You may remember in February 2008 I came along with Emma’s mam and we took away the then very shy and frightened long haired tortoiseshell, Wilma.
Wilma took weeks, even months to come out of her shell but in time she turned into an amazing member of our household. She obviously had a tough previous life as she was very nervous about us walking near her or touching her. However as the months went by she began to realise that stroking and cuddles and humans in general were excellent companions. She was a house cat and was always around for us. She would curl up on the bed with us, run into the kitchen when the fridge was opened, look out the windows and following the sunlight around the house as morning turned into afternoon. She learned to meow when she wanted something and took to practice her singing in the middle of the night, admittedly this trait wasn’t appreciated.
We moved to Whickham just over 2 years ago and she handled the move brilliantly. She loved her new home and even made a friend called Ollie, a big ginger tom. Ollie was unwanted by our neighbours so we look after him now. You would think Ollie and Wilma wouldn’t get on but they really did. He is a big gentle giant and always kept her entertained. She’d slap him if he got too much for her. He even taught her how to play with toys and string. They would sleep together to keep each other warm and they took turns at eating treats. But her favourite place was sitting and lounging on human knees, in fact human tummies, faces and chests for that matter, she always wanted to be close to us. I’d tell myself this was because she loved us, and not because we are just warm. But you never know.
In about August last year we noticed a small growth inside Wilmas left eye. She went to the vets and they said that in all likelihood it was lymphoma. She began on a course of steroids that certainly slowed its growth but eventually then stopped working. After a few visits back and forth to the vets we all agreed the first time that she was not herself or in pain we would let her go.
So on 6th December last year we took Wilma to the vets for the last time. I’d been working nightshift and Emma said that she had been up all night with Wilma, who wasn’t herself and seemed very distant. She didn’t want to be stroked and just wanted to be alone. So we took her to Sheriff highway and, in agreement with the vets we let her go, cuddling her until the end. The staff at both here and Whickham were amazing throughout Wilmas illness.
I could send you literally hundreds of photographs of the adventures of Wilma over the last 6 years but have chosen one that sums her up. In the sun, getting her belly brushed, heaven.
Thanks very much,
From Mark and Emma