If you know me through the wonderful CaenhillCC farm, or maybe somewhere out there in the real world then you might know how much I love animals. I've always found animals to be the best company and I've had all kinds of pets growing up. Though none of them were more special to me than my last pet Muffin. I've not had a pet since Muffin and I don't know if I'm really ready, so I thought that while I consider that I would share Muffin's story with you.
As you can imagine, leaving the farm where I grew up was pretty tough and not just because my neighbours were now people and not cows, I had to leave my pets behind too. So, I turned to the internet and found a gorgeous boy online who's profile said he was short and stocky, and the rest was history. It was love at first sight for us both. I'd found my perfect cat and his name was Muffin.
When I first met Muffin he was roughly four years old and very little about his life was known, other than he'd recently been a stray who was being fed by an elderly lady. But as he curled up on my lap the very first moment we met, life changed. He'd found the loving owner he'd probably always wanted, and I found one of the best friends I'll probably ever have.
Once the house checks were done and Muffin finally arrived in his new home, I soon learnt he was not your average cat. I'd had pets before, ones that I'd loved dearly, but there was just something about Muffin that was different. He cared for me just as much as I cared for him, he'd try and wipe away my tears through the tough times, cuddle me when I got lonely, be by my side until I fell asleep night after night, and greet me as I arrived home day after day. He was always there for me.
It turned out that we had a lot in common as well, despite our difference in television preferences, he liked tennis, football and snooker while I like a bit of reality TV. We love cheese, thank goodness for cheese flavour cat treats, we like sleeping in the sun, having lazy Sunday afternoons and our favourite place is home, though we quite liked our Christmas holidays at the farm.
Muffin liked to get value for money too, just like me, and he made full use of his pet insurance. He had a blocked bladder within the first few weeks, had an abscess by his eye and was later diagnosed with lymphoma. The last diagnosis was tough, and I faced the agonising decision on whether to go ahead with quite an intense treatment plan. But, knowing Muffin wouldn't thank me for month after month of tablets and trips to the vets, we put the treatment plan aside and concentrated on enjoying the life he had left.
Despite initial fears of only having a few months left, we went on to have three more years together and I spent each day making sure he lived his best life. We cuddled more, he was hand fed the best treats, had the best places to sleep and the best cat sitter a cat could ask for, just for those times I couldn't hug him. But, one day on my lunch break I found him collapsed. The drive to the vets was agonising and every moment I felt him slipping away from me, and it didn't get any better when we arrived. He was put on oxygen and I said my goodbyes before going home to wait on news.
He pulled through but the effects of whatever had happened had damaged his sight and he stopped eating, so on the day of my first mid-wife appointment I had the phone call I was dreading. Muffin needed to be put to sleep. After crying at the mid-wife I went to the vets to take my boy home one last time. One last night to feed him treats, to hug him and have him sleep by my side.
After 11 years with my boy Muffin, I was left heartbroken.
To this day I'm still not over the loss of Muffin and I hate that it's getting further and further away from our last hug, but I'm so thankful to have had him in my life. He taught me a lot about love, about the value of life, and about appreciating each moment, but the best gift was the fact that he didn't leave me until another little boy was needing me more. For that and so much more, I will love him always and forever.
I've not been able to welcome another animal into the love of our home since, not only was my heart not ready, I couldn't even imagine how I could look after a new pet and a baby all at the same time. But, I really hope that one day I will be ready and my little boy can learn to love a pet just like I love Muffin.