Goodnight Jimmy

One of these days I am going to switch on my little laptop and type a little good news, but Sweethearts today is not that day. Though it seems as though the universe is having a rather extended joke at my expense, today, here at chez Brocante, we are in mourning for our Darling little Jimmy cat, who died this weekend after a devastating run-in with some anti-freeze we can only surmise he discovered while out on his travels in the neighbourhood.

On Friday morning he took his usual ten-minute morning constitution around the back-gardens of our four little cottages and as always, came running back with a mad jingle of the bell on his collar, when I called him. But then instead of jumping on to the windowsill and straight into my arms as he would ordinarily do, he sat staring at me, looking for all the world as if he had supped a bottle of Scotch and couldn’t quite figure out his next move.

And we laughed and I fed him and then normality was resumed and our little Jimmymeister, as Finley called him, curled up in a ball and went to sleep and seemed fine until later that night when he cried out, vomited and went back to sleep. Putting it down to a hairball I popped him into his bedtime basket and went to bed, but by the next morning our little kitty man couldn’t walk without staggering and falling down in a heap, and we got him to the vets as fast as we could, certain that there was something very wrong, but absolutely astonished by the vets almost immediate diagnosis of anti-freeze poisoning, a matter confirmed a few hours later after a barrage of expensive tests.


For two nights our darling pet clung on, but by yesterday morning it was clear that his kidneys had almost failed and that it would be nothing short of cruel to allow him to endure a slow and extremely painful death. And so on Easter Monday, I took one heartbroken little boy to my Mums, while I drove with Richard to say goodbye to the darling little cat we had bought together.

And there he was, his body stiff with pain, and his eyes wide with fright. Though the surgery was closed, the vet had come in specially to help our teenage cat go to sleep and was kind enough to leave us alone with Jimmy for half-an-hour while we said goodbye. And then while Adele’s Skyfall played on the radio behind us, (This is the end, Hold your breath and count to ten, Feel the earth move and then
Hear my heart burst again –  Let the sky fall, When it crumbles, We will stand tall, Face it all together) she injected a little sleep into his veins and he was gone in seconds.


Readers, I have been sobbing for days.  Jimmy was an angel. A darling, funny little cat, so affectionate he liked nothing better than to put a paw either side of my neck, jam his head under my chin and purr so loudly I couldn’t hear the tv, he was also polite,well-mannered and didn’t mind being the puppy Finn has never had, playing fetch and generally being more than a little man-handled by a child who absolutely adored him.

We bought him shortly after the cancellation of my wedding, and now, shortly after the resolution of that which caused it, he is gone, as if we were only allowed to borrow such affectionate joy to see us through our troubles ~This is the only way I can make sense of something so awful, for it has no other explanation~ He was a blessing. A cheeky little gift and when we didn’t need him anymore, he was gone.


I have never thought of myself as a cat person. Truth is I have always been able to take them or leave them. But I was a Jimmy person and I will miss him terribly. After the initial trauma of losing his first pet had passed, Finley has been dignified in his grief, recognizing with all the sense I would expect of him, that Jimmy could not have been allowed to suffer: but heavens it’s a tough lesson for a little boy to learn.

Having spoken to the vet and agreeing with her view that it is better to replace a pet sooner rather than later for a child, for we do not have to teach them to mourn an animal when life is so terribly hard, this morning I rang around all the local animal sanctuaries in search of a tiny kitten and found that within a radius of forty-five miles there was just one tiny, five week old jet black kitten available for adoption.

One little kitten. I think he must be ours. So I took my little boy to see him and I was right: he is ours. Or at least he will be in four weeks time when he will be big enough to leave his Mummy cat and come home to fill the hole in our hearts Jimmy has left.

I don’t know whether this was the right thing to do or not: I went with my instinct and watched Finley as he snuggled this little black kitten under his tweed coat and christened him Storm and instead of crying for Jimmy, giggled as he remembered him for the fuzzy ball of fun he was until the day before he died.

This then is how it should be.  Jimmy, you were our very own little bit of wonderful and we want to thank-you for the memories. Night, night, sleep tight Darling.x

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33 comments on “Goodnight Jimmy

  1. So terribly sorry Ali, xxx

  2. Gill on said:

    Angels come in all shapes and sizes, also with fur.

  3. Tracy on said:

    Oh my goodness, I am so, so sorry for your loss. I couldn’t imagine life without our little Tiger. He is not particularly affectionate unless he wants something but he gives us untold hours of entertainment. And he definitely lets me know if he thinks I have been on the computer for too long. Also, have you ever heard a cat growl?? He does it every night at dinnertime when the dog gets near him while he’s eating. My son found him on the street when he was only about 3 weeks old (he will be 4 this year). So I got to bottle feed him for awhile and he was so cute with his little wobbly legs.

    Just know that he is in a better place now and cherish the time and memories you have had.

  4. Jeanna on said:

    So sorry about Jimmy. Pets can really take a piece of our hearts with them when they pass. You all are in my thoughts.

  5. Oh my darling. Your sweet little cattipuss. I lost my darling Lily to anti-freeze poisoning and it still makes me cry. I am so, so sad for you and for Finley. All my love and a big cuddle for you waiting whenever you’re ready. xxxx

  6. Monica on said:

    So sorry for you all in the loss of your precious kitty. And so glad you are rescuing another one…

  7. Brunette on said:

    I’m so, so terribly sorry for you and Finley! Death is always a shock, but even more so when it comes to a young creature.
    Thank you for sharing Jimmy with us; he was a beautiful darling of a kitty and we’ll miss him with you.

  8. We are also mourning my daughter’s first pet…it’s so hard for them, but also such an important experience processing loss. And what bravery you showed in the vet’s office.

    The dear little jet black kitten named Storm was just the thing…!

  9. Sally on said:

    I’m so sorry Alison. I’ve had my fingers crossed for you that he’d make it x x

  10. Barbara on said:

    So sad and sorry for your loss; the unconditional love of a pet is so very precious – almost beyond words. Storm sounds just the thing. Holding you in my thoughts.

  11. Donna on said:

    So sorry to hear about. Little Jimmy love and hugs from the Rigby,s.We know how you feel because we lost our beautiful dog Muffin last October we had her for 9 years,didn,t think we would every stop crying.We have now got Max who we adore but we will never forget our beautiful Muffin…Storm sounds lovely..x

  12. Lindsay on said:

    Oh Alison, I’m so so sorry for your loss. I cried reading your words, for I remember so well the day we made the decision to have my beloved yellow lab put to sleep. I stayed with him in those last moments, knowing that he needed me there to comfort him more than I needed to protect myself from that terrible moment. Pets are not just animals – they’re our family, giving us unconditional love and joy and comfort. My sister recently lost her dog too soon, and I’ve told her that she’ll know when she’s ready for the next one. I think Storm will be a lovely addition to your family, even now, and can help bring you some joy in your grief. My thoughts are with you.

  13. I am so very sad for you, Sweetie. and for Finley and Richard… It is sad and forever when we lose a pet, a part of our hearts…

  14. Oh, I’m so very sorry. What a sweet-looking and adorable soul he was! ♥ And I know what you mean about not being a cat person but being a Jimmy person. I feel that way about my cat, Stuffed. I’d never really liked cats before, but oh how I’ve fallen for Stuffed. I’m sure he did come into your life to be that blessing at just the right time. He and his love are still with you.

    Much Love, and Welcome, Storm ♥,


  15. Lynn on said:

    Sleep tight Jimmy, how brave you are all being Alison. Lots of love xxx

  16. Linda on said:

    Beloved pets are so hard to say good-bye, too. I’m so sorry. Storm has found a great family. What a wonderful name!

  17. jademichele on said:

    i’m so very sorry,i’ve been through something very much like this -a beloved cat in kidney failure-we had to let him go- i cried for days,i’m crying now and i still miss him.<3

  18. This is so cruel, I’m so sorry Alison. I know exactly how you feel, my heart goes out to you both. Storm has found a wonderful home.

  19. Yes…we understand. May you and Finley and Storm enjoy many, many years together.xo

  20. Heidi on said:

    I’m heartbroken for you and Finley, but I’m so glad you rescued little Storm. My black kitty was adopted after the death of our longtime pet Tristan, and he has been a wonderful blessing in our lives.

  21. Jean on said:

    We put our sweet cat to sleep last September. She gave us 18 delightful years. It is not the same without her, but she is in our hearts now and will never leave. These furry ones are such a gift to us. I am so sorry for your loss, but happy that you will start the fun again with your new kitty very soon.

  22. I had to skip over the details as I could feel myself getting very upset on your behalf. I remember how devastated my late mom was when her beloved old poodle, Candy, had to be put down after a long illness. Perhaps Jimmy was meant to be that bit of comfort when you needed him. And now he’s gone on and made a place in your hearts for a new friend.

    Ali xx

  23. Carol on said:

    I am so sorry to read about Jimmy. I know too well the pain of losing a pet. I had to bring this up, but do you have any idea how he got the antifreeze? I have read of people putting it out when they don’t like a neighbor’s pet in their yard. I’m only bringing this up because you are getting another cat. I’d hate to think that someone would have done this to your cat on purpose, but I’d be very careful with your new one.

  24. I am so sorry for the loss of poor Jimmy, and I hope that Storm will be a comfort to you and Finley xx

  25. Heartbreaking news Alison. I have heard about people putting anti freeze out on purpose for cats/foxes to drink. Did the vet think this was intentional? I hope that your new little kitten will bring comfort to you both. x

  26. I cried reading your words, my heart is breaking a little for you, Finley and for little Jimmy. xoxo

  27. Very sorry to hear about your Jimmy. Pets are blessings, glad there is a new blessing in your life, but you’ll never forget him.

  28. Wilhelmina on said:

    So very sorry for you and for Finley. I always think Thomas Hardy’s Last words to a dumb friend are the most eloquent expression for grief over beloved feline.

    On a less poetic note, anti-freeze tastes sweet to cats and foxes and it is often put out deliberately. Yes, accidents happen, and hopefully Jimmy found the anti-freeze by accident. It’s a very sad thing in any case.

  29. Kim Campbell on said:

    Oh, I am so sorry. It is so very hard to lose a family member. (((((hugs))))) I needed to get a new pet about a month after our dog Chloe passed suddenly. Everyone is different in this aspect. You do what feel right.

  30. lazy h on said:

    Oh I am so very sorry to read this, how dreadfully sad for you and Finley. Poor little Jimmy – but also lucky little Jimmy, his life may have been short but it was wonderful. I am sure Storm will be just what you all need to help you through this. Hugs to you.

  31. lizzie on said:

    It is so sad, I cried when my cats died, they are always there and go through so much with you. Get a kitten very soon maybe………..

  32. Mimi xx on said:

    Oh my word, I have no idea how I missed this but I am so sorry, love to you Alex

  33. Mimi xx on said:

    *all* not Alex! Wretched iPad!