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sorry it’s been a while… lexie

Posted by --- on Tuesday 15 June, 2010

After agonising for months we decided that with our small home and a baby on the way, we would rehome Lexie. Because of her good pedigree I didn’t want her to go off to be a puppy factory so I spent a few weeks trying to place her in one of the services. I was surprised at the police force who I thought would be interested but after ringing several different areas I had no luck. I was told in the end that they breed their own puppies. Then I tried the air force who were interested and came to check her out.¬† She didn’t pass the tests. They said she was very intelligent and one of the most intelligent they’d came across but she was also too independant and would be too difficult to train (tell me something I didn’t know!).

This then meant finding a domestic home for her where she would be happy and looked after. I contacted a local family who run GSD clubs etc and asked if they knew anyone interested and they wanted her for themselves! I couldn’t be here when she went but have been in contact and she is more than happy. The problems she had here aren’t a problem there. she has to mix with other dogs as she is with other dogs and has settled with them really well. She is also no longer afraid to travel as she follows the rest of the pack into the car and as they are happy so is she. I have been invited to go and see her whenever I’d like but I can’t bring myself to go and put myself through that. I think they are intending to start showing her and probably let her have a litter of puppies in a year or so.

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Lexie: big update

Posted by --- on Tuesday 10 March, 2009

Lexie has now had her first season and is settling down quite well in the house – normally you don’t know she’s there except when certain people visit. Some people come and I can control her, other people come and she goes into the bathroom out of the wayor she’s a nightmare jumping all over them. She still grunts and groans at everything which seems quite comical at times – it’s as if she’s complaining but I’m sure its just coincidence because she even does it in her sleep. She’s not barky really unless someone is around the back of the house and even that depends on whether she recognises who’s coming in. She cries when she hears DHS’s car pull up!

She is still upset by other dogs (barks, growls, lunges) even barking on the telly sets her off and we no longer go to training/behaviour sessions (it was working out way too expensive to keep trying all of these methods and also there have been personal reasons that I am unable to go). A neighbour has very kindly given us the use of a canny collar to try to enable us to walk her. I’ve only tried this once last week as I’m unable to go out much but am even struggling with it as she bounced around that much that she managed to slip it off her nose. I turned around and went home because I was advised that unless she behaves, she doesnt get a walk. Unfortunately, I don’t think she learns anything either. DHS thinks the collar it’s brilliant and says he has no problems with it – he used it for 3 days in a row which is the only time he’s walked her – but we have very different ideas of how to walk her. I don’t want her to be in front at all. DHS is happy for her to put some tension on the lead – he also has never been to a training session, or read a dog book/website or even had anything to do with a dog before Lexie! He is besotted with her and she follows him around like a shadow. Yes, I am the “top dog” in our house as far as she is concerned but it’s him she wants to be with. If he goes into another room, she follows, if he goes out she sits by the door; when he stands, she’s by his feet and she watches him all the time. He works away most of the time so you think she’d bond more with me but she hasn’t. DHS is also 6′ 2 and well built so he can cope with her pulling and lunging. I’m not. I’m almost a foot shorter and she has already injured my shoulder in one incident where she jumped at a cat running past and actually spun me around and pulled me over. My shoulder only has to have a slight jolt now and is very painful. I would love someone to teach me/her how to walk. I’ve tried halti, canny collar, stopping if she pulls, changing direction (she bit me when she got frustrated with this one when she was younger…).

She is still destructive and is sleeping in the porch which is only 4′ x 2.5′ as she has ruined the table and chairs in the kitchen as well as doors, door frames, corners of walls, books, anything she can reach of the worksurfaces, the radiator… you get the picture. There is a utility room off the porch and if we forget to lock it (yes she can open doors, including the back door so we have to remember to keep the gate/doors locked…) she will take things and chew them. She did it last night and we now have 3 pairs of shoes and a bucket less. She also chews the door and frame out there, she shredded the carpet, managed to completely destroy the cat flap and proceeded to chew the door which is now boarded (for the second time as she chewed the first board off!). She will occasionally toilet in the porch too (on her bed!) but never in the house now so I’m assuming it’s because there is no one to take her out at night but would have expected her to be clean overnight by now (she’s 10-11 months). She makes it known that she wants to go out by keep poking you with her nose, or pestering you in some way. She also does the same if she wants a drink but if you walk in the kitchen and ask if she wants a drink or toilet she either goes to the sink or the back door.

She also gets overexcited with the children if there are no adults around and will growl and bite so they tell me. She also tries to take food from them if I dont monitor them (they’re almost 11 so not very young children) I’m not sure what this is yet as they (kids) have also said she gets on the furniture. Could be putting them in their place or could be play. I’ve been told by several trainers that she tries to be dominant. When she actually plays with another dog (long story and this is long enough!) she will pin them down and stand over them or try to mount them. I was also told that its a sign of dominance that she struggles with control collars of any sort because she doesnt’ like being controlled whereas I thought they were just uncomfortable or unusual to her. What do I know? Im not a dog specialist? There were other things that have been pointed out to me but to be honest, I can’t remember right now.

Anyway, I think thats all for now though will probably remember more later.

Oh yes, one thing that I’ve taught her that impresses people is that she knows the difference between down and settle down (settle over on her hip, down like a sphynx) . I can get her to go to settle but cant get her to go back to a sphynx down. I know loads of dogs can do this but I’ve never known one personally and it’s great when we have visitors and I make her settle by me and drop the occasional treat to keep her focus on me and not the visitors. Its also good when DHS has come home and is trying to watch the telly of an evening but can ‘t because she wont leave him alone. She wont follow commands from him, but I say settle once and she lies down, settles down and goes to sleep. It’s great! Oh and one more thing – she is a pain but she is gorgeous! I had to get that in. ūüėÄ

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Nothing much to report but a report on everything

Posted by --- on Wednesday 12 November, 2008

Changed the time!
Its not Thursday it’s still Wednesday for me, although it is 10 to 2 in the morning) so I’ve altered the time this was published.

Home
Not much happening today. I spent a lot of it looking at finances and realising that we have none! It’s not helped by DFS not going to work – off again today because he “can’t be arsed with working for them lot”. In the meantime, Christmas is only a few weeks away and we haven’t even got a card – the kids want laptops which is impossible. Once I’d stopped panicking and getting upset, I tried to look for a solution instead of concentrating on the problem and I’ve decided there isn’t a reasonable solution. Become single again so I can make a claim, win the lottery, get DFS to go to work, get the miracle job that fits around school and pays decent money, tell all the finance companies that DFS made arrangements with (he has HP on 4 vehicles… don’t ask) that we’ve changed our mind. I think I’ll go back to crying.

Kids
DDJ had yet another school trip. This time she went to the Beatles museum and had a great day. I also sorted out which high school they will be going to. I can’t pick one but to be fair, I haven’t put any effort into choosing as I did for DSL. What’s the point? I spent ages looking at schools for him, we decided this was the best, he was bullied throughout and hated it. He wouldn’t move schools just in case the next one was worse except he’d lose his best friend too. He never did very well at school, he just went and got his head down but put no effort in and came aways with minimal grades. Both the kids want to go to this one and I think if they are happy, they should learn better. DSL continues to spent all of his days in bed. One day this week he didn’t get out of bed until after 6pm! Most days average between 3 and 4 pm. It’s really getting beyond a joke. When he is awake, he is playing a game either on his pc, his xbox or his ps3. What a life eh? He will be upset in a minute when I disconnect the internet – by the way, if anyone can advise me about a program that I can install to restrict users on a BT Home hub version 1.0, I’d be very grateful. I’ve rang BT and they tell me there is nothing I can do.

Wine

On the winemaking front, not much is happening. I’ve got 4 demijohns sterilising on the cooker ready to make mead and transfer some of the buckets of wine into. I’m sure the rosehip is turning to vinegar, it tastes awful. I’ll leave it and see. The youngs kit is bubbling away like crazy. I’ve videoed it and will add it to my list of things I want to add here. As to the rest,¬† I’m stirring whatever needs stirring and leaving whatever doesn’t.

Dog
Tonight is night 3 for Lexie sleeping in the porch. So far she hasn’t messed in there so that’s one step the right way. I thought I’d emptied it but she managed to destroy a new boxed catflap that I overlooked on the first night and the last night she managed to get a feather duster that was hanging up 7′ up the wall. I’ve no idea how. Now it is completely empty so I’ll see how that goes. I’m ashamed to admit, I still haven’t taken her for a walk.

Other
I’m 40 on Friday. Whenever I think about it I feel sick. Why won’t time stand still?

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Lexie is banished!

Posted by --- on Tuesday 11 November, 2008

We’re having an experiment.¬† We have built a small porch on the back of our house. It is only the width of a door and about 2m long. Last night I emptied it of everything and that is where Lexie slept. DFS was up before me but I don’t think she’d messed in there and she couldn’t chew anything as there was nothing to chew! It’s not idea but we’re running out of ideas.

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She’s eating the furniture

Posted by --- on Sunday 9 November, 2008

RIght, I’m really fed up of Lexie destroying stuff and weeing everywhere. She’s chewed the front off the chair last night. I got up half asleep after everyone else, sat on said chair and got splinters in the backs of my legs. There was kitchen roll wedged up against the cupboards trying to suck the urine out from undereath. It’s not pleasant. I went and bought her two nylabones at ¬£7 each! Yep ¬£7 for a plastic bone, plus two cheapo boiled bones from the cheapo shop. I’m going to try leaving one on the floor when I go to bed and picking it up when i get up. I will rotate which ones she gets to attemt to stop her getting bored with it and chewing the table, chair, wall, door, doorframe, books, cooker, etc.

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The chewing continues

Posted by --- on Friday 7 November, 2008

I ran into a friend the other day and was telling her about my dream of being self sufficient. She said she’d got a book I’d like and that she’d sort it out for me to read.¬† I’d started having a major clear out last night and when I came downstairs the book – Living the Good Life – was sitting on the table. I didn’t even open it, nor see who the author was last night. DFS rang this morning and said that he’d spent 5 minutes trying to get the dog to go to the toilet outside but she wouldn’t go, when I got up she’d flooded the kitchen with urine again. This had ran along the tiles and under the cupboards which it does all the time;. I can permanently smell dog wee in the kitchen now. Along with the dog wee on the floor was my friends book all torn to pieces. I lost it, I was shouting and she was cowing behind the table. I think back now and I know I shouldn’t have but it really annoys me when she destroys things, especially when it isn’t mine. I’ve reordered another book for my friend from Amazon. I don’t know what to do about her destroying things. This morning I would have rehomed her I was so annoyed. If she keeps it up I may still consider it. If she goes I will never have another dog as that would be four that we’ve rehomed. There was Ellie who we tried to keep for 4 years but she was, as the vet put it, psychotic, there was Molly who would not take to the kids even after 14 months and they ended up being terrified to walk into the same room as her if I wasn’t around, and there was Jess, who kept escaping and living on a main road was dangerous for her. I don’t know what to do about Lexie’s destructive behaviour.¬† She doesn’t seem to do it in the day or evening when we go out; only early in the morning before we get up. If I could fit a German shepherd sized crate anywhere in my house, I would try to crate her at night and put it outside out of the way each day but it would be a lot of messing about and no one would be able to get around the kitchen at night either.

It might not work even then though. Gwen Bailey in her Perfect Puppy Book that it is normal for dogs to chew between 7 and 12 months old. So I was wrong when I thought that she would chew while she was teething but apparently it will be after her new teeth are through. Gwen also said that dogs that are kenneled, hence restricting the natural chewing behaviour, don’t go through the normal chewing stage and so will probably always chew when the opportunity is available.¬† I’m stuck now, I can move items such as books – by the way, she takes items from off the work surfaces and the table – but I can’t do much about the structure of the room which she chews.

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Chewing

Posted by --- on Thursday 6 November, 2008

Lexie is now 24 weeks old. She has finished teething and has all of her adult teeth which means that when she chews things now she can do real damage! She has always had a nibble on things she wasn’t supposed to. Our last dog chewed the edges of the table so we bought a very cheap set from Asda (¬£30). Lexie started off chewing the chairs. I bought some chew deterrent spray and gave it all a coat which left black stains wherever it touched. This week she has started chewing with gusto! She has plenty of chew toys; two large bones, a rubber type bone, a squeaky one, a soft teddy, a plastic milk bottle, to name a few. She has instead chewed the table legs, the chair legs, the wall, the door frame and the skirting board! Here is a slide showing some of the damage last month.

She only chews big things in the early hours of the morning as far as I can tell. If we go out at any time, she will chew but she will take something off the sides like a newspaper, letters or other paper-type things. She chews major items in between DFS going to work at 5-6am and me getting up at 7-8am. In fact this morning, DFS went at 7am and we were up at 8am but in that hour she chewed the table leg and the chair cross piece. This was in addition to the urine all over the floor which I had to clean up first and knocking over her water bowl right in front of the lounge door (it is kept on the other side of the kitchen so how she carried it across the room without spilling it I’ve no idea!) hence the damp patches.

I haven’t hit her for chewing (though I’ve been really tempted!) but when I come in I’m angry (¬† I was going to swear then…) and she knows it. When I’ve come in to a real mess (like the day I had my brand new Self-sufficiency book, I was reading it at the table and went upstairs to get the washing but when I came back down, she’d shredded it) I have shouted at her. She flattens herself in¬† her bed and cowers, literally behind the chair legs if she can and up against the wall.¬† I know she doesn’t understand why I’m shouting at her unless I catch her in the act but that is my reaction to my things being destroyed. Also, if she has chewed things I can tell as soon as I walk in because she hides in her bed. It’s not her reacting to me because I haven’t seen the mess at that point. Anyway, here is what she did this morning and believe me, the pictures don’t look anywhere near as bad as the real thing.

I suppose someone is going to tell me it’s separation anxiety so why doesn’t she do it when we go out or when we go to bed or go in the lounge or something?

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Dog Training confusion

Posted by --- on Thursday 6 November, 2008

I came back from the club last night and broke down. I felt so confused. I felt as if the trainer kept contradicting what we were doing or what she was telling me to do or that I’m really incapable of learning. She made me feel like it was really simple and I couldn’t do it. I watched her show me what to do and thought it looked easy. I tried to do it and got it wrong. I really didn’t get what she wanted me to do and if I didn’t understand it, how was I supposed to teach Lexie? I think I’d get it right and she’d tell me I was wrong. She told me several times I’d missed Lexie looking at me which I didn’t realise I was waiting for and also, Lexie was behind me so how did I know she was looking at me?

We were doing heelwork for ages and there seemed no pattern so I kept getting it wrong. Sometimes if Lexie went in front I had to lure her back into position, sometimes I’d just treat her for looking at my hand, sometimes I’d try to let her come back to position on her own. At one point I thought I understood. I had to lure her in to position, wait till she looked at my hand, say my “yes” (which is what i’m trying to get into the habit of using) then treat, then keep doing that as she looked at my hand, once she’d done it a few times, I was to take a step forward, stop “yes” and treat. She’d tell me I wasn’t doing it right though as my hand was too low or too close. Very occasionally she said I’d done it right (two or three times in about an hour and a half ) Then she’d say nothing so I’d try to do the same again but then she told me I was rushing Lexie if I did a step and then she’d make me walk 6?! I was so confused. I kept apologising and saying I was sorry but I wasn’t sure what I was doing but I was getting more frustrated. She said at one time that I’d go out of the building hating her and when I said that I wouldn’t hate her she said she wasn’t doing her job?! At another time when she’d told me I’d got it wrong again and I’d asked her to tell me exactly what she wanted me to do again as I must have been misunderstanding what she meant and she said something about having to draw me a map…

My confidence was on the floor. Lexie was constanlty distracted and kept spotting the other dogs doing ringwork and starting to bark at them. We were half a stadium away but the trainer told me every time she barked to say nothing and walk in the opposite direction, in the end I was against the wall!

I’d explained to her when we went in that I needed to concentrate on Lexie’s behaviour. I explained that she’s started to bark at people too now and was still barking and raising her hackles¬† at other dogs which she’d done since the day I bought her home. I told her that she’d¬† also been bitten a couple of days ago by a dog that was supposed to be friendly (I’d checked first). I explained that if I took her in to a crowd she was ok but if I was walking down the street and she spotted one or two people she would start to bark at them and that she always barked at other dogs even those I wasn’t aware of such as those that were behind fences etc. I also said that if we got really close to people and the person came up to her or said “ahh” or something similar then Lexie would be fine and wag her tail. I said I couldn’t tell what her reaction was but I didn’t think it was aggression. I told her that I was fairly sure it was a mix of fear or play but as I am not an expert with dog or pup behaviour, I don’t know what I’m looking for. I said that her hackles are up but again, if the dog approaches slowly, she will wag her tail but be ready to run away. Lexie was being stroked by her at the time and she just said that it didn’t look to her like she had a problem. It’s like she doesn’t believe me.

Of course she had no choice when she was barking at other dogs hence the walking off routine. I’d explained that I’d been told not to make a big deal of her barking and not to walk away because I’d teach her that it was something to worry about and also I can’t spend my life walking in the opposite direction of any dog we see. She asked who’d told me about not walking away. I said I’d read it and that when I went to the other club, someone there had said it too. She said she wanted a name and when I said I didn’t know names she wanted a description! She said that we weren’t in the process of teaching Lexie to fear the other dog but breaking eye contact and teaching her that if she doesn’t play nice, she gets a time out. I sort of see that but if she’s being fearful am I making it worse?

Lexie was getting really fed up at this point. She hardly responded and the trainer said that she had to learn that she was to look at me of her own free will and that if she did she would be rewarded which would teach her to alwys want to look to me. As it was and we spent a long time waiting for her to finish digging etc waiting for her to look at us. When she did, she’d get distracted before we had time to treat her and she’d start barking so I had to walk off. I’m no good with judging distances in terms of feet or metres but these dogs were a long way away; no where near close enough to cause a problem. It’s an indoor equestrian centre, we were one end, the other dogs were the other!

Towards the end, when almost everyone else had gone, a lady walked towards our end of the ring and Lexie started to bark at her. It was the first time the trainer saw it and she did a fair amount of “hmm”ing. I was turning Lexie away as instructed but then she started being sick and lots of it! We filled two pooper scooper bags! Then she was barking at the lady again. The trainer said we needed to approach people and¬† asked me to walk towards a man standing at the opposite end of the centre. We had to walk past the ring where there was a dog so of course Lexie rased her hackles and barked. The lady training her dog was quite put out and asked me to take my puppy away. I was walking outside the ring, on the pathway next to the trainer doing what I was told. There was nowhere really for me to go!¬† Lexie keptbarking and I just kept turning her away etc. I didn’t know what I should be doing for the best. The trainer was talking to someone now and I also thought we were supposed to be getting Lexie used to people because by now we’d reached the man and in between barking, she was being stroked by¬† him. Between them, they agreed mostly that she wasn’t aggressive but she was unsure about things so was semi-warning things to stay away.

Someone suggested I go and take her in to the bar area so that she can see other people and dogs. That wasnt so good either. A dog bounced at her and she shot off trying to get under the tables. The trainer said to play with her to tun it a good experience which worked for a short while. Then she got focused on the other dogs and was too nervous. She kept barking and I was walking her away. She was trying to get around the corner out of the way anyway. At one point the trainer said thatI wasn’t observing my dog and that I should have seen that my dog was out of her depth and worried. To behonest I was relying on the trainer and following her (and the other trainers present) instruction and guidance.¬† When I asked her how I can tell if my dog is worred and what do I look for she just said that I should be able to tell her facial expression. I thought dogs communicated more with body language than expressions and as I keep repeating – I don’t know what I’m looking for, thats why I’m going to her for lessons! I then tried playing with Lexie again and when she wasn’t interested I pointed it out to the trainer who then seemed to change opinion¬† again and said, what did I expect when she is probably teething and her mouth is sore and that I shouldn’t be playing the tuggy game; this is the game that she suggested and even told me the week before what toy to get and make sure I bring to this session!

She made us walk past the other dog to leave (which I thought was odd as she’d been telling me to make Lexie avoid them by walking in the opposite direction all night?!) and Lexie seemed terrified to me. SHe went under the table and I had to drag her – literally – past it. When we got close to the car she made a run for it and was jumping up the back door to get in. She hates the car so thats an indication of how stressed must she have felt. I dont think I said goodbye to the trainer. Lexie got in, shot into a corner and started vomitting again. Thats where she stayed. I was upset all the way home and I had problems getting Lexie out when I got home. She then went under the table in the kitchen and wouldnt come out at all for me or DFS. She seems ok today but she is quiet.

It was terrible and I’m not going back.

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Dog walking and socialising progress… I hope

Posted by --- on Tuesday 2 September, 2008

I had to get out of the house today and so did DDJ so we took Lexie out for a test. She was better, (maybe it’s just evenings?). As she is pulling I put a halti on her and decided to take the plunge and walk to our local supermarket – if she behaved too badly I decided I was going to walk straight past it!

In our street, she barked at a couple of people that passed us, barked at a dog in it’s garden and set half the local dogs off barking! Then a friend spotted me and was walking the same way so walked with us. We walked to the supermarket and she barked at a couple of people but was irritated by her halti so didn’t know what to focus on first. She was watching people and throwing her head about, trying to pull backwards, trying to take it off with her front paws and occasionally spotting someone but it was all done mainly without barking. My friend was walking up to town and seeing as we were now in a really busy carpark without her barking or lunging I decided to go too. We went to the busy town centre and on to the main bus station. A few people were commenting on the “pretty puppy” which I was pleased with as I was expecting the devil dog stares. One lady asked if she could stroke her so I asked the dog to sit and she happily accepted being stroked. Then a man with a dog came up. I knew she’d bark and was half explaining it to him as she spotted the dog and barked but it was definitely play. I was pleased and told him how nervous she normally was and he said his dog was very good with other animals. So I let my dog approach to sniff and as she stretched her head forward slowly the other dog lunged and grabbed at her face. Lexie was fast enough to move but she still got bit on the mouth and yelped and hid behind me and DDJ. Then the guy said he’d only had this dog for 3 days from a rescue centre so didn’t know it would do that ( I wonder why he said it was good…) Lexie recovered quickly though and after a minute or two, kept looking at the other dog but the other dog stood curling her lips at her.

We continued our walk and she was good. She had a few more strokes – she rolled over on her back for a lady in a wheelchair – and all but one asked her to sit first. The one guy stroked her and I didn’t see it coming. One minute he was walking past, the next he was crouching by her. It startled me but she handled it well.

On the return journey, she walked quite well. It’s difficult with the halti as she was trying to get it off a lot of the time but she was less interested in people. I was a bag of nerves as we stood at the traffic lights waiting to cross back towards the supermarket as there were people both sides of us but she just sat. I was impressed and some people passed us in their cars pointing at her and smiling; I felt so proud! It started to rain on the way back so we got a bit wet and I’m not sure if it was because she was getting wet but she wasn’t so feisty with the halti on the way home and as we came into our street she didn’t try to take it off once, nor did she pull! I’m so glad because the last thing I needed today was her playing up I am emotional as it is.

It was at 2pm when we got home, she went to the toilet when we got back and since then all she’s wanted to do is sleep. It wasn’t that long a walk, maybe 3 miles there and back. I’ve had to drag her outside to go to the toilet ever since but she’s only been once and gone back to sleep in the kitchen. She’s very quiet and I don’t know if it’s the walk, or if she picking up on the emotions in the house or maybe she is missing Pepsi. I know she was looking for him all morning and when I’ve taken her out she looks for him and waits looking at the top of the fence for him to come over as he normally would.

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My cat was killed

Posted by --- on Tuesday 2 September, 2008

It was awful. I took DSK to school, DSJ starts tomorrow, DSL was in bed and DFS was waiting to go to his motorbike tuition. The door went and DSJ said that neighbour C wanted DFS. He went out and within minutes rang me to tell me Pepsi had been fataly hit by a car and to bring a blanket to carry him. I was in tears as I looked for something to wrap him in but we have no old blankets anymore and all my old towels have been used for Lexie. I walked to the end of the road towards DFS with neighbours curtains twitching. I was breathing fast not wanting to see what was lying on the path but having to look to make sure it was really him. It was. He was lying on his side and as I walked, DFS said not to look too closely at him due to the amount of facial damage – his eyes were hanging out and his rear end had been driven over. There was more but I didn’t want to hear it.
DFS wrapped him in the only thing I could find – one of my fleecy jackets – and sobbing, I asked to carry him home. I walked up the road with tears streaming down my face, trying to avoid eye contact with neighbours who were now outside. I took him home and held him for a while down the bottom of the garden on my own. He felt heavy which is odd as he didn’t feel like that when he was purring on my lap. Despite his weight I didn’t want to put him down but knew I had to. DDJ came down the garden breaking her heart as DFS had told her what had happened. So I had to pull myself together.

We placed him in the greenhouse until DSK could be at home to help bury him if he wanted to. I dug the grave between the newly planted elder and the hydrangea he liked to lie under so that when it all grows, he will be lying underneath them both. I covered it over to protect it from the rain. Most neighbours have come to tell me how sorry they are. Most of them have fed him at some point! He was such a scrounger; you’d think he’d never been fed! He was also the most skilled hunter I’ve ever seen and even though I hated it (he wore a big bell that didn’t work), it didn’t stop him trying and I’ve seen acrobatic feats perfomed off the garage roof to catch a pigeon in mid-flight and also seen him climb over 60 ft up a tree to try to sneak up on a pigeon – that had watched him climb, probably in amazement.

I can’t see how he was hit. He had crossed the main road for some unusual reason but he was coming back when he was hit, you can tell by what side the impact is and the marks on him. That means that whoever hit him, wasn’t paying attention, was going really fast (not likely with the crossings etc), or didn’t care because I’m sure that you would have noticed him crossing the opposite lane first. I know I would. This is me speculating and trying to make sense of what happened. I suppose it’s possible the he just ran out from behind a parked car and wasn’t hit on the side I think.

I just can’t believe he’s gone.

Edited at 22:51: We buried him tonight. The kids wanted to help but couldn’t do much before they broke down. I held them while DFS finished burying him. We left a space because the kids want to make him something. I’ve found out tonight that the driver could have avoided him. A neighbour saw it all. It was a white van. He could have swerved or braked to avoid him but he didn’t even slow down. Nor did he stop when he’d hit him nor as he went over him but left him in the road for other cars to run over him too. Another neighbour also saw and unsure who’s cat it was, took him off the road and laid him against the wall so he wasn’t further damaged. The poor kids walking to school this morning on their first day back (or even first day ever) must have walked past him and seen him in that state. How can people be so cruel? What right had that driver to take his life like that? I know cats aren’t universally loved but he didn’t need to do that. Pepsi could still be here tonight. We would still have our cat. I wouldn’t have had to listen to my kids sobbing when they went to bed. Half of me wants karma to do its job but I’m not that cruel. I don’t want it to happen to his family. I wouldn’t wish this on his kids.

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