Monday, 21 April 2014

RIP Parsley


He's gone. Our 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.