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I’ve created this blog after I had to put down our little Cathy, my father’s chihuahua. I wanted a place where I could express my love for her (read about it here).
From my need to write about it all, I’ve encouraged others over the years to share with me their love for their furry friends. Some did answer my call, some did it after the beloved pet passed away and some simply wanted to share why love was a four-legged thing for them.
As far back as I can remember we’ve always had a pet at home, mostly dogs. My father didn’t trust cats. I even had a pet skunk at some point. Having a pet or two always felt like home to me. It completed the picture if you’d like.
Today, I kind of destroyed that picture of home… I had to make the decision it was time for our beau Tobi to go, after eighteen years of unconditional love. Over five years ago I did a post about him (read it here) sharing that love.
It wasn’t an easy decision to make. He had reached a point where he didn’t look like he was having fun anymore. I knew his time was coming. He had been sick and very close to dying two years ago, but with meds and a caring vet we managed to get an extra two years out of him. Looking at him this morning, how after a few steps he would lay down, was a clear sign that he was tired and needed to go. His eyes were telling me he had given up, even if at times he looked like he still had some life left in him. To see him so frail and tired broke my heart. I didn’t get him to let him suffer. I wanted him to a healthy and happy life. He didn’t look happy, he hadn’t purr in over a week. He hadn’t groom in over a week either. He didn’t do much, only drank cold water and take a few licks at his food, and sleep. The last two days he made his round around the house and lay down in places we’ve never saw him in before; the front door carpet, by the big chair in the living room, by his water bowl. He didn’t meow; he just plopped down on his side and slept.
We brought him to his vet for 10:30am and by 10:45 it was all done. The vet gave him the lethal injection straight in the heart and within seconds he has gone. I held him in my arms and didn’t even feel him go limp it was so quick. As we lay him on the table, looking at him with his big beautiful yellow eyes opened, he looked peaceful. It was done, by faithful companion of the last eighteen years was gone.
I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around that idea, that from this moment on I will be alone at home, while I work. No more chit chat with my kitty as I went to the kitchen and he’d follow me, no more playing while I brushed my teeth and he hid around the corner awaiting for my finger to whack on the door frame, no more welcoming cries when I’d come home from a client or errands, no more thump sound as he jumped off a piece of furniture he wasn’t supposed to be on, no more walking all over me in bed before plopping down in between my legs, no more cracking sounds from his bad hips as he walked around the house, no more howling for no reason, no more saying “get out of there”, so more bag shaking of treats to get his attention, no more being uncomfortable because I didn’t want to move not to disturb him, no more cheating and giving some table food, no more sharing of my Cheetos, no more having to change glass because he drank from it, no more silent meow when told to be quiet, no more licking sounds and drool, no more laughter because he crossed the living room doing the crab or because he was chasing a ghost, no more bed mouse chasing, no more napping companion, no more purr factory, no more cat… My cat is gone, and it hurts.
Some stories start with “If I were king…” In my case, I don’t need to because I already am. Of course, my “queen” constantly reminds me that there’s only one reign in this house and that it’s not mine. Humph! Humans…so naive! But then again, I’m happy to leave her to her regal illusions, since she does always tell me that I’m such a “perrty perrty cat!”
I admit I do enjoy the cooing she does over me, even though I don’t have a particular tendency to express my appreciation for all her caring. But then again, why should I? Kings don’t owe anything to anyone and frankly, I can’t bear the thought of having to reciprocate all this lovey-dovey stuff. I mean really… I do have better things to do!
For instance, the reason I’m so perrrrty is because I make sure I get enough sleep. Too much strenuous activity is terribly detrimental to my feline good looks. And of course, as part of a healthy lifestyle, I also make sure I eat regularly. I’m very fortunate that, my “queen” provides me with quality food, but I don’t understand why I have to meow relentlessly to get her to fill up my bowl first thing in the morning. For some reason she thinks it’s more important to go pee in the bathroom while I wait by the door, instead of feeding me immediately after she gets out of bed!
Another part of my healthy regimen is getting enough fresh air. I so enjoy going for a short stroll on the balcony. It has such a pretty view and it’s so perfect for my many necessary naps. But my jolly gallivanting doesn’t seem to please my “queen” as much. She keeps repeating that she has other things to do than having to open and close the door at my every beck and call. She claims it’s almost like having a part-time job on top of all the other things she has to do. I really don’t understand why she has to gripe so much about having to open and close the door for me. Why, all she has to do is leave the door open. So what if the cold air fills the house? Grow some furry balls and get over it already!
It’s clear she totally misunderstand the meaning of being at the service of one’s king!
Submitted by Luma
Approximately 17 years ago, my roommate at the time came home with an orange tabby kitten. He fit in the palm of my hand and had a tail so long that you could wrap it around him 3 times. I persuaded her that he should be mine (she already had 2 cats) and named him Edmund Fitzgerald Orange after my favorite soap opera character (Edmund Gray on All My Children) and The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. His nickname from the beginning was Eddy but he is also referred to as Pumpkin Boy, Adventure Boy, and Houdini.
On September 4th, 2008, my sister sent me a picture of an abandoned kitten. My roommate Kim and I decided that we would adopt this tiny, fluffy gray puff-ball. When we first brought her home, Eddy was not overly thrilled. There was the gnashing of teeth, hissing, and what Kim and I refer to as “the paw of justice” where Eddy would thwack her on the head every time she came near him. We named her Kalypso because we wanted a Greek goddess name and I threw Jean Grey at the end because I figured she deserved a middle and last name like Eddy. Her official nickname is Kalli but she’s also known as The Kitten, Kalli Keeten (I like ees), Pumpkin Girl, Football Cat (she is roughly football shaped), Portly Princess, and “Kittens do not belong in the washing machine!”
Almost 4 years later, Kalli and Eddy are the best of friends. Eddy used to be neurotic and whiny. While he still sounds like a grumpy old man (especially if he wants food), he is very active and happy. Kim and I recently moved from a city apartment to a house in the suburbs and the cats discovered stairs and Nature for the first time. In the picture, they are enjoying one of their favorite activities “deck time.” Eddy insists on walking along the railing (he’s not allowed to go near the walls since he keeps trying to get up on the roof) and Kalli will either watch him or try to catch bugs.
Love is a four-legged word to me because nothing brings me more joy than being owned by cats. No matter how bad of a day I’ve had, coming home to Kalli and Eddy makes it okay.
Submitted by Dana
Our very own special girl, Dexy. She has crossed the Rainbow Bridge on 26th December 2011. She was only 2 years old. You can read more about it here.
Finally, here’s Misty…
She was so good to all our other animals whoever we brought into our home to stay. She never hissed or growled at our other animals when I brought her in the house for the first time. The animals I had then were our golden retriever, Dutchess, Cody our yellow lab, Snowball & Gizmo. She was Chuck’s nanny cat.
That is what he called her “Nanny.”
These were/are my four-legged friends…
Submitted by Sue.
Mimi was a kind of feral cat that drifted between our property and our neighbor’s and we both fed her. She’d always run from us, but tended to keep us in sight.
A week after we lost our little Johann to pancreatic cancer, Mimi (nearly a year later for her) allowed us to get close to her, pick her up, and take her into our house.
She was a very loving cat who enjoyed being cuddled whenever possible. She loved our dog Panda and used to rub herself against Panda whenever she could. Mimi tried to get along with our big dog Marcus, but he always wanted to eat her, and she’d have none of that.
Mimi was the sort of furry kid who always showed up when you needed some “purr therapy”. I suffer from migraines and she’d always sleep next to me as I retreated from the light.
We only had Mimi for 8 years. Too short a time. She developed a liver disorder that basically turned off her hunger response. Unable to afford the expensive treatment, we had to make the hard decision to put her to sleep.
During her last two days, she spent most of her time outside with us. I took a ton of photos. She wasn’t very active, but she did enjoy the sunshine and rolling in the dirt.
We said goodbye to our little furry girl on August 28, 2007. Mimi will be in our hearts forever.
She was Love.
Submitted by Jayne d’Arcy
I received this today… Love does come in many shapes…
20 August 2009
I can see you now about to start writing, so I thought to share with you my thoughts from way up there. I am still trying to make sense of what happened last week, and unfortunately, I am deeply confused. Why did I suddenly start to act aggressive? Why did you sign that paper?
All I remember is that when I opened my eyes on Wednesday morning, I was not hungry, I was not sad, I was not angry, but I was missing like hell the routine we acquired together.
How much I enjoyed bothering you every morning so that you can go down to the kitchen and feed me. How much I craved those long nights we cuddled together. Even lately when I no longer wanted to share the bed with you, I would still crave it as you wake in the morning and you came over to my bedroom and start whistling for me and cuddling me.
I miss it all, but when I look at you from here I can see you completely heartbroken and sad. I am sorry. I really am. I did not mean to hurt you. All I have ever done and meant was for you, unconditionally. As I have joined your life a few years ago, I have managed to trigger change in your life; and now that I am gone I am afraid that I changed your soul forever.
Did I just say forever? yes, I did. Do not be too sad Samer as I still exist. I am with you, and I can still help you. Most importantly, I want you to know that I forgive you for you did not know what you were doing. I forgive you for all the love you had given me. I am a cat, and as all cats, I needed my territory, my habits and my stability. You could not guarantee me any of those. After all, you are not a cat person, how could you have known. But you gave me the most beautiful gift of all, and that is love! You turned me into a human, and it hurt to be a human. I suddenly was able to experience feelings of jealousy, anger, depression and envy. To make it worse, I was not understood. I have tried in every way to share my pain towards the end with all of you: By crying, by stopping to play, by retreating and isolating myself, and by showing it in my eyes. How could you all have been so blind?
How could you let daily life take over your loving instincts? How could we allow fear to overpower love?
I was young, I was only 3.5 years old, and I deserved to be in your life for at least another 15 to 16 years. I know with the appropriate amount of love, attention and dedication I would have changed … did I just say changed … well more that I would have rebecome what I always had been … Puma the sweet, affectionate, smart and charming cat. I made a lot of people fall for me, and I can see so many of them mourn me in regret. That makes me feel good, for I feel appreciated; but that also makes me feel sad, for I failed to control my animal instincts.
And I see Luka all depressed, be careful. Don’t make the same mistakes with her that you made with me. Now she can’t hurt a fly even if she wanted to, which means that it will be impossible for her to get the same injustice I got. Still, there is nothing more painful than to live with sadness and not be able to express it and be understood.
Then I think of all those spiders and flies that I have killed throughout my young life. I know for me it was for play, but maybe I should have known better. I killed them too out of ignorance and inexperience. And now that I am up there, I can promise you one thing, and that is never to kill any living being. We are all loved by someone, and as we die, those we leave behind are torn in pieces forever.
I know what your mind is going through every minute of every day; you probably remember how I would play fetch with you … in the middle of the night when I would walk towards your bed all proud with this ball in my mouth, dropping it at your feet so that you can throw it down the stairs for me. I would bring it up many times until I get bored. Then came this annoying camel you brought me with you from Dubai. I really disliked this camel. All I can remember are the beatings I have given him, and the entertainment he provided me. Of course, I also remember when you used to hum music for me, especially that Silent Night song. I loved it, I would purr constantly without even being touched. Of course, you could have made my experience even better would you have combed me at the same time. After all, you are human, and you find it hard to do two things at once. And how could anyone forget the “Puma, Ou est le mechant””, “Puma, qui va manger?”, “Puma, douche?”, or “Mon bebe soit gentil”, and of course the many variations of my name “poupou, pum, palmitto, mon amour”. I must have been a very special cat.
Then came the food rituals. Will you ever look at chicken hearts the same way? Twice a week I would get this treat. This is one treat that I never got bored of. Thank you so much for caring enough to feed me “non cat food”. And why did you get me so many toys? At least the cats at the SPCA must be enjoying them now. Did you really think I needed them all? I would have given most of these toys away in an instant for five more minutes of loving and cuddling with you.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. You have done your best, and more than anyone could have ever done. You were a cat hater, and you spoiled me. I can only imagine if you were a cat lover. For my good luck, I ended up with you. I learned much about free love from you, and I hope I was able to teach you much about unconditional love.
Move on in your life, spread as much love as you can, and remind everyone in your path that love is stronger than all. Do not let fear, hatred, anger, sadness, or superficiality take over. You have a beautiful soul, and you can make a difference in this world. Yes, you may have made a mistake with me, so please make a wrong right … you can, and I trust that you will.
Much love and regret,
A little over three years ago we took in a cat that his owner could no longer keep. We named him Max.
He is very picky and can be very cranky at times. Though when my daughter isn’t feeling well or has had a bad day he is right there to comfort her. He loves his little girl. On the rare occasions that she stays the night with a friend or relative he will sit at her door till she comes home. Sometimes even meowing at her door in the early morning hours.
A year later a friend of ours cat had kittens and we adopted one of them to give as a birthday present. In stead of bonding with our daughter he bonded with my husband. I have never seen a cat behave the way Short Stack does, we call him Shack for short. He will follow my husband around the house like a dog would. He enjoys rough play and relaxing in the sun. Feels very offended if you don’t play rough with him to the point of ignoring you for days. He is the cat that we giggle at because he leaps around the house like a rabbit when excited.
Then about 6 months ago we took in a cat that had been dumped of in my sisters neighborhood. He is your standard Siamese cat. Spaz is very shy and with a nervous temperament. He runs from everyone in the house that is until you catch him. Then he is your best friend for the rest of the day. He enjoys “hiding” on my sons bed thinking that no one can see him.
All of our four legged friends could not be lived without. They are truly friends and part of our family.
Submitted by Audrea