“Farewell” – mixed media on paper, 18x24cm, © Mandy van Goeije, 2015

Seventeen years fly by too fast when life is slowly slipping away from a beloved cat. Yesterday we had to let our Moortje go. It was so so sad.

Moortje last year, enjoying the sun amidst the strawberry plants…

Moortje was with us from when she was only three weeks old. She was daughter of a stray cat who’d given birth in a neighbour’s shed. So when we said we’d take two kittens – her and one of her brothers – she and her brothers visited us a handful of times to socialise with people and dogs. It was a blast!

I remember how our Belgian shepherd took them all in her enormous mouth and we were so afraid that she’d eat them. But she treated them like they were her own puppies and soon they treated her as a gigantic play area, which that huge dog underwent with incredible calm and patience. The naughty critters would creep onto a fan that was actually blowing…the fun of being swung around in the wind was irrestistible to them! And the curtains were most fun closest to the ceiling! And plants needed to be dug out of their pots and books thrown out of the book case. Definitely! The gang of three wouldn’t settle for any less mess.

Koos, the studio cat now chooses a blanket in the shed to sleep on.

But after having been an excellent housemate for 17 years, last weekend the time came that Moortje got too old. Last year already we were hoping she’d make it through summer. And she did. This past winter would be her last, though. She deteriorated so quickly and we had already discussed what to do when the time came she’d be in pain. The thing was…cats are bad ass when it comes to pain. Then this weekend things went fast. She stopped eating, was suddenly hardly able to walk anymore and yesterday it was totally obvious that she was in pain. And, after a massive cuddle, she began hiding away. We knew this was it.

Yesterday evening we cuddled one last time and then my husband took her to the vet. Turned out that the swelling in her belly wasn’t constipation like we thought, but a huge tumor in the liver. Our decision to save her from any more suffering was the best. She seemed to understand what was coming. Normally she’d be totally stressed out at the vet’s. But despite her discomfort, she purred until she was in the deep sleep she’d never wake up from.

I’m going to miss her…