Saturday, September 5, 1981


A hot, sunny day. In Dearnelow with Robert in the morning to see about a picture he’s having framed, dreading getting back because he had to ring the vet at twelve. He said he thought they’d have to put George to sleep, but the vet said he wanted to operate and would ring back, which raised our hopes. Carol prayed to God, and while she was upstairs we played knockout cricket. No football, wasted journey.

Then, at two-thirty the ‘phone-call, and I suppose I knew really, and Robert’s subdued voice told me I was right. The vet had put George down. Robert went and told Carol, who sobbed her heart out, and we went down to pay the vet. All this sentiment over a cat sounds quite stupid, but we were really sickened and I felt close to tears myself. Robert’s eyes were watery and he kept damning Fate and life.

The vet looked upset. He told us that George’s bile duct had been ripped away in the accident and his digestive juices had turned his insides bright yellow. Robert and Carol's force feeding probably helped kill him, although they weren’t to know. If only it hadn’t been a Bank Holiday when the car hit him! As I waited outside the vet’s for Robert in the sun, George’s collar and little bell in my hand, I felt so bad I could’ve cried. We set about looking for a kitten for Carol, reasoning that a replacement would take her mind off things. The people at the pet shop told us about two, and at five we went down to a nearby warehouse to get them, but the kittens were hiding among the bags of corn and grain. The woman from the pet shop woman told us she’d deliver a tabby tom at nine.

By the evening, Carol had got over it a bit better, and we were playing dominoes when the kitten arrived. He's only five weeks old, a tiny yelping thing with big feet, a surprised expression and a bright red nose. Robert and Carol named him Wilmott.

It's been a really horrible, unreal day that has seemed to last forever. I can’t get George out of my head.

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