Tusse was an epic cat. He lived to be well over 20 years old and the was like a kitten up to his last day when suddenly he was not and I knew it was time. When he died he had all his teeth, a glossy coat and his tattoo was just clear as day.
He was half Abyssinien and an amazing character. He taught himself to use the apartment lift. He could never figure out how to go down in the lift but to go up, he would press the button to call the lift, walk in and press the button for the right floor. Visitors to the building could never get over the cat catching the lift with them.
He used to go jogging with Mark and for walks every evening. He would sometimes accompany me to the bus stop. Whenever you were sad, Tusse knew – he would come and cuddle just when you needed it.
He had such a loud purr that he was once featured on a police two way radio by a police officer in our area. And he would purr for up to an hour from one cuddle. Everyone used to fight to sleep with Tuddy because he was like a big comfy pillow and his purr could put the most hardened insomniac to sleep. Visitors used to ask if they could have him on their bed for the night. The first time I ever came to Sweden, in 1997, Tusse slept with me every night.
The day he died he was fine in the morning. I had a very long day at work so at lunch time I went to the vet to get him his favourite dry food and went home to give him some and to give both cats a big cuddle. When I got home that night he didn’t know who I was and he was cowering under the bath. I rushed him to the vet where they told me it was time.
The night I had to put him down was one of my worst nights ever. I cried for months afterwards and I still miss him terribly. Being able to give our beloved furry family members a painless and dignified end when it is time is a wonderful gift but at the same time so difficult because that same power we have to release them is a power that hurts so badly and makes you feel that maybe you had made the wrong decision, even if your rational thought tells you otherwise.
Paddy was so distressed about losing his friend that I almost couldn’t cope with that. He hunted for him and called and wouldn’t eat for weeks. I didn’t want another cat after that but Mark insisted and a month after Tusse died we got Fluffy. It was the right decision because three days later they were friends (very unusual for cats) and Paddy was eating again.
For me it was a much harder road. I battled to love Fluffy in the beginning but he crept into my heart and has been there ever since.
Tusse was born in the 1980s and died on this day in 2010. So in tribute to him some photos. I am crying as I write this which is really unusual for me – I very seldom cry at loss. At this time in my life and with the life I have had I am resigned to loss. But maybe I can love animals with all my heart which I cannot do with people.