The most difficult decision in a pet owner’s life is making that decision to let them go. And most pet owners, like myself, are selfish and hold on and on, hoping by some godly miracle that they will miraculously heal and we can all return to our lives how it was before the pet became ill.
Beans and Priss are special kitties (read story below, written in 2004) Because we hand raised them, they have no idea that they are cats. They believe they are little people in fur coats. My favorite story is about the time I opened the pantry and a mouse jumped onto me, knocking a packet of Koolaid to the floor. As the mouse ran down my arm and across the floor, the two kitties were more interested in why the Koolaid packet was on the floor. No sense of cat in my kitties.
Beans is well known as Vampire Saber Tooth Tiger Kitty. Her teeth hung well past her lip. She is also well known as Marc’s Girlfriend. Better than any wife, she was there for him through thick and thin. When he was sad, she knew it. When he was mad, she knew it. When I went away on my endurance rides, she was right in his lap keeping him company the entire time I was gone. She was always there to greet us at the door and tell us how much she missed us all day.
And now Beans is dying. She has lung cancer. We tried to make it as good as we could, and the vets helped give her an extra month in our lives, but today she is struggling to breathe and she hasn’t eaten in two days. From her lithe 6.5 pounds, she is now a shadow wraith at 3.1 pounds.
I called the vet.
The most difficult decision we ever had to make. Marc and I cry and cry. I am so sad writing this blog because this was the best kitty in the universe. I say that as a Cat Groomer, and the owner of many kitties over the years. She was the absolute best kitty and I swear she could say words and talk to us. Many different words.
Yet there are no words for my sadness.
And there are no words for my husband’s broken heart.
And there will be no words for Priss when Beans is gone. Priss gets scared when Beans goes in the other room, how is she going to be when Beans is gone completely from her world?
There is a part of me that is glad. Glad that the vet will be here soon and she will no longer be in pain, struggling to breathe and wanting to eat but can’t. The kitty gods cry as we wait, rain pouring down on the grave site we prepared for her. She quietly sits in the window watching the rain and thinking her Beans Kitty thoughts.
I look through photos and I am glad. Glad she was in our lives. Because she brought us so much love and adoration.
I am hoping that the thirteen years experience of Beans does not change my lifestyle and we will eventually find another kitty to mend the rift in our hearts and our lives. For all of us, Marc, me and Priss.
I held her and rubbed under her chin as she peacefully fell asleep in her favorite spot. I am sad she is now gone, but I am glad she was ours. Good Bye, Beans. We loved you so much.
Don’t tell I killed the kittens.
My sister, Lisa, is also a big fan of my stories and for as long as I can remember, I have cracked her up on the phone, and with the advent of the internet, I have written her “Day in the Life of” emails. I have to give you all some background before you read this email I sent to her dated June 14, 2004.
I live in a large rambling old home built in 1878. I don’t believe they had invented levels or squares back then as nothing in my home is plum. The house sprawls all over the place with three staircases from the first floor to the second floor. Visitors to my home have been known to become lost for hours in the maze of hallways on the second floor and I think the carpet cleaning guy is still wandering around up there. I say this because his equipment is still here, occasionally I hear a thin voice crying for help and routinely sodas and cheese disappear from the second floor refrigerator which everyone in the house vehemently denies the taking of that last soda and forgetting to put a new box of soda in place of the empty case which sits forlornly in the fridge. Has to be the poor carpet cleaning guy.
Now, at the top of the carpeted staircase is the bathroom. If you’re like me, and are claustrophobic, you have to wait until you’re sure no-one will be coming upstairs for awhile before going to the bathroom because all your goodies hang out for viewing as the door opens right down the staircase. This is a good setup for a wife and mother because all the household members can find me no matter what I’m doing in there. They just look up the stairs, see the light on and come running to ask a million questions while I’m taking a bath, crowding all their distraught selves into the tiny bathroom to sit on the edge of the bathtub and review the days happenings with each other. Occasionally they even remember to include me in the conversation as I attempt to get washed, dried and run away to Tibet where watching a woman taking a bath is a crime punishable by death. For those of you that don’t know already, I have 4 children, one of whom is legally my husband, but I’m unable to prove that to Toys R Us and two grandchildren. I DARE NOT take a bath while Blade is visiting because having a bath with Mema and washing her hair with Zest soap are the highlights of his day.
But I digress.
Now, let’s talk about my second passion, cats. I am a cat person, love them dearly and if not for my stoic and sometimes zealous husband, I would have 20 of them in my house. As he only allows 2 at a time, I keep the remaining 18 at the barn where he never goes so he has no clue I have started a cat house at New Promise Farms and will soon be arrested.
Okay, so now you have a view of my home and you know one more thing about me. Along with the crew of people following me all over the house, no matter where I go, I also have two kittens (now grown cats with the playful minds of kittens) that follow me everywhere. I got these kittens from my dear friend who although loves the money a litter of Oriental kittens can bring, is truly NOT a cat person and gave them to me. At the time he gave me these kittens, I expressed my concerns that they were not old enough to leave their mothers. They were very very tiny and just started their milk teeth. He said to take them and bottle feed them and they’d be fine. Hmmmm. I work all day and wasn’t sure this was a good idea, but they were SO CUTE and I couldn’t stand their pitiful attempts at playing with my hair, which they became entangled in and I HAD to take them home to we could cut them out like some wayward piece of bubblegum.
Alec immediately took to the kittens and told me he’d help me with feeding. They were big enough to go several hours in between feedings. They were also trying to eat soft foods so I was relieved. We kept them in a bunny cage while I was at work and when Alec came home he’d give them a bottle, clean them up and play with them For those of you that don’t know Oriental cats, they are a very people oriented cat to start out with. Now, I have created two monsters because not only do they already like people, now they LOVE me and Alec because we give them yummy stuff in their empty tummies.
Okay … enough background. This email takes place when they’re about 9 weeks old and they are still in the “can’t figure out how to retract my claws” stage and they’ve been nicknamed the velcro kitties due to their constantly being stuck to the carpeting and yowling in terror until some human comes to rescue them. (Notice in this picture, taken the evening of this story, their claws are sticking out) Their names are Beans (she is the one in the front, and is STILL the first one to start trouble because she’s full of beans. The one behind is Priss and she fits her name to a “T” and will clean herself for hours if you pet her.) Beans loves my husband and he’s really the only one that can fuss with her. She is a serious tomboy and will play with your for hours if you can stand her for that long. She doesn’t care if she’s covered in cobwebs, dirt from the floor or hay particles dropped off my clothes as I come home from work. Priss is my cat, she picked me and I have no idea how that happened. She is so fastidious. Everyone that knows us finds it hysterically funny that the neat clean anal retentive cat picked the messy person!
I am simply copying and pasting the “Day In A Life Of” email to my sister, so please forgive me for the sisterly commentary which occurs.
Man, I am never coming home again. You cannot imagine how my day started and I swear to you it’s set the whole tone for the rest of the day. It’s 5:30, I’m home not even ten minutes and the Velcro Twins have picked up right where they left off. By the way, Pieces, I am bald now…all my beautiful hair was pulled out during my hysterical mental breakdown this morning.
At 5 in the morning, it’s still not very light out and because Marc can’t sleep unless it’s pitch black, the blinds are closed. I got up this morning, stepped out the bed onto one of those stupid cat balls with the little bell in them and slammed face first into the wall. The vibrations caused by my 180 pounds of graceful self launched the two pictures straight onto my cursing body. Thankfully, by this time I was flat on my back and they had a soft landing so the glass didn’t break.
As I’m untangling myself from this mess, I accidentally knock over the basket of folded laundry where the babies were peacefully sleeping, knowing that their trap would work well for the loud human. Of course, they’d never EVER in a million years dream of setting a trap for the quiet human because he’s no fun to play with. He won’t cuss and yell and fall over and tumble around on the floor like the loud human does. No fun in the quiet human.
Now I have clothes all over my self and two loud mouth kittens demanding attention while they climb up my naked back causing me to use the bath towel as a silencer for my scream of agony. Gods….Priss got tangled in my hair (again) and was biting my ear while Beans was bouncing off my bed onto Priss. of course, the first two attempts, she missed, and in trying to catch her balance she dragged her freakin’ claws down my back. By her third try she got the trajectory correct, landed right on Priss and managed to add herself to the tangled mess in my hair.
Finally, I get them out of my hair and tossed them under the covers on the bed. That usually puts them backt o sleep but this morning, they had too much adreneline going and they started the waterbed dance, under the covers, and if they wake Marc up I’m toast. I grabbed them and threw them out in the hall figuring that will keep them busy for a couple minutes while they’re stuck to the carpeting.
I managed to get the clothes put back in the basket and get dressed without having to turn on the light and wake up Marc. Whew. As I head for the door, guess what I found again…that FREAKIN’ cat ball. I fell right into the door which slammed it shut and Marc sat straight up in bed like a bomb had gone off. Oh boy.
Out into the hallway I go and I swear to you I almost screamed because within several steps my foot was not on carpet, it was on something soft and cuddly. What the? I turn on the hallway light and HOLY FUDGE! There is paper toweling everywhere. I can’t believe this. They grabbed the hanging paper towel from the upstairs kitchen and dragged the entire freakin’ roll down the hall towards our bedroom. (sigh)
I really need to go to the bathroom by this point and figure I’ll clean it up in a minute. I do the pee-pee dance down the other hall and sigh a great relief as I sit down. The babies and sitting on my pants playing with the hanging toilet paper and (of course) I’m oblivious as I am busy trying to get the curtain off my head and back on the rod without standing up off the toilet and making a mess. I swear to you, in the three seconds it took me to get my pants down and sit down, they got the the curtain down.
Okay, I’m done with the curtain and HOLY MOTHER OF JESUS … fudge me is they didn’t just run the entire roll of toilet paper out the door and down the stairs to the kitchen. In fact, as I made a grab for it, the last bit of it flew off the roll and passed me by. I’m never going to get to the barn on time. I cleaned up the paper towels best as I could, but you know you can never roll them back the way the machines do. I got downstairs and gathered up all the toilet paper. I made a halfhearted attempt to roll it back on the cardboard but gave up. I wadded it up in a bag and thought to take it to the barn.
I started the coffee and let Kali and Susie out. Came back in and FUDGE ME that goddamned cat ball was laying in wait for me. I windmilled my arms and danced on one foot halfway across the kitchen floor before I recovered my balance. I picked it up and threw it into the living room where the Velcro kitties were screaming for release and I laughed … yes, I laughed right at them and told them they could stay there ALL FREAKIN’ DAY velcro’d to the floor because I was NOT rescuing them anymore. They were plenty old enough to figure it out.
I got a cup of coffee and sat down for my morning routine of read two chapters of the current book I am working through because it’s the only peace time I have in this house. No-one gets up at 5 so I have the whole house to myself. I start reading but I’m highly distracted by the yowling going on in the living room. After reading the same paragraph 16 times, I figured I better rescue them or someone was going to wake up and shoot them in the head. I carefully pluck their little claws from the carpet and carry them back to the kitchen so they can sit on my lap while I read. They’re purring so loudly I’m afraid someone will still wake up so I throw a tea towel over them, knowing this usually makes them go to sleep. I think they were sneaking sips of coffee because now they have a tea towel to become tangled in, and isn’t this great fun sitting on the loud human’s lap and digging our little claws into her bare legs? Isn’t this great fun that summer is here and the loud human has all this lovely bare skin to really hone our climbing skills on?
In my haste to get them off the tender part of my inner thigh, I knock over the coffee all over me, them and the floor. Of course, Priss immediately starts crying like her life has been totally ruined. Beans takes advantage of the dripping liquid to hone her batting skills, causing the coffee to spray all over the white walls. I pick them both up and put them in the sink and rinse them off (remember, these babies love to take a bath with me and have no concerns over water). I throw them BACK into the living room, hoping with all my heart that they’ll become velcro’d to the floor again.
The coffee is everywhere. In the chair (which is cloth), on the floor, all over the pink placemat, and running across the glass top to the other side. Well now, I can see that either my kitchen floor slopes or the table legs aren’t quite level. I rush a roll of paper towels over the mess and STEP ON ANOTHER FUDGEING CAT BALL. Wham. I slam my head right into the corner of the glass top and man that hurt. Of course, in the process of falling, I lost the paper towels and the coffee has found the other placemat to soak it up. (sigh)
I got that all cleaned up, grabbed the babies off the carpet and I wasn’t too careful with their little claws this time, and I locked them up in their play box. I am now way late to be going to the barn and feeding. I am going to be late for work for sure.
I will have to save the rest of my day for another story, but let’s just say that the morning was the best part of my day. Oh yes, it went downhill from there.
Now for those of you interested in this story and would like to know more about oriental cats, go to the Cat Fanciers website (http://www.cfainc.org/breeds/profiles/oriental.html) and read all about them. They are very unique not only in their look, but also in their personality. As a cat lady (oh, yes, if my endurance widower husband did not keep control of me, I’d be the neighborhood “Cat Lady”) … anyway, as a cat lady, owning hundreds of cats over the years, I can honestly say, these are the best. Absolutely the best.