Nino and Gina filled our lives with love, always showing their affection. They loved to sleep in the weirdest positions, and spend their days playing, eating, and watching the taunting pigeons outside of our windows.
Despite the difficulties at the end of their lives and only being able to enjoy them for a shorter length of time that we hoped for, it was so lovely to have them to care of. The house feels so empty now.
Nino was a stunning, slightly overweight, white British Shorthair cross, who we had the pleasure of living with us for 6 years. Beautiful tabby Gina was a sweet cross of an exotic breed, and so well behaved. With her we were lucky enough to be her parents for 7 years.
Nino fell sick at Christmas time. We knew he had congenital heart disease, but we didn’t think it would get bad so quickly. He suffered heart failure a few times and we were frequently running back and forth to the vets. He was in the hospital for many days, and we were at his bedside all the time. Unfortunately, nothing could save him. We gave him his meds, but the vets were clear it was all very experimental.
Nino’s death was chaotic. Even now, over two years further, we still haven’t processed it completely. It really hit us in the face. Our own vet surgery was closed as it was the weekend during the holiday season, so we had to go to another vet.
It was awful. The vet was not great.
But we just knew there was nothing more to do for our Nino. We had to let him go.
Nino in the front and Gina in the back
Gina had the same heart disease as her adoptive brother. We got both cats from Gumtree; they were probably sneaked into the country by someone trying to make some quick money. We never regret we adopted them though. We were lucky that we got pet insurance straight away or we would have been broke by now…
Gina was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease when she was still quite young, although it got bad quite quickly. She got treated at the London Cat Clinic whose vets cared so much for her and they really helped us give her many more good days! Thanks to them we got introduced to Sieske (Founder of Autumn Animals).
Dr. Jeremy (Founder of the London Cat Clinic) suggested contacting Sieske; he said she was “just the best”. Gina needed subcutaneous fluids to help with her kidneys, first weekly and later, daily. Sieske taught us patiently how to do it without stressing Gina out too much. She became part of the family, loved by us and our little Gina.
She helped us when we needed help the most, checked on Gina every time she saw her and in between via WhatsApp.
But she also took good care of us! When you are in such an emotional state when your beloved pet is terminally ill, every kind and supportive word helps.
For Gina’s end of life, we had more time to prepare. Thanks to Sieske and the London Cat Clinic team we were able to give her a full year with a good quality of life. She even lived to enjoy the terrace in the new house and use the outdoor space.
When we knew the time to say goodbye was approaching, Dr. Jeremy was there to help us with it and Sieske supported us with beautiful words.
Afterwards, the clinic made sure her body was handled and cremated respectfully.
I would not say we have healed yet. I don’t even know if you ever recover completely. We at least, are still in the process of mourning. I’m still crying writing this story…
We created two little altars at home where we hold their ashes, their photos, and their favourite toys. I’m planting a beautiful pink, scented rose bush in Gina’s memory next week. We also donated money in their honour to pet shelters and we will continue to do so in their memory. I think this is the best way to honour them.
Every day, we say hello to their photos.
We would like to adopt another cat and we had a hard time to convince our landlord to let us have a new cat, but they finally agreed to it. So, in time we will open our hearts again, but we’ll just need a bit more time…