Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Christmas Pudding Dash

Thanks to everyone for the kind comments about Barney. I have shed plenty of tears I can tell you. Anyway, at the start of the week I couldn't face the thought of running a race this weekend but, as the days passed by, I realised that life does have to go on and the race was in aid of The Martha Trust who provide care for people with severe disabilities, so I had to do it.

This was the second running of the event and if you check back to the beginning of my blog you'll see a very similar photo of me standing next to Pete, both looking pretty silly in our costumes (except last year I was Mrs Santa!). Btw, don't Pete's shorts look like an adult nappy?!!!!! I met several other Runner's World forumites - JohnnyJ, Fat Buddha & Petal, Liam. It was organised by Martin and Cathy from Nice Work and they always do a really good job.

Mike came along to give me some moral support which was nice. I love it when he comes with me as it's great to know he's in the crowd cheering me on. He took loads of photos too which I'll upload in the next few days.

There was a 2k 'dash' for the children before the main race started and it was wonderful to see them racing along. Some of them were so tiny and we clapped and cheered them on and they all put on a little spurt for the finish line when we encouraged them. I applaud their parents for getting them exercising so young and I hope the joy stays with them for ever.

The course is quite tough and undulating (that usually means hilly!) and is run mostly on tracks of either shingle or grass/mud. It had been very frosty all week but then had melted the day before and it was quite slippy underfoot. Amazingly I didn't fall over and managed to trot round the 5 mile course in 50 minutes. I was pleased with that anyway but have decided I'd like to run it quicker next year so that's one goal set.

On the knitting front I just haven't been able to face it this week. Barney always sat on my knee whenever I knit or did any form of craft so my projects have remained in their bags. I know I'll feel better about it soon enough.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Bye-Bye Beloved Barney

At the beginning of the week Barney started picking at his food, leaving half his meal to be polished off by Tinker. This was most unusual. I thought he just needed a change but even special treats didn't seem to interest him. On Wednesday he refused all attempts to eat anything and became very subdued, spending the day just sitting dozing rather than chasing mice or helping me outside. On Thursday he was just the same and I became vigilant. He was still drinking water but not as much as usual. On Friday he still wasn't eating and was very quiet so I took him to the Vet. She listened to his heart and lungs but couldn't find anything obviously wrong so gave him a vitamin injection and suggested I try mushing his food with water and syringe it into the corner of this mouth. This worked OK so I felt a bit better, even though he didn't enjoy the experience much.

Yesterday evening however he wouldn't take any food and started choking violently when he attempted to swallow. We took him to the Vet straight away and he gave him a steroid and antibiotics and took blood samples which he later confirmed were all OK. He suggested we see how he went over the next 24 hours and if he was no better then he'd move onto xrays etc to try and find the problem. By this time both Mike and I knew in our hearts that there probably wasn't going to be a happy ending even though he was only 8 years old and should still have had many happy years ahead of him.

This morning he refused food and water and was visibly fading away so we took him the Vet who did Xrays which confirmed our worst fears. He had a large tumour in his chest. An operation to remove it would most likely kill him and no medication could make it go away. With heavy hearts we had to make the decision to put him to sleep.

So we have said goodbye to a very special cat. He has been my constant companion for the past 8 years, who came to live with us when I was feeling very sad and helped me realise that life is precious and must be treasured. We will miss him terribly.