die and then we all go leaping across together, reunited.  I don't really believe the idea, but it is rather comforting and sweet nonetheless!

And, I know we will put ourselves through it all again.  Not too soon, or we will just be trying to replace Sky and any animal will not be able to match up, which will be quite unfair.

I will pass back the responsibility for this blog to the animals once more now.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011


I am going to write little snippets about Sky as the days pass, as I know I will forget what has happened and how things progressed.  Sky is still with us, she is not as well as when she wrote that last post, but she is still very much interested in life and enjoying things.

I am learning about a new aspect of her.  It is making me realise, that you only get to know all aspects of anyone if you see them from birth through to death, and that rarely happens with humans for obvious reasons.  I missed the first seven years of Sky's life, but I am sure she was a lovely, fun and energetic youngster.

In her old age and illness, she is showing new parts of herself.  She is telling me what to do, as she mentioned in the last post, when to turn round on walks, when she will eat, when not.  She prefers food sprinkled over the floor, she does not now eat in the mornings, only at night, she prefers stolen food, cat food.  So I set it up to seem stolen!  But, having some cat food today, 'legally', Merlin tried to eat it. Sky was not eating it, but she attacked him, and he has a bite on his face.  We must be very careful, and remember, it looks like a game, but it is not.  We have steroids to give her, but have not yet started these, as she is still eating a fair amount.  Also, Shian (golden retriever) died the day after starting on steroids, as did Sydney (tabby cat).  I feel cautious about starting them.

I know Sky will not survive this, but she seems so well at times, that that becomes hard to believe.  We sing together, she is clearly still enjoying life in the main, she is alert and interested.  I so hope we will know the right time for her to depart.  I cannot bear the thought of it, but want to do it right for her.  The cancer has moved to her lungs, so walking far, up hills, is difficult now, but she takes rests and is determined to do as much as she can.

I want to write these notes, mainly for myself, but others may find it interesting, as it is remarkable how fast we adapt to new circumstances, and they become the norm.  Towards the end of November, we had no inkling this was around the corner, now it is normal to praise her for eating a lump of catfood which we would have told her off for taking so recently!

In some ways I feel guilty that I feel so differently about different animals i have lived with.  Yet, surely, it is more natural to feel closer to some than others, just as one does with humans.  To see them as all the same would be to belittle the relationships we have with them.  I feel so close to Sky, I did to Dum-Dum, the cat who died of FIV many years ago.  Yet, Cimba, whom I lived with for 17years or so and Tibby, both left  this world with me dry eyed.  I loved them, but I did not have that closeness or rapport I have with Sky and I had with Dum-Dum.