Monday, 21 April 2014

RIP Parsley


He's gone. Out little family of four is down to three.

This has been looming over us since Parsley was first diagnosed with Lymphoma at the beginning of February. We've spent many an hour fretting over how we would know when the time was right, and how to do what was best for him, but on Wednesday last, we felt no uncertainty at all; we were out of time, and the kindest thing was to let our baby go.

His passing was very peaceful. Catherine, his main vet throughout the illness, and nurse Hannah were able to come to our house, rather than us dragging Parsley on one last traumatic journey to the surgery. For this I will be eternally grateful.

Parsley was in the garden, the sun was shining beautifully, and so there we stayed. Kneeling on our garden path, watching my husband holding Parsley in his arms, tears streaming silently down his face, is one of those sharp, defining memories that will never leave me. And Parsley just slipped quietly away, it really was like he was falling asleep.

Catherine and Hannah were wonderful. I think everyone at the vets has become rather fond of Parsley during the time he has spent there; there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

After it was over, in a very British fashion, we sat down and had a cup of tea. Reminisced about our time with Parsley and all the ridiculous, hilarious, adorable, and infuriating things he has done in his short life. I know everyone probably feels this way about their pets, but Parsley was special. He was a million miles away from the average cat. It's our feeling that he's been taken from us so young because he was simply too good for the world. Our mediocre universe could not hold his awesomeness for long. To anyone who finds this hyperbolic, or the phrase 'just a cat' is crossing your mind, you clearly didn't know Parsley.

I have one more photo of him enjoying his last days in the sun:


If I may impose on your patience a little longer, I'd like to share some favourite memories of our little man...
When selling our flat in Hackney, we had 8 viewings in one day. Parsley helpfully ate all the daffodils I had put out and then sicked them up all over the carpet in front of potential buyers. Nice.
Once we had a engineer round to look at our fridge. The chap was kneeling on the floor, and Parsley clearly couldn't get a good enough view, so climbed onto this poor guy's back to see what was going on. This bloke was like "umm, excuse me, your cat is on me...". I'm laughing now just thinking about it.
My favourite ever Parsley memory is the time he managed to get himself stuck inside one of our giant paper lanterns (it being on the floor whilst we were changing the light bulb). He managed to bust out, but the metal ring was stuck round his middle with a sort of frill of paper where it had torn, so he raced around the flat, freaking out because he couldn't get it off, looking like he was wearing a tutu. Possibly the funniest thing I have ever seen.

Anyway, we miss him terribly, the house is too quiet. I miss the warmth, and the weight of him. Parsley was always very affectionate, and very loyal. If I was at home, he was very rarely to be found anywhere other than the room I was in, he would follow me round the house for ages. He's slept on our bed (usually on my chest) pretty much every night since he was 13 weeks old. There is a Parsley-shaped hole in my life.

Despite all this, my overriding feeling is actually one of relief. Grief is a straightforward and natural emotion. I might not be ok now, but I will be. For the 10 weeks of Parsley's illness, we've been on a horrendous roller-coaster of not just grief, but constant worry, uncertainty, fear, and guilt. Neither of us have had a good night's sleep since January. Well, ok, we've not had a good night's sleep since B&P came to live with us, but that's a different issue... So I am relieved this hideous chapter is over, and most of all, I am relieved that Parsley is suffering no longer. We did everything we could for him, including allowing him a peaceful passing.

So, life will go on, and of course we still have our handsome boy Basil. He's been incredibly soppy these last few days, even sitting on our laps, which he's never really done before. Can't figure out if he's missing his brother, or just pleased to finally be the centre of attention! One thing Basil is certainly missing is all the extra dinner he was getting with Parsley not eating so well. That boy is on a diet as of right now. I mean, look at the size of him:


Thanks to all of our friends, family, neighbours, colleagues and the guys at BSVH for your unwavering support during Parsley's illness. It really helped us get through this.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Bruno!


So my auntie got this handsome chap for her birthday. His name is Bruno. I am insanely jealous. 


Sunshine and tummy rubs

Parsley's out for all of the above that he can get. Some photos to illustrate below.

Things have been up and down since my last post, and more than once we've come very close to thinking it's time to let him go, when suddenly he'll rally round, perk up and start eating again. Turns out Parsley is a fighter. Not in the same way that Basil is a fighter, that's much scarier.







Monday, 31 March 2014

Just keep swimming...

I'm pleased to say Parsley is still with us, and so was able to make it to my birthday party. He wouldn't wear the deerstalker though, so that will have to be left to the imagination.

We have good days and bad days, mainly revolving around how much we can get him to eat, he's losing weight at a rather alarming rate. He still seems in remarkably good spirits though, and doesn't seem to be in pain that we can tell.

Here he is having a little bask in the sun:



The greenhouse is still a favourite spot. For Basil too:


And here is Basil looking dapper as ever. He loves this box:

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Ok, so this time no news is not good news

The tumour's back. Already.

We knew this was coming, but I (probably foolishly) had just started to hope that Parsley was going to be with us for some months yet, now that we'd settled into the chemotherapy. Our luck (such as it was) has sadly run out.

We've discussed our options with the vet and elected not to order any different chemo drugs for him. The potential side-effects of the alternative drugs are much worse than what we've had to deal with already. We've decided that the risk of these side-effects really outweighs the benefits that the new drugs may offer us; even if they're successful, we're still talking a matter of weeks.

So there's little else we can do now, save give him all the love and attention we possibly can, and shake our fist at the universe, for what good that does. We've upped the doses of his current chemo drugs and he seems to be doing ok. As before, you almost wouldn't know he was ill. Yesterday in the garden, he tried to take on the biggest bumblebee I've ever seen. Honestly, it was like the size of a dog. Needless to say, it got away. He's an appalling hunter.

We're hoping to have a couple more weeks with him yet. I'm having a party for my 30th birthday next week, and I've told Parsley I'd really like him to come along. Right now, he's still eating (mostly), still going outside, still starting fights with giant insects, and his poor brother. We'll keep as close an eye on him as we can. He'll let us know when it's time.

Here are some photos of him from the last week or so, still having fun, and looking handsome as ever:




He still loves his growbag in the greenhouse:


And having a snuggle with his brother on the granny chair:


And so he doesn't feel left out, here's Basil enjoying the sunshine in the garden:



Thursday, 13 March 2014

Jolly Holidays

Us humans were lucky enough to spend this sunny weekend just gone down in Devon to celebrate my impending 30th birthday.

Thanks to kindly family, Basil and Parsley were holidaying in Oxfordshire. Here they are enjoying themselves at their home from home.