She had been a little bit not herself for some time. When lockdown started she seemed at first to like the fact that we were around all the time, but then she seemed to get fed up and spent a lot of time in the bedroom asleep where neither Lee nor I were around to bother her. She had still be playing, eating, drinking, asking to go outside, and demanding cuddles just the same as ever, but we do wonder now if she was beginning to get poorly. On Wednesday she was definitely unwell - she threw up and had a bad stomach - but we had changed her food and thought she just had a bug. She did still eat. On Thursday she still wasn't well, so we said we would take her to the vet on Friday to make sure she was okay. She seemed very lethargic, although we have thought that was due to the heat, which always bothered her quite a bit. We cuddled her lots on Thursday night before bed, which I'm really glad about now. She had been sleeping in the corner of the bedroom on top of a bag.
I woke up at 6.35 and could hear her breathing was very funny. She was very unresponsive and breathing very shallowly. We phoned our vets, whose out of hours service didn't work, so that's really helpful. We phoned another, and met them there at about 7.05. They gave her two shots of adrenaline and some oxygen, but couldn't do anything for her.
They think she had a heart attack and had gone into shock. This may have been what woke me up at 6.35. They said her heart may have been failing for a while, or she may have had a tumour, or something on her lungs. We just don't know. I am confident that up until two days ago she did have a good quality of life. She asked me to let her outside on Tuesday, for goodness sake. I don't think there was anything else we could have done. I'm so glad I did wake up so that we could try to save her, even if it was ultimately unsuccessful.
The vet also thinks she was older than the fourteen years we thought she was. When we adopted her, she had lived with her sister Holly and we were told they were born at Christmas (hence the names) but we're unsure what year that was. Holly was a bigger cat and apparently bullied her, and so the two of them were to be split up. Ivy came and talked to me straight away, and I also loved the white markings on her bum that made her look like she was wearing tights. She came to live here in January 2007, so she had been here over thirteen years. Lee didn't like cats but Ivy didn't give him a choice - she just put herself into our lives and made him love her. She would follow him round the house and loved lying on him.
She had problems with her teeth and had most of them removed in January 2011. Looking at her remaining ones today, the vet thought she was older than fourteen, and this may have contributed to the heart failure. I really don't think there was anything we could have done, but it's easy to beat yourself up wondering what if.
When we got our garden mended in 2016, with turf finally put down, Ivy was allowed outside for the first time. She would ask to be let out, although if the weather was bad she would soon come back in again. She loved to lie on the path in the sun. She could have possibly jumped over the fence at either side of the garden, but she never bothered to try. She was very nosy and loved to see what the neighbours were up to, and they thought it was funny how she would just sit in the garden and please herself. I wrote about that here. We have spent a lot of happy hours lying outside in the sunshine with Ivy, and right up until Tuesday she still wanted to be outside.
I think I will have some photos of her printed off and put into an album or on the wall. She was extremely photogenic, although I appreciate that I am biased. She was very, very soft. And little! She had very little legs and was always a bit chubby. We gave her unlimited cuddles, all the cold water she wanted, lots of sunny windowsills to lie on, treats, and a lot of love.
RIP Ivy, possibly Dec 2005 - June 2020. You were a fantastic, loving, beautiful cat, and I was privileged to have you live in my house and give me such attention. You will be so, so missed.
This was a couple of weeks ago, and she was too hot. She often did this when she was too hot
This was a few weeks ago, she is sitting on Lee's pillow here. SHE was comfortable, but I'm not sure he was!
She liked sitting in little boxes, like many cats, and sat in the jigsaw box a lot
Cuddling me the other day
Her little crossed paws just absolutely slayed me! She had in recent weeks been sleeping on my pillows a lot (which makes me now wonder if she was unwell and wanted to be near to me) and this was one morning before we got up
Oh and look, this is her "no pictures, please" pose. So cute
And this was just last week when we were lying on the grass in the sunshine. Too adorable.
My heart feels broken right now. I loved her so, so much. Thanks, cat, for being the best