Five years ago today we said goodbye to my beautiful Merlin Mc Tavish….he was my boy my soft cuddly gentle little man who never raised a paw in anger..
When I first met Tav (as we always ended up calling him) he was lucky to be six weeks old two kids came to our door and asked if he and his sister were ours..i said no and to come back if they couldn’t find where they came from..they came back the next day and said they were allowed to keep one kitten because they couldn’t find their owners..i said I will take one and they asked which one and I chose Tav..well he chose me..he had a huge tummy from a bad worm burden and he looked scruffy and dirty and meowed quietly but his engine was on full purr.He also had a bad leg and it appeared he may have been attacked by something and he had a big scab with an ulcer underneath…
We took him to the vets and the poor little thing was in a bad way..he needed antibiotics due to his worm burden taking it’s toll on his little tummy and he needed worming..badly..he had some shots and home he came.His leg healed well which was a blessing as it was a mess.
Weeks he was on antibiotics but it did not stop him giving Simba a run for his money (who was about four or five months older at this time) and our old girl Squash just sniffed him and ignored him.
Merlin spent his days with me..gaining a tummy from weight not worms and I became besotted with him.
This little guy grew so well and with occasional bouts of tummy infections popping up he was back to the vets every now and then but took it all in his stride.
We had him desexed vacc’d and he was a member of the family that had everyone in his spell.
He was after all named after the master magician 🙂
Merlin was the most gentle cat I have ever met…he was a smoocher and was happy pottering in our back yard and lying under the maple trees watching the world go by..he had a thing about shoes…if there was an odd pair near the door..ones he had not seen before he would leap over them to get in..no idea why..he just did…when he slept with me at night he had to have his head tucked right under my chin.if I rolled over he followed and tucked his head right back under my chin..my boy my sweet Tav….
We had a feral turn up one day and he beat the daylights out of Merlin right in our backyard in front of us..he was a mess..this feral raked his head almost to bone..straight to the vets we went…poor baby was in a bad way…we fixed him up but were unaware of the chain of events..still a bit naïve to Feline Aids we were..
It was about a year later that he developed and abscess..it just kept recurring..he would get antibiotics and then back it would come..i knew by now as I had immersed myself in Volunteer work at a shelter that this was possibly much more than an abscess issue but an immune issue..i took him to our vet and said can you test him do you think he has aids? The vet sadi we will test him I think it may be..
The phone call I received confirmed my worst nightmares..my Tav had Feline aids ..I was shattered.
How could I have been so naïve..
We did everything we could for my boy..his diet changed (it was a good diet but we needed to add extra fro him) we had him on homeopathics and kept on top of any bugs he got.The vets and I decided to ceases yearly vacs as he didn’t need more bug in his system and was an indoor cat now anyway.
We had Merlin for five years from diagnosis he was happy just spending his days with us inside chilling or in his enclosure on his hammock watching the world go by..if I called him in from the enclosure and he didn’t respond my heart would stop…he just wanted to sit there…naughty boy..he slept with his head up under my chin and if he stopped purring my heart would stop..i dreaded losing him..reality was we had to make the choice for him.
So five years ago on this day I looked at my boy ..I am crying just typing this… he looked at me and I said it’s time Tavvie..I can’t hold onto you for my sake anymore…you can let me go my sweet boy..
My heart broke..we stayed with him our vet let us be with him as long as we wanted..i didn’t want to leave him…hubby and I felt broken…
But the truth is he was tired,he was eating but because he had to ..his coat had lost it’s black sheen and was not as soft as it used to be..he was trying to keep going for us..and with hindsight I would have said goodbye sooner but we had lost Simba in the September and my heart just couldn’t deal with it….
Tav I miss you my sweet boy..you would be sixteen now,you were my funny little man…your little white patch of fluff like a pair of bikini pants, your silent meow, your huge purr engine,your brown summer suit of fur you would get as the days got warmer,your gentleness with the foster kittens we had around all the time and most of all your soft head nestled under my chin at night…I know you are with Simba and snuggling like the yin yang you both used too…we will meet again my sweet Tav but for now the worlds a little less soft because you are no longer in it….