Baby Sweetie came to be my boy out of the blue. It was a saturday afternoon when my Mom called me. A tiny kitten had just staggered out of the woods barely alive and no Vets were open where she lived. She sped down to my town where the Vet was open, with Baby barely breathing in a wicker basket. He was maybe 4 weeks old and had been abandoned/on his own for some time. He had cuterebra worms burrowing into his skin, really on the verge of death. We got him to the vets,got the worms and leeches off him, and got him home.He was so small and weak I soaked the corner of a wash cloth in cream and he sucked the cream out of the wash cloth. He slowly recovered and grew up to be a beautiful, silky gray cat. He was always kind of small and had a very sweet face, he was a very handsome cat. |
Baby was always very wary of people. I don't know if it was because he was from a feral Mom, or it was the time he spent on his own as a kitten.It was hard to pat him from the front, the paw would come up and swat your hand away. You sort of had to sneak up behind him and start patting him. He never would show himself when strangers came to the house. He was very reserved. He spent much of his time "covering", He would scamper under the blankets of a made bed, and stay their all day, just a small purring hump on the bed. But he loved me, I was his person. I was so lucky to have this abused cat grow to love and trust me.
At about the age of 12 he decided he wasn't quite so timid anymore. He would thump the other cats, hang out in the middle of the living room, actually show himself to people he was unfamiliar with. And stopped covering.
In march I noticed his lower jaw looked swollen. I took him to the vets assuming it was a bad tooth of an old cat. It wasn't. He had cancer in his jaw bone, non treatable, and lethal. I would have spent anything to treat it, but aside from cutting off his lower jaw ( which only delay the cancers spread) , there was no treatment. So I took my poor little Baby Sweetie home.
He lived for 9 weeks. I tried to make it the best 9 weeks I could. He LOVED to go out a night, which was kind of forbidden in my area because of the fishers and coyotes, but I let him out every night and watched out for him with a flashlight. I made him pureed food, got him all kinds of the crappy liquid cat food treats, Vanilla Hagen Daz, anything to keep his weight up before he could no longer eat. Two weeks ago he came up from the basement with blood dripping down his chin. His teeth had started to move due to the growth of the tumor.I knew it getting more and more painful I treated him with pain meds, but the since the bleeding the meds themselves were hurting his poor little mouth.
But every night he would do his little tail shakes and meow to go out.And out we would go. I haven't gotten much sleep the past few weeks ! And when he came in he didn't look like the sick, dying kitty he was, he looked alive, shiny vibrant and happy.He adored being out at night, hunting mouses. He was such a tough little trooper.
But I came home from work the other day and there was a lump in the middle of my bed. I put my hand on the lump and it would purr. He was covering again, and I knew then it was almost time for him to go.He had stopped eating , not because he didn't want to, because the food hurt his mouth. On his last day, I got up early so the BS could go out in the cat dawn witching hour. He stayed out for 3 hours. Then he crawled in my bed to cover. I spent the day with my head under the covers patting him and telling him I loved him. About an hour before the vet was to arrive to put him to sleep, he reached out very gently and put his little paw on my face, twice. He had never done this. The paw was used to swat your hand away. But this time it reached out ever so gently and touched my face. I am pretty sure he was saying good bye and that he loved me.
I am grateful I got to say goodbye to him. I am grateful for that bittersweet, heart breaking caress goodbye. I am grateful I got to take care of him in his last weeks. I am very grateful that Baby Sweetie came to share his time with me. But unconditional love is not free.Now I pay the butchers bill in sadness and grief. I will miss my good kitty.
Baby Sweetie will be greatly missed by his Mom, his Dad Mike, his grandmother Gloria, his brother Eduardo and his two sister Elena and Katrina.