Monday, March 19, 2012

And Then There Were Three

Back in the summer, when the original roomies moved about an hour south, 2 cats from the cattery remained, because the new roomie was adopting them. I held these cats within 24 hours of their births (a day apart). One hairless, one haired. They were adopted together because the hairless really doesn't need to be an only cat, and the haired, while she carries a hairless gene, does not further the goals of the cattery, i.e. hairless with curled ears & short legs. By the time that the new roomie moved in at the beginning of September, the girls were bonded to me, but warmed pretty well to him. Thanksgiving weekend, when the Bestie, her man, the 5 year old & I left Thursday morning for our Clan dinner and then trip to TRF, both girls were a little sneezy, but they often were, as their mothers tend to run a little snotty as well. We got back around midnight on Saturday night and while we noticed the haired was not around, we assumed she was upstairs sleeping with the roomie, as she often did, little miss Baldy, on the other hand was ALL up in the business because 'WOO HOO, SOMEONE IS SLEEPING IN HERE WITH ME!' Sunday afternoon, the old roomies came to pick some stuff up from an outbuilding, and then left. After that was when I first saw the haired, and her breathing was terribly labored. When roomie came home, I pointed it out to him and he responded that he was going to keep an eye on her for a day or two, that he didn't think she needed intervention just yet. When I went to bed, she was asleep in the box on the floor. When I got up Monday morning, he had already left for the hospital where he was having day surgery on his shoulder, and her box was on the desk in the living room (about 8 feet from where it had been on the floor). She was twisted and broken on the floor in front of the desk. I absolutely LOST it. To this day, I don't know if she tried to get out of the box herself, or if the dogs tried to nudge her out of it. I do know, that at least one of the dogs either licked her or had her in their mouth, because she was mostly covered in drool. In order to keep from killing either the roomie or his stupid dogs, I've convinced myself that she was gone before the dog(s) got her. Well, Baldy can't be an only cat, and he had never really bonded to her. Ex-roomie was frustrated and angry, and didn't want to leave her with him. The weather got cold, so I started taking her to bed with me, for her own warmth and health/safety. Eventually roomie acknowledged that she was mine, and when I moved, I moved with 4 cats. Girlcat, will turn 15 this summer. Shortcat, the deaf munchkin about 9, Li'lcat, who is almost 4, and Baldy, who is a year and a half old. Shortcat's deafness is caused by a tumor in her left ear, that we always knew could begin to grow again at any time, either into her inner ear, outward toward the exterior, or backwards into her brain. Her equilibrium has always been a little wonky, so her gait, while rolling to some degree due to her short legs, has always been a bit wobbledy as well. When the barometric pressure changes significantly, so does her gait, and she looks positively drunk when she walks. Well, with the storm front that came in this afternoon, she's been kinda drunken for several days, which I attributed to the storm. She's been eating and drinking normally, and hadn't lost any weight, even trying to hog the food like she always did. What she wasn't doing, was climbing up on the bed, but again, not an uncommon occurrence when the pressure in her ear is really bad. This afternoon, when I was home for lunch, I looked under the bed to see her, and she didn't look right. I picked her up and she went limp. Her breathing wasn't quite right, her eyes weren't right. I called the Ex-roomie, who owned her before I did, and we agreed that she needed to be seen, but that it might well be that the tumor had started growing, and thus time to let her go. The vet looked in her ear, and offered antibiotics, but was not convinced that it would do a bit of good, based on what she'd seen in there. She had a good life, longer, I think, than anyone ever anticipated. She knew she was loved, and the last memory she has from this realm is my love and the safety of my arms as she relaxed and crossed to the rainbow bridge. Run free and without wobble or a cocked head. You had more voice and personality than cats twice your size, and my life was richer for having you in it! Join your brother Leo, who crossed a scant 8 months ago, your buddy Tabitha, who crossed in November, and scores of others waiting for you to come and romp with them.

That's 3 cats in 8 months. Surely my turn at loving animals who cross is done for awhile!