Onyx's Corner

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Sweet 16 at the Bridge

August 6th 2013 6:30 am
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I was born 16 years ago today. Mom still remembers the first time she laid eyes on me.

Her niece was living with her on the farm for a year, and wanted to get her tongue pierced. No way, said Mom. Then her niece wanted to get a tattoo. Not a chance, said Mom. I'm not sending you back to your own mother with either of those things. Then her niece said, can I have a kitten? Well, Mom had to say yes to that.

So we went to a neighbor's farm, where there were lots and lots of cats and kittens. All the cats were fed from a big tin platter, and when the food was put down, they came running, crowding around the platter until all you saw was a multicolored sea of fur. And there I was, the teeniest kitten of all, climbing over the backs of the other cats, trying to squeeze between them and squirm my way down to the food. I was all ears and feet and a little scrap of calico fur.

Mom laughed and laughed and took me home, where I got my own food dish and plenty of food. We had good times for many years before I left for the Bridge.

 

Remembering Onyx

April 18th 2013 7:46 am
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It has been two years since Onyx left us to make her journey to the Bridge. I can still see those huge green-gold eyes, always wide open, making her look as if she were perpetually surprised. I often see the same look on her sister Vicki's face.

Her brother Severian has taken over her favorite spot on the back of the family room couch. Sev was devoted to Onyx, and I think he still senses her there. Sometimes I reach back to touch his soft fur, as I used to do with her, and can hear her rumbling purr.

Onyx used to guard the food dish. Jasper does that now.

She loved to watch the squirrels on the deck (we teased her that the chubbiest one was her boyfriend) but Bear is in charge of squirrel-watching now.

We miss your physical presence every day, Onyx, and looking at your picture now brings tears. But it seems your spirit is still with us. Your family sends love.

 

Mom's feeling sad (and guilty) tonight

December 4th 2011 3:30 pm
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Today Mom got a call from Amy, who has been our cat sitter for many years. A few months ago a friend of Mom's asked for a recommendation for a pet sitter, and Mom was happy to recommend Amy. Amy went to visit the friend yesterday ahead of their trip, and from her learned that one of our family had made their journey to the Bridge.

How could Mom have forgotten to call Amy and tell her about my journey?! Amy is a special friend to all of us!

Anyway, Mom told Amy all about my lymphoma, and my chemotherapy, and the sad decision that Mom and Dad made that it was time to let me go. And they cried together a little bit, and then laughed together as they remembered my funny habits and sweet personality.

The humans haven't taken a trip away for quite a while, first because of my illness and then because Dad lost his job, but they may go away next year for a week. And of course Amy will come to take care of my sibs. I'll be sure to be there in spirit!

 

Post-Catster Fleas Thank-Yous

August 12th 2011 6:32 am
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The upgrade snafus coincided with my birthday, and all my thank-you pawmails didn't get delivered! So I want to thank everybody in my diary.

Thank you, Big Harry and your whole family for my lovely forever diamond (really, a girl's best friend!) and Finney, Lacey and Angel Alex for the forever star. And I got some wonderful birthday pressies from my special friend Minnie (wasn't the angel food cake at the birthday party delicious?), from Gump and Nadia, from Casey, Grace, Leo and Frankie, from Natalie the NatCat and her sweet siblings Orange Ruffy, Bella and Smokie-Boo, and from my angel friends Rebby and Serena Honey Girl.

We partied up a storm at the Bridge, and sprinkled angel dust over all our Catster and Dogster friends and their humans.

And I want Mom to know that I noticed the little catnip pillow she put on the wooden box on the mantel that has my name on it. I sprinkled some angel dust on that, too, so you can let the other cats play with it now, Mom.

 

Bittersweet memories

April 24th 2011 2:30 pm
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Today I watched from the Bridge while Mom gathered up all my medicines and medical equipment. The bag of Ringer's solution and needles, the Tapazol syringes for my hyperthyroidism, the vial of liquid Pepcid, the prednisone, the opened can of A/D, the food syringes. She saved the appetite stimulants and anti-nausea tablets, in case one of my sibs might need those one day, but all the rest she put into a bag and into the trash, and tears fell from her eyes as she did it.

Then she found my favorite catnip hedgehog toy, and my dish with my name on it, and my collar that I never wore. And some more tears fell down, but those she put into a little basket. When my ashes come back in a wooden box, she will put these things with them and bury the box in the backyard, near where my brofur Patch was buried.

The medicines made her feel sad, but the toy and the dish made her remember the good days. Today was a beautiful day with lots of sun puddles, and she remembered how I enjoyed a good nap in the sun, on my back with my little white feet in the air. Until I got sick, I was a very happy, contented and well-loved cat. I hope she will remember that more than the medical stuff.

 

Lymphoma Journey, Star Date 18: Journey's End

April 18th 2011 6:34 am
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I have completed my journey to the bridge. I fell asleep on a soft blanket, surrounded by love, and awoke to the same. There are so many friends here -- Hazel Lucy and Marrakech, Miss Mittens, Calvin, Freckles, Tallulah and Misha and Taffy and many more. My brofur Patch is here and I am so glad to see him after so many years.

Thank you all for your well wishes and tokens of love. All of the above and Tyler, Big Harry and family and all my Fat Hair pals, Natalie the NatCat and her family, Edwina, the Catfather. Oh, gosh, I know I'm forgetting to thank somebody.

I am glad my journey is done. It was very hard at the end.

 

Lymphoma Journey, Star Date 17: I Can See the End of the- Galaxy

April 17th 2011 2:41 pm
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Friends, I am near the end of my journey. Most probably I will go into hyper-drive tomorrow and join my brother Patch and my many friends at the bridge.

It has become clear to Mom and Dad and my vet that my condition is deteriorating badly. I can no longer see, nor can I hear. Mom thinks it is likely that I can't smell either. I don't follow a moving finger, and my pupils don't react to light. I don't respond to loud noises.

Last night Mom confined me to the hall bath so she could monitor my litter box use. She left three dishes of food, one of water and a litter box. This morning the food dishes were all empty. Mom suspects I found the food only by Brownian movement, because I pace constantly now unless I'm asleep. The water dish had been spilled. I did pee and poop, but not in the litter box. Mom thinks I just couldn't find it.

An emergency conference with the vet suggested this: my lymphoma has entered my brain, or I have suffered a stroke, or both. Either way, the prognosis doesn't look so good for staying here with my furmily. Kitties can recover from strokes, just as people can, my vet says, but it is a slow process. I am not able to take any more chemo, so it is unlikely that I would survive the lymphoma long enough to recover from the stroke, assuming I didn't suffer yet another one.

This is all too complicated for me. I am going to go sleep on my favorite futon.

**
Addendum from Onyx's mom: We are heartbroken at this turn of events, but we can't allow our girl to suffer any more. Onyx did get a little more good-quality life after her diagnosis. She tolerated the chemo reasonably well from November through mid-February, and we had many snuggly, purr-filled times.

I always loved the way she looked up expectantly at mealtime with her big, round sparkly eyes. I promised her as an adopted, underfed farm kitten that she would never be hungry again (maybe I should have named her Scarlett). It has been agonizing to see her starting to waste away, starving but unable to eat, resisting our attempts to keep her with us through assisted feedings. It is agonizing to see her pace through the house, shakily, with her hind legs buckling often, and cry for something we cannot give her: her old, healthy life back.

She is sleeping on the futon now, as I write. When I reach down to pet her, she does not respond. She is exhausted. I hope she can feel my hand. I hope she can feel my tears falling on her fur. This is really, really hard.

 

Lymphoma Journey, Star Date 16: Crisis

April 16th 2011 2:44 pm
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I have hit a very serious rough patch in the galaxy, diary. Seems like meteors are coming from everywhere.

The eating thing is a huge problem. I want to eat, I really do. I even shoved Bear, all 17 pounds of him, away from his food dish to get to it. He stepped back, all confused-like, but all I did was hover over his dish. I didn't eat anything.

And then I turned around and did the same thing to Vicki. I run from food dish to food dish, stepping in some, knocking over others, but not eating anything. I will eat some when Mom feeds me with a syringe, but after a couple of ounces I start fighting her.

Also, Mom is pretty sure I have lost my vision. I stare straight ahead when she feeds me or medicates me. I don't follow Dad's hand when he moves it from side to side in front of me.

On Monday, Mom says I will get a feeding tube, because she works too many hours in the day to be sure that I am being fed enough. I fight Dad harder than Mom, and the vet says a feeding tube is easier than syringe feeding. I get fluids every day, too, but I am very good for that. Dad holds me and Mom gives me the fluids. It does make me feel better.

Mom and Dad are praying very hard that I will come through this crisis. The vet sees no evidence of lymphoma in X-rays or ultrasounds, so I may be in remission. But my pawrents think they will not do any more chemotherapy. If I get through this crisis and start feeling better, they will give me palliative care and tons of love for whatever time I have left. Mom wants me to enjoy a few sun puddles.

 

Lymphoma Journey, Star Date 15: Bleah

April 9th 2011 9:43 am
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I had another chemo treatment on Monday, and although I was fine for a couple of days, I am now boycotting food again. I go downstairs at mealtime with my fursibs, but when I get there, nothing looks appetizing. Mom tried me on several different cat foods, baby food, salmon, sardines and cream cheese. No dice. So she hauled out the syringe and the A/D and is feeding me by hand again.

I would really like to eat on my own. Does anybody have any other ideas for food I might like? Maybe Mom could just empty the fridge onto the kitchen floor and let me sniff it all.

 

Lymphoma Journey, Star Date 14

April 2nd 2011 8:19 am
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Well, diary, I am feeling pretty good these days. Appetite is back, and I'm gaining back some weight. I have another chemo treatment on Monday, and Mom is hoping that I've turned the corner.

I have a special bed next to the radiator in the hall bath, which is my favorite place to hang out, but lately my brother Jasper has been sneaking in and taking it over every time I leave to visit the food dish or the litter box. Yesterday Mom found both of us crammed into the same little bed. Need a bigger bed, Mom!

Could use a few purrs for Dad. He got downsized (dunno what that means -- he looks the same size to me). Mom says we will have to tighten our belts for a while. Dunno what that means, either. I don't wear a belt.

 
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Family Pets

Bear DB #165a
Jasper, Angel
Dreamboat #49a
Severian DB
#165b
Victoria
Patch, Angel
Dreamboat #49b

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