The time came to let River go.
She hadn’t really been herself for a few months; nothing specific and nothing that couldn’t be put down to a combination of being unsettled after losing Nine, being run down from her repeated upper respiratory problems and no longer being the youthful energetic ratty that she once was.
Then, in the middle of February, she started showing more worrying symptoms. She slowed down and wasn’t quite so enthusiastic about food any more and would sometimes miss the food and get the fingers holding it instead. You’d occasionally find her sitting quietly, head-first in a corner. We started her on steroids, which definitely perked her up a bit, but it was obviously a neurological problem of some sort, which would, and did, only get worse. And so it was just a matter of time and judging when it was no longer fair to keep her struggling through her days.
That time came on Wednesday this week. She had started sounding mildly respy a couple of days earlier, but was much worse that day. We could have tried her with antibiotics or a stronger shot of steroids, but it would have only delayed the inevitable and most likely not given her much relief anyway.
Goodbye River. I shall miss having you sitting on the back of the sofa, staring over my shoulder at your domain.