Saturday, 1 January 2011

Bixy R.I.P - a sad end to the year

Shortly after my return after spending Christmas with my family, I noticed that Bixy - who had appeared to be full of beans when he got home - was breathing oddly.  Initial diagnosis from the vet was possible bronchitis or asthma.  There was no improvement from the medication he was given and the next morning his breathing suddenly became a lot worse.  I took him back to the vet and he spent the day in an oxygen cage, which helped slightly.  Later I took him to Leeds Vet Hospital for overnight care and more meds; however, the radiologist who looked at his x-rays was able to identify severe heart problems: even if he had recovered this time (which was looking increasingly unlikely) the same thing would happen again in a few weeks time, and the best thing seemed to be not to allow him to go on suffering.

He died less than 24 hours after becoming ill, so at least his last illness did not last long.

He was a wonderful cat - not only beautiful but gentle too: he acted as mother to the two younger cats when they came into the family.  It was amazing to see such a big cat (even when he was slim he was a huge cat) playing gently with Django when he was a tiny kitten, and grooming and curling up with Pepper within two days of his arrival.  One of the last things he did - and he did it even when he was feeling at his worst - was to try to reassure the other two cats by licking them on the head.  Oddly, they seemed to know he wasn't coming back even before I did.  Since yesterday they have both been very quiet and have wanted to curl up with me whenever possible.

He arrived in November 1998, a young cat who had been taken into the vet having been found with a broken leg.  Unable to find his owner they decided to treat him and try to find a new owner.  We adopted him.  He was described as an "interesting" cat by the vet and we soon discovered that meant trouble!

Ignoring the fact of his broken leg he insisted on plaguing our other cat mercilessly: in order to get enough sleep Hoagy had to hide and the quieter interludes were punctuated by the sound of Bixy yowling for him to come and play (he was called Bix after the musician Bix Biederbecke on account of having a yowl of three and a half octaves with blue notes in addition).

He wandered but not very far: we discovered this when he went missing, was returned by a neighbour whose cellar he'd got into, and was let out by my husband the following day - a series of phone-calls told us exactly what he was doing and where for the rest of the morning.

He loved company, human and feline, and possibly because of his size he did not seem to be aggressive - as far as he was concerned discretion was definitely the better part of valour: hostile behaviour in other cats was something he ran from.  A beautiful gentle giant who will be deeply missed.


Angelcat said...

So sorry to read your sad news. Bixy looks just like my two white kitties. They become so much part of the family its so sad when it's time to say goodbye. :(

Scarlett Burroughs said...

I had to drop in and say I know what you are going through - I lost my (10 year old) cat to heart failure last year. My remaining feline stopped eating. Vet suggested I buy wet food and it worked. My heart goes out to you.

Scarlett Burroughs
Quilting Editor, Craft Gossip

Plum Cox said...

Sorry about your news. Hope your new year brings you better happenings.

maggi said...

So sorry about Bixy Sandra. How lovely that you have so many wonderful memories of him. They really do leave paw-prints on our hearts don't they?

Cath said...

It is always so sad to lose a beloved pet Sandra, but he was obviously well loved,and by the sounds of it a real character who will always hold happy memories, and a place in your heart.

Julie said...

Sending you hugs Sandra. At least he wasn't ill for long so while it's hard for you for him to go so quickly you have the reassurance that he didn't suffer long. xx

Martha said...

I will give my 16-lb cat Big Boy some extra loving as I sympathize with the loss of your beloved Bixy.

peneller said...

I'm so sorry to hear this Sandra. It's always very sad when a precious pet dies and I've shed a tear for you.

Lyn said...

What a lovely tribute to your beloved Bixy. I m sure he will be greatly missed and also it must be a comfort he did not suffer for too long.

Fenland Textile Studio said...

So sorry to hear about Bixy. Its always hard when a cat you have shared your life with for so long dies. At least he didn't suffer for long. I hope the other two have settled down now. Angela