Tuesday, January 1, 2013
The day after our anniversary and after a very short illness we lost our beloved Himalayan cat. She had been gifted to us by Carl's father after the death of Carl's mother. Carl's father, Wendell, wasn't a cat lover which was strange because he was married to one for over 60 years. Her cat had been subject to psychological abuse over the years but gave almost as good as she got. She would climb on top of the refrigerator and play with the hands on the clock so it was always the wrong time. She would knock all the pill bottles off of the dresser. She would stick her paw into flower vases and pull them over. I tend to think this was payback. When Carl and I would visit, I would put my hand down between the couch cushion and the side of the couch and wiggle my fingers. It would drive her crazy. She had few toys (other than the clock and the pill bottles) but wasn't allowed to play with me, it was requested that I stop "tormenting the cat". When Dorothy died it was either come home with us or go to California. We were easier.
She spent her first week with us under the entertainment center. She knew where her litter box was and used it, mostly when we weren't looking. She was eating but wasn't friendly. It was weeks before she would approach us and until the end of her life she hated everyone else. My daughter would just point at her and she would hiss. She actually had hissing contests with our friend Charla. We were never sure if she actually knew what the hissing meant but she really was an expert at it.
We had her for a little over seven years. She was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and went down hill very quickly. We credit the vet we were using with hastening her death and we were very frustrated with their care of her. We should have changed vets when the only time we boarded her we discovered her in a tiny cage that was so small her tail had to be in her cat box. She was terrified when we picked her up. We solved that problem by finding a wonderful sitter in our neighborhood so she never had to be boarded again. When it was discovered that she had kidney disease as well as the thyroid problem we were given a syringe, some critical care cat food and were sent home to cope as best we could. Ultimately, I couldn't get enough food and liquid in her to save her life and rather than see her suffer we had her put to sleep. I'm still very sad and very angry over the whole affair. We buried her in the back yard under the cat mint and my friend Ruthann had a rock engraved for her which we placed on top of her grave.
We decided not to get another pet because we like to travel and it would be so much easier to just pick up and go when you don't have pets to consider. After a week we were able to pack up her toys and all the foods we purchased to tempt her appetite along with her grooming supplies and litter and moved the box to the garage. Our contractor has a flock of cats so we gifted him with our platform and window seat. A week later we loaded up all the pet supplies and drove over to our local No Kill Shelter in Lacon, IL. Silly me, I heard the cats on the second floor and my heart just tugged me that way. At the top of the stairs in the second cage I looked at was a fluffy cat with the oddest face just sitting and watching me. Cats were screeching and pacing and sticking paws out of their cages to urge me to pet them but this cat just sat.
We walked all around the many rooms filled with old cats, young cats, fat cats, thin cats, vocal cats and sleeping cats and always I came back to the one that just sat.
Over the next week I thought about that cat all the time.