Stars die,

Glitter, dust,

And the firmament renews,

In a blaze of light.

Stars die,

Glitter, dust,

Songs are sung,

Memories pasted in halls of fame.

All die,

With one gull to lead the way,

To the same rainbow bridge,

Bowies and Branwells.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

52 thoughts on “Adieu”

    1. Branwell. He never recovered from whatever he had at the beginning of November. The vet thinks it might have been cat AIDS. He was a lovely cat and he’ll be greatly missed.


  1. Beautiful tribute, Jane. Sad day, I’m so sorry you lost your Bramwell. FIV is rife here and lots of our lovely street urchins have vanished in the past month. Sending big Tuscan hugs your way xx

  2. Oh no. I was just going to ask if this was the same cat which was ill recently. So sorry. I thought he had properly recovered. RIP lovely moggy. Xxx

    1. Same one. He didn’t just have a liver infection, he was probably riddled with tumours poor thing. There wasn’t anything to be done except have him put to sleep before the pain started. Horribly sad.

      1. Oh bet it broke your heart to do that. I had to do that to my Coco. He had gone off and hidden when he got ill. I didn’t find him till it was too late. I bawled for weeks.

      2. We kept the other little cat at home to die because the vet said he wasn’t in pain. It might have been involuntary spasms and howls, but it was long and heartbreaking to watch. I couldn’t bear that again.


      3. I find the best thing is to put them to sleep when they can no longer handle it. Many pet owners defer that decision under the presumed assumption that perhaps they might get better or they will be happier to continue living a while with the family. I think of it as with elderly with a grave and debilitating as well as painful illness, they should be allowed to go in peace and without pain. Sorry for your loss. Pets become part of the family and often seem to think of themselves as one of the children of the house.

      4. Thanks Geetha. There’s the ultimately selfish reason that you mention, of wanting to keep the animal alive because we don’t want it to die, whether or not we are prolonging suffering. There is also the pressure from some mercantile vets to continue treatment, surgery, tests and examinations when there’s no hope of curing the animal at all. That stinks. It preys upon our emotional attachment simply to extort money and at the same time cause the animal added suffering. You’re right. The best solution is to have a very sick animal put to sleep before it starts to be in pain. Sad for us, but better for them.


    1. Thanks Tricia. He never recovered from the last infection, if infection it was, and not the first signs of the cancer. But he seemed stable and lively. He just melted away in the space of 24 hours. That’s why the children found it so hard to believe he was really at the end of the line—just the day before he had appeared so normal. Hard.

      1. Of course. And when ‘peacefully’ means that you have taken the decision to end that life with a lethal injection, even if it was to prevent suffering, it still preys on the mind.


      2. Yes we went through that with our cat Dexter a few years ago. Of course each situation is different…but ultimately it’s not fair to prolong their lives if there is little hope of alleviating suffering…the thing I wonder about Dexter was if he was suffering an undiagnosed ailment and discomfort before his aneurism and collapse..there were prior concerns but our vet at that time had no answers.

      3. I have grown very cynical about vets and the medical profession in general. If there’s money to be made, far too many practitioners will gloss over the ‘terminal’ aspect and carry on prescribing expensive treatment even when they know that the end is only being postponed for a very short time. I imagine if Dexter had been suffering the vet would have given him a treatment to alleviate it, but there’s no knowing with vets if they know far more than they’re letting on, and while there’s life, there’s hope for their bank balance.

      4. Well some vets are like that — either greedy, incompetent or both. Fortunately I am feeling better about our new vet clinic–it’s so important to have a trusting relationship especially when you have to make huge decisions. With Dexter I am remembering the final moments were with an emergency vet ( not our regular clinic) and the way he and his assistant related to us and explained our choices at least we felt they were reliable–one thread that wouldn’t mess us up afterwards (ie didn’t doubt the reliability of the information). Navigating the people health care system can also be frustrating at times…

      5. Whenever it’s a question of somebody’s livelihood, you have to be prepared for them to put making money before being kind and generous. The same goes for human doctors too. Seems to me the systems where they are paid a salary is better than the one we have where they are paid for every consultation, and where there are kickbacks for prescribing certain drugs. I think I’m going to go and live in a cave…

      6. You have a point about salary but I think other things come into play as well such as integrity; diagnostic skill and experience; and the overall efficiency of the healthcare system (staffing, red tape, testing wait times etc) Kickbacks for drugs — that is scary and I don’t know much about it but have heard how large drug companies woo doctors. It is infuriating that animal dental care costs way more than human dental care — they do have to put them out but all vet charged seem inflated –(took the cats in for their annual today) Thanks for the rant 🙂

    1. Thank you. I don’t which is more upsetting, when an animal you’ve lived with for years dies of old age, or a young animal you’ve not had time to get to know properly dies of a disease. Either way, it’s hard watching someone you love die.


      1. We always say we’ll never have another cat. It’s just so upsetting when they die, but each time we lose one, another stray walks through the door. We’re just waiting now to see what turns up.


      2. You sound like me. Except by “stray”, we rescue, and by “walks in the door,” it’s more ‘what my wife brings home’.

      3. We have the misfortune to live in a very quiet cul-de-sac surrounded by untended gardens, an abandoned cemetery and odd bits of wilderness. It’s an idea place for people to dump unwanted pets. The feral cats keep their distance, but the abandoned pets just walk in if the door’s open, or jump in through the windows.

  3. I’ve returned to read again. It’s lovely to know you saw a rainbow too. Argans rainbow was partially double, but I did’nt include that fact because the photo did’nt show it. Best wishes.

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