Rest in peace, Conkers


Conkers in his chairHe was our little 'baby', our 'little man', our 'naughty boy', our 'furry chops', our 'mischievous one', our ball of fur. He was the cornerstone of mine and Austen's home, he was our darling Conkers, to whom we were even barmy enough to gift a Twitter account, he was our glorious beautiful and majestic Bengal-British short hair cat of 11 years young. And now he's gone. And we miss him so, so, so much.

Excuse me as I type this with tears streaming down my face. If you've pets or you're an animal lover you'll understand, if you don't, you might not and I wouldn't expect you to – and that's ok, I wouldn't be offended. I just wanted to write about him this week as a tribute.

Conkers suddenly became very ill last Wednesday morning with bladder problems. He couldn't walk very well, he'd been sick all over the living room. Austen texted me and I was anxious with worry but was at the Q, so of course I carried on as usual. No reason to think otherwise until the kitty had been examined. Austen rushed Conks to our vet that day, who decided he needed an emergency operation. Conks then spent 2 further days in the animal hospital, Northside Emergency Clinic, as well as one agonising night with a collar around his neck, a catheter and a drip, poor darling. But he finally came home (sans instruments!) on Friday night. I also got home to Brum from a day at QVC that night and it was clear to us both, as the hours went on, that Conks was very restless and uncomfortable.

Conkers Conkers 3







Most of Saturday was spent at the vets again and another treatment was tried that afternoon. We brought him home in the hope he'd be ok. We had a glorious time with him, he played with toys, he sunned himself, he slept in that spot under the bed on his favourite tartan blanket and he had a snooze in his fleece chair with the red cushion. But, after hours of hoping and praying, that treatment failed too and we had to take him back to the vet that night. The right and humane thing to do was to put him to sleep, because nothing the vets did had worked for him. We didn't want him to go through what he went through on Wednesday morning. We didn't want to prolong his pain. It was the most dreadful evening and we're still grieving for our little baby.

Conkers 2 Conkers playing










At this point we've got to give thanks for all the help, and compassion we received from Aubrey at Scotts Vet Clinic and both our vet, Mandisa and our nurse Lisa at NEVC, who guided us through what were Conkers final moments.

Thanks to everyone who tweeted me with love and condolences over the weekend. Thanks for caring.

The flat is so, so empty without Conkers. We do feel he's been ripped away from us too soon. We just imagined he would have so many more years ahead of him with us.

We think we hear him mewing sometimes, we're sure we've seen him out of the corner of our eye in the flat too. Our minds play such tricks on us sometimes. He will forever be our little man, our baby, our naughty boy. Our Conkers.


  1. Sarah November 14, 2013 at 2:00 pm -  Reply

    Oh Marverine I’m so sorry! What an awful experience for you both, my heart goes out to you. I know only too well how it feels, and following the death of my cat Meg a few years ago I also used to see her in places she used to love for ages afterwards. Conkers was a gorgeous boy and I’m sure you’ll cherish the time you had with him more easily as time passes. Lots of love, Sarah xxx

  2. Chocobicki November 14, 2013 at 2:47 pm -  Reply

    So sad to hear about the loss of your beloved cat. I know hard it is to lose a pet that is so loved. I lost my 2 pet rabbits in the space of a couple of years apart and it still hurts sometimes when I remember something they did.
    It will get easier with time, you just need to give yourself some time and space to grieve.
    Take care.

  3. Lucy Little November 14, 2013 at 4:50 pm -  Reply

    Hi Marverine,
    I’m so sorry, sending you and your husband a big hug. I am a cat lover and It is such a horrible time for you. Conkers looked very handsome and you could see he had a lovely life.
    It will get better with time – you will never forget him.
    With love,
    Lucy xx

  4. Helen Hulston November 14, 2013 at 6:08 pm -  Reply

    Beautiful blog Marv…thinking of you both Helen x

  5. Joanna Downey November 14, 2013 at 6:25 pm -  Reply

    Dearest Marverine and Austen, I’m so very sorry that you’ve lost your gorgeous boy. As an animal lover and someone who has loved many cats over the years I understand what you are both going through. I hope that time will work her magic and that you will both be able to remember him with smiles and not tears. Love from Jo xx

  6. catsib65 November 14, 2013 at 9:04 pm -  Reply

    To a fellow cat lover. Dont know you Marverine or Austen but i dont think that matters when you are grieving for the loss of a pet. I like you lost my AngelCat Marble over a year past . And like you it was sudden, everyone i know has urged me to get a new cat to get over the loss. But he can never be replaced ever. I will in time love a new cat and like you i cry every night for the magestic man we lost . xx

  7. Irene Taylor November 14, 2013 at 9:34 pm -  Reply

    Hi Marverine,
    So sorry you beloved pet has gone. The pain of your loss will soon fade but he will always have a place in your heart.
    With sympathy
    Irene x

  8. Marverine Cole November 14, 2013 at 10:10 pm -  Reply

    Austen & I are overwhelmed by the love and best wishes you have sent us today. Every comment means so much, so thanks for taking time out to send me a message, as well as recall memories of your own darling pets.
    It seems that no matter how long ago it is since your pets pass on, you still remember them so vividly. And yes, as the saying goes. ‘time heals the wound no-one can see’, so let’s hope that works for us all.
    Bless you all. Thank-you xxx

  9. Tania November 15, 2013 at 4:58 pm -  Reply

    Sending my sympathies to you both. Im so sorry to hear about Conkers. He was truly gorgeous and looked well happy and content. I understand how losing a pet affects you as i lost 2 cats (brother and sister) to the road within a year or two of each other. They will never be forgotten and each has their own place in your heart. I currently have a british shorthair who is my precious teddy bear, she is divine and is an INDOOR cat! I hope that in time you will both feel able to give another cat a home and love as they each enrich our lives in their own way. There are no replacements only additions! Mwah mwah xx

  10. Tania warren November 15, 2013 at 5:42 pm -  Reply

    Sorry to hear of your loss, my dear Oliver passed away last week, she had been with me 17 years, miss her loads, even tHough I have another 3 still with me x

  11. Marverine Cole November 15, 2013 at 9:28 pm -  Reply

    Hello Tania & Tania Warren, so sad to hear of your losses too. They leave such a hole, don’t they? In many ways, though Austen& I both didn’t want to go rush back to work, doing so is helping us day by day because it takes our mind of losing Conkers. Thanks so much for sending us your best wishes. Means a lot to us. Xxx

  12. Sue Gammack November 17, 2013 at 3:41 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Marverine,
    Lost our dog a year ago and it still hurts,we would not be human
    if we did not care.Lovely name conkers.
    All the best suexx

  13. sue wright November 17, 2013 at 5:33 pm -  Reply

    Just a few words for the lovely M and her hubby, when you first joined Qvc i read your first blog and saw the beautiful, majestic conkers…..i thought then what a georgeous cat, but mostly i was taken aback as i have exactly the same breed but a female, with slightly more white on her face, they could pass as twins!! i don’t usually write anything but i felt i had to as i felt a connection with you right away due to us having the same type and colour animals, if that makes any sense??
    I am aware of the pain you will be going through and just wanted to let you now i along with half the nation are thinking of you both, so lots of love with a bit extra including a hug for you to get through christmas, thinking of you.
    take care lots of love sue xx

  14. Marverine Cole November 18, 2013 at 8:40 am -  Reply

    Hello Two Sues – thanks so much for writing here. I know it’s something to take time out of your day and write online so it’s very much appreciated.
    Sue Gammack – so sorry you lost your dog last year, I can only imagine how it still hurts. Do you think you’ll have another. Conkers was a cheeky name to match his cheekiness, very fitting.
    Sue Wright – thanks so much for the extra hugs, I feel them too. He was majestic – sounds like your is too! My heart still does give extra ‘ahhhhhhhhs’ when I see Bengals or Bengals crosses because there’s just something so special about them so I understand what you say about you feeling a connection. So very very kind of you to send love and I send some right back to you too for being so lovely and thoughtful
    All the best, Marv

  15. Sam Ryan November 18, 2013 at 11:17 am -  Reply

    Hello Marverine,
    I am so sorry for your loss and I know exactly what you are going through.
    I love animals so much. We lost two dogs over the past year.
    Duke this time last year and Prince just this July.
    They were both 14 years….so we got many many happy years with them.
    But still the pain is there no matter how long you have them.
    It sounds like Conkers had a wonderful Mum and Dad and a very happy life. And as much as you loved him , Conkers loved you both just as much. And it is your devotion and loyalty to Conkers that helped you with your final decision and let Conkers be pain free.
    Wish i could take away how you feel right now….but that’s us animal lovers !
    Warmest Wishes to you both.
    Love Sam (Dublin)xxx

  16. angela dunne November 18, 2013 at 11:53 pm -  Reply

    Hi Marverine
    So sorry to hear of your loss,it brought tears to my eyes and memories of a very similar situation I had two years ago.I had to be kind and put my Rosie to sleep,she was 17 and had kidney failure.I know it’s very hard at the moment,but you still have good memories and it will get easier with time.Conkers had a good life and you did the best for him.
    Best wishes

  17. Christine November 19, 2013 at 12:28 am -  Reply

    Maverine and Austen
    I don’t have a cat but I have a dog whom I love to bits I lost my last dog Milly 5 years ago and it still hurts today I also lost my mum and dad around the same time so I do understand your pain I still can’t get over losing mine It happened to me with Milly quicker than yours no disrespect
    To you of course but I then had to come home alone afterwards I do understand your pain
    Take care

  18. Beth Morton November 19, 2013 at 12:06 pm -  Reply

    Dear Marverine,
    I am so sorry to hear about you having to put Conkers to sleep. You and Austen will still be very raw and will be for a while yet – I had my 2 rescue cats, Molly and Jessica for nearly 14 years and I feel I do understand how you both must be feeling. I don’t have any children and for a long time, I was also single so they were my family. It may seem trite but I found it helpful to sort out all my photos of them (they died 8 months apart) and to have a photo album just of them.
    I don’t have a Twitter account so can’t contact you through there but I just want to say that you and Austen did do the right thing and made his end as peaceful and painless as possible. I appreciate that won’t help how you are feeling now but please take care and remember what a great life you both gave Conkers.
    Sending you a big hug,

  19. November 23, 2013 at 10:49 pm -  Reply

    So sorry for your loss and can imagine how you must feel as i lost my pet 7 years ago and still miss her so much.
    It will take some time to grieve and but you have memories,photos to always cherish.
    Conkers had a wonderful life thanks to you and your husband and that is so special.
    Sending you a hug and comfort at this time for your loss.

  20. Carole November 24, 2013 at 7:42 pm -  Reply

    Dear Marv
    Just read your blog I am so very sorry to hear your sad news about your beautiful cat. Having been through the same I know how you and your husband feel my heart goes out to you both. Remember your memories can never be taken away.
    Love Carole x

  21. LINDA STEELE November 24, 2013 at 9:30 pm -  Reply

    oh my dear, how very sad you & austen must be. in the last few years i have had to go through losing my two dogs,my little poodle sweepie and my sheltie sheba. in fact with sheba I did exactly what you should not do and that was keep her longer than I should have .I loved her so much and did not want to lose her but one day she just looked at me as if to say I am sorry but I have had enough . that I realised is what a true loving mum would do. I stayed with both my girls and they went painlessly of to sleep I have both my girls in their little caskets and I talk to them many times but I so miss them my heart truly is sad for you but I do know your little kitty had a beautiful life with you bothxx

  22. Julie Toye November 30, 2013 at 11:56 pm -  Reply

    only just read this. so, so sorry for your loss. pets are so special, and its so hard when they pass away. love and hugs to you and your hubby xxx

  23. Andrea Cowling December 18, 2013 at 10:05 pm -  Reply

    So sorry to hear this , I hope you find another special cat. I know Bengals are very active and intelligent . I lost my little Nitro in March after 18 years , but now I have ended up with two Savannahs , life will never be the same again 🙂

  24. Samantha Hudson February 27, 2014 at 6:16 pm -  Reply

    Just read your post about your lovely cat Conkers. How very sad for you and your husband, I was crying reading the story. I’ve been there (like so many of us) and it’s so distressing but we never forget our pets and it’s the many, many happy memories and times that stay with us in the end. You obviously loved him very much, he was a lucky boy.
    Love Samantha.

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