Thursday, February 3, 2011
While I normally try to post chicken related thoughts and information, I want to dedicate a moment to my feline friend of 15 years, Katie.
This has been a tough week. I've had a sadness in my heart because Katie left this world behind on Friday, January 28th, 2011. She was an older cat (18 years old) but you could hardly tell they way she acted and caught rodents (leaving them on the door step, of course).
Katie came to us in 1996 at the age of three. She was a "one-cat-per-family" kind of cat and really didn't prefer to have any other cats around if she could help it (at her previous home she kept mostly to herself). She was perfect for us, a good mouser, and truly, the best feline I have ever had. My son doesn't remember a time Katie wasn't there....he knew her his whole life.
She was a smart cat - she could be clear across the pasture, and would come running (like a dog) when we called her name. She knew my car and would watch for it coming down the drive way so she could meet me at the front door. She would greet and "talk" (meow) to us all the time, and if she felt she had waited long enough for you to reach down and give her a scratch behind the ear, she would tap your leg with her paw just to make sure you hadn't forgotten she was waiting there (haha).
Katie was my companion when I would go out to feed the chickens. She would follow me as I made my way around the yard and would plop down in the grass amidst the hens as they pecked around for bugs. When it was time to go back in the house she would come in with me and meow for some dinner herself. If her dry food dish was only half full, she would insist that we follow her over and fill it up to the top.
Over the past six months or so I could see that she was slowing down, but just a tad. The vet said the only way she could tell Katie's age was by looking at her teeth, because everything else said she was a much younger cat. We thought Katie's hearing might be going, and you could tell she was having Dementia moments....she would suddenly start meowing loudly as if she couldn't find us - then when we would call to her and show her we were there, she would have a look on her kitty face like "Oh, there you are!".
I knew she was going to leave us soon, and there were moments a few months back when the thought itself brought tears to my eyes. It was so hard to think that she would not longer be with us.
Friday morning, I noticed she was struggling in the litter box. Thinking it was a urinary infection, I called the vet and took her in. After an exam and an x-ray it was determined that what was actually causing the problem was a very large tumor inside of her bladder. It was devastating. And we didn't have any time left, just a few hours before things were going to go downhill fast.
With me holding Katie in my arms, we went back to the vet's office that evening. I do not believe in allowing pets to suffer in any way. Together, our family said our last good-byes, kisses and ear scratches. This was the first time we had ever gone through something like this - our vet's office was very compassionate and understood how much our dear Katie meant to us. She was a member of our family for 15 years. For those who might be wondering, they gave her a sedative as we stayed with her (then they give a lethal dose of anesthesia to stop the heart).
I forget that she isn't here, that she's not outside or upstairs sleeping on my son's bed. I expect to hear her meowing at the front door to be let in. Today I was in Longs and I saw that they had Katie's cat food on sale so I started to reach for a couple of cans....then stopped myself. She was a big part of our life.
We miss you, Katie.