Goodbye to a Friend

I thought I’d better put something online before people begin to think I’ve died. The truth is I’ve not really done much at all around at the plots.

On Friday we lost our Claudipus. He was nearly 17, which is a good age for a cat. It’s nearly six months since the vet diagnosed a stomach tumour and gave him just a couple of weeks to live but we kept him going.

Val would buy chicken and turkey legs to roast for him and I had the job of cutting raw pig’s kidney into small chunks for him each morning so we kept him eating well, although the tumour kept up its relentless growth.

He didn’t eat much on Wednesday and ate nothing to speak of on Thursday. By Friday he was obviously unhappy although he did have 10 minutes in the sun and purred when I stroked him. He hated the vet, would panic terribly both ways on the journey and pant in terror so I cajoled them into coming out to me.

Claude was never bothered by visitors, any source of a fuss was welcome so we had no panic, just a bit of a yowl when they gave him the injection. Inside, I was screaming but I kept calm on the outside. I sat down in the kitchen with him by my side, his head on my lap and after a while he fell asleep with me stroking him. After a while he was gone and that afternoon we buried him in the back garden next to his beloved Ciggy cat who we lost a year ago.

I did pop up to the plot on Saturday, just messed around in the greenhouse for an hour. Still getting tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers although the numbers are down. The sweet peppers in the border of the greenhouse are still swelling but the habenero chilli pepper in the border has a load of unripe small fruit.

Now this is interesting, the habenero in a pot in the small greenhouse that has been really badly treated, hardly fed although watered regularly, had a load of ripe fruit. It seems that treating them mean really works. They’d make a really attractive pot plant when in fruit, the small light orange fruits are very pretty.

Now they might look pretty but they’re as hot as Hades. The first time we grew them, Val cut a small piece for me to taste. Seemed OK for a minute and then it struck. Oh Boy! The heat brought tears to my eyes – so be warned.

I’m in the final stages of a new book, which is not going well. Yesterday I was determined to do nothing but write but life got in the way. The National Vegetable Society web site that I manage broke down, so that was 3 hours gone. Then I had to write a short piece I’d promised ages ago, only took another hour but now half a working day has vanished and still not a word written on paper. Oh well, today’s another day. If you don’t see me about much, you know why!

Nearly forgot to say, the offer on Vegetable Growing Month by Month seems to be popular. I’ve actually shipped 100 this week so far! I sign every book, which only takes a minute, but packing them is another thing. We have to make sure the seeds are spread in the packet or the post office charge a load extra.

I do feel that if someone sends me money, the least I can do is get it in the post promptly so we try to make sure any order received by 4pm goes out on the same day. I’ve had a few nice emails thanking me for being prompt, but I have to wonder why this is exceptional. After all, shouldn’t any firm that has money off you get the goods to you as quickly as they can?

I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to keep the offer going through to the end of November but no promises.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
9 comments on “Goodbye to a Friend
  1. Phil says:

    So sorry. I know that it’s like to lose a well-loved pet. They’re part of the family and it hurts when they go. At least he had a darned good life and you have plenty of memories.

  2. Maggie says:

    My thoughts are with you. It is horrible losing a much loved member of the family. His final days sounded very peaceful and content. His picture is beautiful and I am sure that he gave you may happy memories to hold dear. Dexter is a beautiful kitten and will maybe help to ease your grief a little. Your site is very informative and always the one i look at when searching for information > Keep up the great work.

  3. John says:

    Thanks for the sympathy, it is appreciated. Young Dexter is a distraction, especially since he’s found that biting my toes gets me out of bed.

  4. cynthialilly says:

    Oh John, I grieve for you as I too know what it is like to loose a special cat. They are far more forgiving than your own children. You seem to have got little Dexter just in time and he looks a right mischievous little puss so should distract you and Val somewhat.
    RIP Claudipuss. Cynthia

  5. CJ says:

    So sorry to hear the sad news, I also know what it is like to lose a beloved pet. It’s not much consolation, but at least you know that you were with him at the end and that it was peaceful.

  6. Faithmead says:

    So, so sorry to hear the news – but nearly 17 years of joy, pleasure, love and memories can never be forgotten and so Claudipus will live on in your hearts forever.

  7. Roz says:

    John I am so sorry to hear about dear Claudipuss, what a lovely cat. You did the best by him, and like me you will have loads of happy memories, I even laugh out loud when I think of some of the things my beloved Chester did.

    I shall go whilst I can still see. Bless him.

  8. Mandycharlie says:

    I am so sorry, my thoughts are with you. Claudipus looked like a real character, I’m sure he will be with you forever.

  9. Maggie Hale says:

    I’ve just read your piece saying good bye to your beloved cat Claudipus. What a fine and noble cat he was. I haven’t wept so much since I lost my beloved cat Tasha 4 years ago. The painful memories came flooding back. Take comfort that you gave him and he gave you 17 happy years. I hope one day soon you can look back and think of him and smile. Dexter will no doubt take your mind off the pain. He looks like a lovely bundle of trouble.

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