Nick came into
our lives as a 16-year-old kitty. She was rescued from a situation where
she was being terrorized by dogs until she couldn't find a place to
escape from them and was starving and very dehydrated. I had been
feeding another stray outside and Nick saw the food and came running.
She ate two full cans of cat food. That was the beginning of an "I'll
feed her outside since we already have a very territorial cat" episode.
It was fine from Spring throughout summer. Nick would come running when
we got home from work and I would feed her, sit in our carport with her
on my lap afterward, and slowly gain her trust.
weather started getting colder, I wasn't sure what I could do, so I started
sitting in my car warming up towels for her long, cold night ahead. I'd
leave the car window down enough for her to get out and shut garbage bags in
the car door for wind protection. Sometimes she'd hold her water all night
and still be cuddled in the towels in the morning. My husband finally said
we may as well bring her in. At first we thought we could slowly introduce
the two cats. We followed all the "rules" for cat introduction. But their
age and size differences, Nick's precarious and arthritic hip, and both
their territorial attitudes prevented that from ever happening. We had an
upstairs/downstairs situation with a door that remained closed at all times
between them. It was hard to do things that way but well worth the effort.
one of the sweetest kitties I've ever known once she had bonded to us. She
liked very few other people and would only lay on our chests, looking into
our eyes, rubbing noses, "kneading" our arms, purring loudly -- then falling
asleep snuggled close, wrapped in our arms. At first she was very playful --
even at 16 years old! Then she started slowing down after about a year, was
a heat seeker, had the most persistent meow, and was a real love. Her
kidneys started failing after we had her for about three years, and the vet
said that would be what would eventually take her. She lasted two more
years, happy until near the very end. The last 4-5 days of her life I knew
things weren't going well for her. She would still purr, be on me for a
short while, and love being with us. But she was failing fast. She wasn't
eating. Started having small, frequent seizures, eyes dilated -- you could
tell she was not feeling well. I took her to the vet on a Monday for an
evaluation. After a urine sample, it was clear that she wasn't filtering and
expelling any of the poisons. It was affecting her brain and body. The vet
said there were things we could do to prolong her life, but this would be
what would take her. I couldn't put her through the ups and downs, and the
hospital stays, for the selfish reason of not wanting to let her go. So,
amidst many tears, I said goodbye and that I loved her very much.
always be loved and her memories cherished.
Whaley November 2003
Oct. 23, 2003