Also the lovely Amy at and 1 more means four is holding a competition. The prize is worth £300, it's a weekend away and entry to Alton Towers for a family of four. I've entered, have you?
Finally, if there's anyone still here and not over in Bosnia or at Amy's, I have some bad news.
Our cat went missing last night.
He was old and on his last legs anyway, but this isn't how it's supposed to end.
I got him from an animal shelter seven years ago. He was ten years old already, but gorgeous. A huge, black purring machine called Eric. He only had four teeth, clearly this hadn't stopped him eating.
He was always at the vets. First it was fighting injuries. How we laughed with our neighbours in the vet's waiting room when both our mogs were being patched up yet again! Then he has cystitis. This got worse, he had crystals in his bladder. These blocked his penis and made him very ill. After a few stays at the vets with kidney failure, blood poisoning with a catheter in, we decided he needed a penile amputation.
I can see you wincing from here guys!
It was a big operation and risky too. He came through it. Afterwards he had to learn to pee like a girl, he had very wet legs the first few times he went! We were very close. I'd read somewhere that is a human nurses a cat back to health they develop a bond. This was certainly true in our case. I'd wake up in the morning to see his face next to me on the pillow, framed by the lampshade he had to wear for weeks. I used to dust his face everyday too!
He had a couple more trips to the vet for blocked anal glands. Yum! He had a heart murmur too. He was so placid though. So long as he had his food he was happy. £30 per month for prescription food - bargain!
He developed arthritis a few years ago. We tried to get his weight down from 7.8kgs (twice the size of an average cat). Medication helped, but made him sick. When he vomited blood we moved him to Glucosamine - more expense. He's been fine with this.
Last year we noticed he was drinking a lot and peeing a lot too. He was diagnosed with diabetes. We decided not to treat him, but to keep an eye on him. He lost a lot of weight and I think this helped him all round.
Over the last few weeks he had gone downhill. He was moving stiffly and sleeping most of the day, usually by his water bowl. He would still come over for a pet and we would have to comb him as he'd pretty much stopped washing. We decided that the day he stopped scrounging under the highchairs we would know that he'd had enough.
The boys LOVED him. Presley was learning to be gentle with him, he would lay down next to him and pretend to be a cat. We would hear Cash giggling and see him with furry hands sat next to Eric.
Yesterday Eric started crying. This was not like him. He just wanted to be outside and didn't find any of the dropped fish fingers under the highchair. We decided to see how he was this morning and take him to the vets. We didn't want him to suffer.
Last night he disappeared.
I suspected he had crawled under a bush to die, but we couldn't find him. We didn't think it was possible for him to get out of the garden yet we searched everywhere around the roads. No sign of him anywhere. More importantly no crying could be heard. He used to get confused in the garden and sometimes couldn't find his way back indoors, what hope did he have of getting home if he had squeezed under the gate? No precious water, no beloved biscuits.
We searched and shouted and listened, but to no avail. This morning we put notes through all the neighbours' letterboxes. We've called the vets. We're still waiting for the phone to ring.
To say I'm devastated is an understatement. I could cope with him dying, but it's the not knowing that's so hard.