The euthanasia argument going around a little while ago centred on the possibility of nefarious families ‘persuading’ the ill person to go quietly so they can afterwards claim their inheritance and rub their hands with glee, thinking of the good times to come from the proceeds of the will. Of course no-one would dream of admitting to this, but people are murdered for less, so there’s no reason why euthanasia shouldn’t be thought of as legalised murder in that context.

All this doesn’t apply of course to animals/pets because a) they have no assets and b) they can’t argue against being ‘put to sleep’. Which brings me to Ralph, our beloved ginger tom, who had to be put to sleep today, suffering from stomach cancer. He went downhill very quickly in the last week, and when his breathing became very laboured today we took the decision, a very difficult one, of taking him to the vets. The vet agreed that he was suffering badly, and we stayed with him until the last minute, left the surgery while the vet did the deed, then went back in to see him completely at rest, it was lovely to see him out of pain. He was exactly 15 years old, we had looked after him for 10 years (he was actually our daughters cat), and he was a lovely fluffy softy who everybody loved, even non-cat lovers like me. Yes I admit it, I didn’t adore cats (or dogs come to that) but Ralph had a special place in my heart and I shall miss him jumping up on my lap, keeping it warm.


It was actually more emotional and heart wrenching saying goodbye to Ralph (who knew his name and would come when called), than to my parents or my brother. Maybe it was because people expected me to be ‘the man’ when it came to my families passing away, but with Ralph I could truly let go, and I did, in spades. I’m not ashamed to admit it either, he played a big part in our lives over the last ten years and provided us with laughs, fun, comfort and love.

God rest you Ralph mate, we love and miss you.

About cliverh

Retired aerospace engineer, first with the Royal Air Force and then BAE Systems. Now enjoying a variety of activities and not getting bored. I was a Games Maker Volunteer at the London 2012 Olympics and a volunteer at the Rugby World Cup 2015 in England. I was also a volunteer at the 2019 Cricket World Cup in Southampton. I intend to blog about what interests me.
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4 Responses to Ralph

  1. Ian says:

    Clive you committed the ultimate act of love for Ralph by ensuring his death was a good one, his last moments were thinking of you with familiar scents around & an end to his pain. Our hugs and XXX s from all of us, we know how it feels as we lost our lovely Rascal in Jan 2012 and have the same issue although under control with Jenny. Our cat or dog friends ( they are more than “pets”) are our connection with universal and uncompromising love, they give it to us just because we are us, no deals, emotional blackmail, they just enjoy being with us. The pain of losing Ralph will go but the memories, the part he played in the “education” of your daughters & friends as they learnt to love and communicate with something alive that didnt speak their language but still had needs, will live on. Euthanasia is an emotive subject and the “Liverpool pathway” of starvation & dehydration is immoral and degrading as well as inflicting suffering but the idea of someone saying that the pain and suffering is too great and helping to end that suffering in a quick & effective way does appeal. Take care, our thoughts are with you Fran and the girls

    • cliverh says:

      Ian thanks for the thoughts. You never think your pets/friends will leave you with such a searing sense of loss; but it does. Love and peace.

  2. Ian McCarroll says:

    Clive I have had the company of a succession of cats over the years believe it or not starting when I was three years old I was eighteen when Whisky died. I have been lucky and have never had to show the courage you have all of them have died in their sleep, but I do believe we have duty to ensure that that the animals that we are entrusted with do not suffer.

    I would get yourself another moggie, it sounds to me like you have become a closet cat lover it wont replace Ralph, but a new little face will quickly become part of the family.

    • cliverh says:

      Ian, thanks. I doubt if we will get another pet. My wife says she couldn’t go through all that again, nor perhaps could I. Our first cat just disappeared at 19 years old, so we never had the chance to say goodbye. At least we did with Ralph, but it was emotionally draining.

      Thanks again and keep in touch. Clive.

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