Sunday, 19 March 2023

Good bye little furball

 We've lost a furry family member. One of our dear cats has died.

It seems strange to report it here, on a very...VERY occasional blog about shared life of a Japanese lady and a foreign daughter-in-law. 

But the puss cat was one of our family. I know some old friends and old students read this blog, so it's a way to share the news.

Yesterday afternoon our cancer kitty lost the fight with the disease that was first diagnosed only in December. Just 4 months ago he was a fat, over-eating ball of cat joyfulness, when I first took him to the vets a little concerned about yet more fat "lumps" in his neck.

Chemo treatments, CT scans, radiotherapy...visits to our vets...the university teaching animal hospital...even another vet that offered slightly alternative Vitamin C serum shots...for him and for us it's been an increasingly sad winter - all the ups and downs of this disease.

Towards the end Dear Son and I were slightly at odds about how "the end" was going to be. I was ready to accept the end and ask the vet to ease the suffering about a week ago. Dear Son wanted to try the Vitamin C treatment he'd read about online. I agreed, grudgingly. But understanding he needed one-more-try.

That failed to have any impact. By midweek I was sleeping on the living room floor. Furball had stopped eating.

Our own vet wasn't keen to step in and put Furball to sleep earlier this week - when he was still able to stagger to the water bowl and into my futon. It was a bit frustrating for me, but not a surprise - many vets in Japan are not supportive of pet euthanizing until there is clear suffering.

But when he'd stopped reaching the water bowl himself, they set us up with subcutaneous injection shot kit. We did this for our old cat and his failing kidneys - years ago back at the start of this blog - so it was doable.

Toilet accidents. No food. Shots of water to ease dehydration, then the real physical signs of "end". Yesterday we took him to the vet and let him pass on to the great grassy field of cat heaven.

Very hard. Our home is full of memories of him. His brother has seen the body twice - looked, sniffed and turned away. He is a bit needy and clingy. We are exhausted and sad. Tonight a mobile cremation service will come and do the cremation in our parking space. And we'll keep Furball's ashes to scatter when the snows have melted and the house is surrounded by the wild grassy areas he loved.

5 days now to comfort eachother. 5 days for me to get my head ready for a trip to England. I haven't travelled outside Japan for 5 years? With all of this I haven't time to think of it. But now I must.

Thankyou Furball for the love of 13 years. He often sat in my arms here at the computer.

Everywhere there are memories of you.


  1. so sorry to read of your sad news but I am glad you were able to be there when he passed. I guess it would have been more difficult for all of you if you'd already been over here in the UK? Commiserations.
    Our cat is not yet 2 and is a very energetic hunter. Youngest dd and I were woken last night at 3ish as he had brought us a present of a live mouse (we were delighted as I'm sure you can imagine) Hope you have a smooth and easy time packing and travelling. It's very nice over here at the moment, lots of flowers popping up everywhere and blossom blooming on the trees for tomorrow is spring!

    1. Hi there - thankyou :-) Yes, the timeing of my Uk trip was looking increasingly bad...I worried a lot about my partner and the two cats here without me at a time of stress and decisions. But, in the end his body decided all of that for us.
      He was a very affectionate cat, but an excellent, dedicated hunter. I think the rat population of this area may explode this spring now he's gone!
      I will start to look forward to my Uk trip in the next few days...but my weather checks tell me it is cool and rainy....