Feargal our cat was put to sleep yesterday. He had lost a kilo in weight in the past week and at last the vet diagnosed “cat HIV” i.e. Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. I don’t understand why it took so long (4 vet appointments) to diagnose such a relatively widespread problem.
He was a “rescued” cat from the streets of Barking. My son named him after the book he was reading at the time we got him: "The Fall of Fergal". But I changed the spelling to "Feargal"... I'm not really sure why! It means "valiant warrior"! When he lived in London he was a troubled character. He used to fight any cat that dared put its nose into our garden. He once woke us in the middle of the night chasing another cat through our hallway, leaving clumps of fur in its wake! In those days he would not sit on our laps and would not be picked up. We sometimes wondered what possessed us to "rescue" him from the cat home!
We brought him here on the plane to Scotland when we moved – quite a drama at Heathrow when they insisted on drilling extra airholes in his supposedly “air approved” carrier! At that time we were still too scared to lift him as he would scratch and bite. They had to lock the doors of Customer Services while we took him out of his box for the drilling, in case he did a runner. You can imagine the headlines if he had escaped: "Cat in runway chaos drama!" (My London neighbour’s cat once escaped from his basket on the London Underground and brought the whole network to a standstill while they got him out of the tunnel!)
Anyway, after moving to the country and making peace with FL’s dog, he was a changed cat. For the past 4 years he let out all his aggression on the local mice and rabbits and turned into a child-friendly family pet. Every morning, he and the dog would greet each other with a sniff and a lick. But the cat remained in control and swiped the dog across the nose if he got too friendly! He was my knitting lap companion, but preferred circulars to dpns, which tended to poke him in the ear.
On Monday night he was terribly weak and FL lifted him onto his lap while reading. Unusually, Feargal accepted this. He was always suspicious of FL, as he viewed him as being in cahoots with the dog. I am so pleased that I took this photo. The vet said the kindest thing would be to put him to sleep.