(This is a hard story to write, so it may be hard to read for the soft-hearted.)
I am an animal lover. I always have been.(even when they make messes like above). I love all animals, but I AM the proverbial cat lady.
Growing up, I took in any stray that crossed my path and saw to their needs. I know it must of drove my parents crazy with how I turned their basement into a temporary shelter. At any given time from young child to the ‘adult’ I am now, I have had numerous animals under my care.
I have always joked that there is a secret animal hideout that has my name and address listed on it advertising- A sucker lives here. Go see her! She will give love, food and shelter. (I’m pretty sure this could probably be applied to human relationships I’ve have/had too!)
I never have been able to stand thoughts of anything being abandoned or alone or suffering. Taking care and providing safety and love to animals, it gave/gives me purpose. My friends knew if they found an animal, that I would never turn a furbaby away, especially if no one else claims responsibility. It’s just who I am. I’m the real live effin’ Snow White- friend to all animals. lol
My current situation started a little over 2 yrs ago.
I rescued a little girl kitty- Ella. She has this mottled tortoise shell fur and is really freaky cool looking with her coloring. She must be part Bengal, because she is also my acrobat cat. I’ve witnessed the coolest parkour techniques by this one cat alone! She doesn’t just jump, she performs twists flips and turns that is so amazing to watch. I have this 7 foot bookshelf, that she doesn’t even climb to reach the top to perch.
Ella wasn’t a kitten when we rescued, but not quiet full grown. So when we visited the vet to have her spayed, it was too late. We found out she was already expecting. In March of 2014 Ella became a mommy to 4 boys and 1 girl. Two of the boys were solid black, two of the boys were orange, and the girl was solid black too. Funny that Ella was all colors and had babies who were one color only. My son being the fun personality that he is, he named them all. I swear we ended up with Mobster kitty names! The boys who were solid black- Sad Eyes, and Thick Face. The two orange boys- PJ and Buddy. The girl- Diva.
The plan was to find them homes when they were old enough and weened. But the road to hell and all, you know how it goes. We ended up not being able to part with any of them.Or I should say, I was not able to part with any of them. I think I knew that from the moment I found out Ella was expecting, that they were mine to care and take care of. lol Remember? I’m the sucker. They’ve given me 2 years of laughs fun and their love .
PJ was the first. In May of 2015, I noticed a lump on the side of his neck just behind his ear. It would later be determined it was nothing of importance, but just a bump. But the vet during his surgery have it removed, uncovered that my PJ had feline dilated cardiomyopathy, or an enlarged heart. The vet in his attempt to ease the prognoses, joked that he had been given too much love. Other than medication to help ease the fluid build up that would happen, there was nothing more we could do for him except love him. PJ- that long haired, orange baby, took after his mama and loved to jump and flip. He learned how to run and jump on the back of my office chair to make it his carnival ride and spin himself around over and over again. I said good bye to PJ in November 2015.
The feline dilated cardiomyopathy turned out to be genetic. Sad Eyes was next to be diagnosed. The same bad joke was made, with the same bad prognoses. That sweet little black kitty was my true fraidy cat. He was scared of his own shadow and he loved to eat tape. This past Christmas, every gift I wrapped had to be re-wrapped at least twice. I likened it to him being like a glue sniffer, Sad Eyes was a tape eater. I guess it was the crunch? I said good bye to Sad Eyes in January of this year.
I worried after PJ and Sad Eyes, that the others would also be diagnosed. I watched and monitored them closely and loved them extra.
Thick Face was my big roly poly lap baby. He loved to eat and it showed. He also was my temperamental one. He was first to voice when he wasn’t happy with something- food bowl empty or if you were in his chair. He also had this swagger walk that was the absolute best! He was built akin to an English bulldog in the chest area and to keep up with his front legs his back legs had this sashay sway that just meant business.
Buddy was my spirit animal. He was just a cool cat. (wink) He was my confidante and queued into my moods. He knew when I needed his attention and care. His favorite place to be was draped on my son shoulders as he walked around. (my son is currently 6’4″) He rode those shoulders like he was king. He was the caretaker of his brothers and sister and kept them in line if they misbehaved. He was my hunter and killed my mole population that was ruining my yard. He was my walking partner, he was happy to go every where with me his tail raised high and proud.
I said goodbye to both Thick Face and Buddy this morning.
They too, were diagnosed with feline dilated cardiomyopathy.
I am heartbroken. I have loved all my furbabies throughout my life, and it never gets easier in letting them go. But these 4 were special in ways I can’t even begin to explain. It was just the timing and connection in my life, they were sent to me to love and be loved by them. Yes they were animals, no not human and I don’t try to even compare the loss. But they were sweet souls that I loved and who loved me unconditionally in return. I will miss you.