On Tuesday we lost Tinky. This time last week she was fine. She went off her food at the weekend and lost her energy on Monday evening. Tuesday morning it became clear to us that we had no other treatment or management options and although to us she still seemed determined and herself that veterinary science had little to help her in its arsenal. 

Tinky has had renal failure since 2013 and we were told that the condition can be monitored and changes in her diet made to prolong her wellbeing but there’s no cure. Considering the effect the condition had on her she was remarkably well.

For us Tinky was the first kitten we ever reserved. She was mislabelled a he when we first met her and was pretty much the ringleader in her litter. She was always the loudest with the most to say and somehow led other cats to do her bidding. 

She was a tiny baby when she came to live with us but she had a huge personality and a will of steel. Headstrong, stubborn and extremely vocal we soon learned to do things her way. She was undoubtedly the smartest cat we ever had as well as the most bossy and authoritative when we bred kittens.

Tinky was scrupulously clean and she wouldn’t tolerate any cat or kitten eliminating where they shouldn’t. She kept us on our toes when it came to making sure all our littertrays were acceptably clean.

We learned early on that she would do almost anything for prawns and her special renal diet meant she had to give up a lot of her favourite foods, but she was so smart she knew eating anything other than her kidney food would make her unwell, so used to just watch the others tucking into things she loved. 

If she needed anything she would let us know, not too subtly, but most of all what surprised me most was just how empathic she could be. She used to come and sit next to me leaning against me if I was upset or feeling depressed. When I was ill before my pulmonary hypertension diagnosis she used to sit on me for hours and just purr. 

In 2012 when I was admitted at my local hospital for two weeks I was allowed home at weekend’s on day release and she used to tell me off for being away then sit on me refusing to budge as she knew I would have to go back to the hospital. 

She had a special meow just for me and without her constant companionship since she came to us in 2006, my life would have been considerably poorer. My first morning without her was unbearably quiet and despite the five cats outside my bedroom door there’s an empty space we all feel that cannot be filled. 

When you say you’ve lost a cat, people who don’t love cats can’t begin to understand that loss, so to put it in terms that can more accurately convey how I feel I will say I’ve lost a constant bestfriend and probably the closest being I will have to a child of my own. 

I knew she wouldn’t be here forever but losing her is hard on an already broken heart.