December 13th 2012 2:42 pm
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My meowmy brought home my ashes this morning and placed them on the shelf next to Heidi's. It was 19 years ago today—on Dec. 13, 1993—that her beloved dog, Heidi, crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Please don't cry, Meowmy.
December 4th 2012 11:39 pm
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It has been a week since you left for the Rainbow Bridge. Things have been quiet here at home, and there is a gaping hole without you. The sadness I feel mirrors the joy and love we shared when you were alive.
Now that your life is complete, I want to let you know how much you meant to me. I want to tell you some of the things that made you special to me.
I remember the first day I saw you in May 1995. Schnurrtzel had brought you home. You and he must have been in love, because the two of you walked side-by-side leaning into each other. At that moment, I knew I had to take you, too. You were a feral, starving adolescent. When I brought you food, you were afraid. But I backed away a little less each meal, and in a few weeks you began to trust me.
I remember the first time I let you in the house. You explored for awhile. Then to my horror, I caught you peeing on my bed—right where Schnurrtzel would sleep. I yelled at you, and you were terrified! I chased you out of my house. It’s a good thing you came back to me, and it's a good thing I gave you another chance.
As the summer 1995 turned to fall, it got colder, and I put my lion blanket on the bed. I watched as you jumped up onto the bed that day. At first you froze in your tracks, but within a few moments you melted into that fuzzy brown blanket. It was soft and warm, and you blended beautifully with its dark color and the stripes of the lion’s mane. The lion blanket was destined to be yours, dear Entrechat.
After Schnurrtzel left in July 1996 to live with another family, it was just you and I for awhile. For almost a year, I spent grueling hours every day reading books, taking notes and studying for my qualifying exams. You took care of me. You brought me laughter and kept me sane by playing pencil games with me on the desk. I don’t know how I would have gotten through that year without you.
At night, you used to sleep next to my leg near the foot of the bed. In your younger years, you would take a bath before settling down. Some people might not like that wiggling, but I always found it soothing. Later in life, you were quieter, but the foot of the bed remained your favorite place at night.
For awhile you got an urge to wake me up during the night. I’m not sure why. You would jump from the floor up onto my bed and land as stiffly as possible just inches from my head. Then you would spring over my face and land on the other side just as hard. Believe me, I was awake after the first jolt—and I didn't appreciate it! So I would be ready and give you a little extra push on the second jump. Instead of landing on the bed, you would land back down on the floor. You quit doing that after about a week.
For many years, you liked to wake me up in the morning. I didn’t mind that too much. You would come up behind my head and pull or chew on my bun—although you sometimes did it a little too hard. Later in life, I knew that when you pulled on my hair, it meant you were feeling well.
During the day, you were often on my bed.—That was one of your favorite places. Sometimes I would lean over the bed and talk to you. You would purr and pace back and forth—rubbing on my face. Then you would try to nibble my nose or pull off my glasses, or you would crawl on my back, so I couldn’t leave and get anything done.
I used to love stroking you. You had the smoothest, sleekest fur of any cat I’ve known, and you had the most amazing plush tail. Your fur contained all kinds of colors. You had tortoiseshell, dark tabby, red patches, cream patches, and white feet. You had one gray toe on the back right paw, and a black dot on the outside of the left front foot. I loved the slanted blaze on your nose. It made your nose look crooked or out of joint. (Knowing you, it probably WAS out of joint at times!) You also had smallish ears and dainty paws, and you had the widest mouth. I thought that was normal, until I adopted the other Meowler kitties.
When I rescued Mathis in October 1997, he was sick, so you had to be separated for a couple months. When I finally let him into the house, you chased him mercilessly, and he ran! However, within a couple days, you realized chasing him was too much fun to be mad at him, and you became friends. You spent many days and nights together on the bed, and you loved his excellent baths.
You were a particular cat, and you had your standards. I remember you were such a neat-freak. If you up-chucked on the carpet, you used to come and pester me until I got up and found the mess.
You were also very private. You would only use the litter box, if you were alone in the bathroom. One time you had to spend a night at the vet. They were worried about you, because you wouldn’t go potty and your bladder was very full. As soon as they made a cover for your litter box, you used it right away! On the other hand, when I needed to use the loo, you never gave me MY privacy. So I trained you to jump on my lap, and you would get some treats. You also liked getting the tuna-flavored hairball gel from the tube.
One thing I admired about you was your blatant honesty. You had your opinions, and you were very clear in your expressions—mostly about things you did NOT like! You would growl and spit when I would try to clip your claws, and sometimes you would fight back a little. You used to growl at the vet, too, but you had enough respect for her, that you didn’t try to fight her.
When Belle showed up in the summer of 1998 with four kittens, that threw you over the edge. You never forgave Belle for that, and you hated her with a passion! You would spit, growl, moan and hiss at Belle. But she had you figured out.—You were all bark and no bite. It drove you crazy, that she would just sit there and ignore all your antics.
You hated her kittens, too, and you taunted them when they were little. Hunter and Abbi went to a new home, but Figaro and Kragen stayed and became part of the Meowler Family. When Figaro grew up to be absolutely huge, he realized he didn't have to put up with your attitude anymore, and he cleaned your clock. After you needed drainage tubes for a second time, I permanently separated you and Figgy. Oddly, you never seemed to mind Dusty or Clara too much.
It was after Belle and the kittens had come on the scene, that I decided to keep you indoors only. You quickly adjusted to the secure life in the house, and you never wanted to go outside again. You were not a lap cat, but you liked hanging out in the same room as me. You loved the spot at the base of the cat pole in the music room, where you had a great view of the backyard and most of the house.
My friend, Lynn, always spoke fondly of you, because you would hang out when she was over, and all the other cats just hid. My dad also liked you a lot. He enjoyed being my backup caregiver, until his health declined to the point that he couldn’t come over as much. After that, my dad always asked about you. My mom never understood you.—She thought you were the Wicked Witch of the East!
I remember when I bought six kitty beds for all of you. Yours was the blue and green plaid one. I put it on the dresser in the corner of my bedroom, where there was a sightline clear across the house into the kitchen. In the cool months, you used to spend a lot of time in that kitty bed. Except in December 2008, I couldn’t convince you to start sleeping in it again, so I moved it onto the lion blanket on my bed. Mathis thought that was great and nestled right into it. I watched as you found Mathis in your kitty bed. You pounced on him and took over his warm spot! After a few days, I put the kitty bed back in the corner on the dresser, and you used your bed all winter.
Sometimes you did silly things. You loved getting into the linen closet or my clothes closet. I had to put kitty locks on the doors, because you would empty my sock box. You also enjoyed flicking the door stopper in the bathroom. You would bite and pull at the spring, and when you let go, it would buzz. You learned that from Schnurrtzel.
You also had some idiosyncrasies. Your entire life, you had a facial twitch. You would be sitting somewhere and all of a sudden your whole face would spasm for a few seconds—but it never seemed to bother you. Another odd gesture was when you used to go to the water bowl to drink. You would take one lap and then shake your front (usually right) paw violently a few times—hitting the edge of the bowl. Then you would proceed to drink normally. Finally, later in life, when your heart condition was severe, you used to lose your strength and balance when you had to heave. If I was home, I would hold you up.
Dear Entrechat, I would do anything for you, if I could. But you’re gone now. You declined so fast the last week of your life. At first I thought you might be constipated when you weren’t doing regular poops. But your kidneys had failed, and you were feeling so nauseous that you could hardly eat. I always thought your heart would give out first. I didn't realize until the end, that when you kept trying to sleep on top of me that last week, you were actually saying goodbye.
Your passing marks the end of an era. You were the Matriarch of the Meowler Family. I put your kitty bed back in the corner on the dresser. The little blankie with your sweet essence is there, too. I am happy you had a good, long life, and that I was the person to share it with you. I love you and miss you very much. Someday we will be together again. But first, I must take care of your brofurs and sisfurs. Fly free, my baby girl, my Seetphings, my angel Entrechat Cat!
Your loving Meowmy
November 27th 2012 5:03 pm
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I have a new home in the sky. It's beautiful up here. It's so peaceful, and there's no such thing as pain or sadness. There are lots of familiar feline faces, and I can see everywhere!
I want to tell my meowmy how much I love her and how grateful I am to her.
Meowmy rescued me in May 1995. I was an adolescent kitty—almost full-grown. I was very skinny and afraid of humans, but I liked her other cat, Schnurrtzel. Meowmy started to feed me. She was very kind and patient, and I began to trust her. After Schnurrtzel was gone, I was her only kitty for awhile. I helped her remain sane the year she was studying for her qualifying exams.
Then Mathis showed up in October 1997. At first, I was jealous of him. But when I realized he was such a pushover, I couldn't stay mad at him, and we became best friends. We used to sleep side-by-side, and we would groom each other. Eventually, other cats joined the furmily, but Mathis was my only feline friend.
When I was just a few years old, I was diagnosed with a heart murmur. In April 2006, an EKG confirmed that I had a "focal mitral regurgitation." In August 2006, I had congestive heart failure twice, and my heart had become enlarged. Meowmy determined that a steroid to prevent lip ulcers had caused the bouts of heart failure. The steroid was eliminated, and I began taking Diltiazem to keep my heart muscle supple.
In October 2007, I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. My thyroid was zapped with radioactive iodine, and meowmy wouldn't sleep with me for a week!
In my later years, my kidneys started to fail. I got potassium supplements and eventually special low-protein food. This past week, I was feeling ill and lethargic. Yesterday, when I went to the vet, blood tests showed that my kidneys couldn't keep up anymore. My BUN and creatinine numbers were very high, and my body temperature had dropped to 97.7. A last-ditch effort didn't help over night, so meowmy decided to let me become an angel this morning. She stroked me and told me how much she loved me as my spirit crossed the Rainbow Bridge.
Meowmy, I know you're sad right now, but believe me, I'm okay. Thank you so much for giving me a home for 17.5 years filled with love and care. You gave me a good, long life. I love you very much. I will always remain your baby girl.