I had to make Sophie’s choice – between a husband wanting more from life than waking up, going to work, coming home, and hearing about how his baby’s day has been without being able to be a part of it, and my fur babies, who want a simple life without disruptions and stresses, and lots of love, food, comfy places to snooze, and a garden to watch the world go by in.

For Gareth to take a sabbatical from work, and devote his time to his family instead for some time, we’d have to leave London and go somewhere where the little extra money we could make from renting our flat would go as far as possible. Having visited Thailand a few times and always been enchanted by it and appreciated the scrummy cheap food, it seemed like a good bet. But our inflexible kitties would not be happy having to endure a series of flights and potential imprisonment in quarantine, so I had to choose to leave them behind or dash my husband’s dream to have more time with our daughter.

I couldn’t imagine life without them. For so long the idea of actually going travelling wasn’t real – it was just something we discussed. But every time Gareth came home from work miserable and doubtful of whether we’d ever make a change in our lives, I knew I had to find my kitties a new home, so he’d be free, and our family could be mobile.

It took me a long time to find a shortlist of people who ticked a multitude of boxes to be suitable to adopt my girls. Unfortunately none of them wanted to foster them and they all wanted to welcome them into their homes permanently.

Until now I’d tried to justify that what I was doing wouldn’t be so bad for them (after the initial stress of change), as they’d be happier in a house where there were no kids to disturb them (Mimi had never accepted our cat obsessed toddler and wouldn’t even stay in the same room as her), and no one to take lots of the attention, time and cuddles that used to solely be theirs. But when the day came to give them away I ached from regret, guilt, fear that they wouldn’t be as happy, and the immense pain of heartbreak.

I re-live the last moments I had before abandoning them over and over, and it makes me feel sick and sore, and casts a darkness over my life and choices.

Losing them from our family will leave a dent in my heart and my ashamed vegan sole forever.

I just hope and pray that they will be happier.