It was a beautiful summer day in July 2002. The sign in front of the house said "Free Kittens". You and your sister were the last of the litter of six. Your four brothers had already been adopted. One was named Blackjack. I just had to meet you. Mary led me through the house to a sunroom and there you were. It was love at first sight. How you chased each other at such high rates of speed without crashing into something, I shall never know. I had to have both of you. I came back with your Daddy. You and your sister were napping "cheek to cheek" in the corner. You were so sweet and cute. We made arrangements for Mary to keep you until we came back from vacation. "They eat a LOT!" said Mary. "This one lays down in the food dish", she said. That would be you. You also got stuck on the handle bars of her bicycle and almost got caught in between the sliding glass doors. The adventure began.|
"We have cats", I exclaimed when we got you home. We proudly announced that you were now "Chessie and Bay". Soon you were known as "The Girls" and later on "The Ladies". You napped most of the day after that first check up and shots. Later that afternoon, you wandered over to where I was sitting on the floor. You curled up next to my leg and in that instant you became "my cat".
When you were just two, you became very ill and had to be hospitalized. We were sad when they told us that you had diabetes. The morning trips for blood work and fructosamine checks then began. We learned the language quickly and how to assist when you were in distress from low blood sugar. You were always such a trooper and bounced back from every hurdle that you had to face. You even challenged Nurse Gwen "one time" at Dr. David's office by spitting, growling, and literally slapping her with your paw. I thought it was comical but Gwen, not so much. I told her, "She never does that." Her response was, "Well, she's not going to do it again." Gwen won the fight.
Your sister decided that she did not like how you smelled after returning from Dr. David's office and a bout of hissing would ensue. She got over it pretty quickly and then once again all was well in the house. No more free feeding. You had to eat twice daily with the insulin injections following each meal. You were so brave and patient with the daily shots because you knew that you would get a treat. You loved your treats (bocaditto in Spanish). You just loved to eat. You would take a bite of your food then move over to your sister's food and eat hers, then go back to yours. In fairness, she always looked out for you and left a morsel or two in her bowl just for you. As you got older, Bay, you gradually lost much of your eyesight, still, you were brave and confident and found your way around the house easily venturing from room to room and chasing your sister.
You loved to hang out with us and your sister in the office and with your beloved "Tracks", the little stuffed animal that looked so much like you. Daddy bought her at the airport gift shop when you were a baby because her ears had little fuzzies on the tips just like yours. The response to, "Do you want Tracks?", was always, "Meow!", and when the lights were too bright, you struck your "Diva Cat Pose" with your little paw across your eyes. How many photos do I have of that sight?
I laugh as I recall your sister, Chessie, coming into the room as if someone had thrown her from afar. Soon enough, you came onto the scene chasing her all the while nipping at her tail. Rubbing your Daddy's feet was one of your more recent delights. You just loved it and he was always so patient with you. Your specialty, above all, was knocking things over in the bathroom to wake me up when it was time for breakfast. Today it is funny, and oh how I long to hear that sound again, but at the time it was quite maddening. I would have loved to see you knocking my lotions and bottles of fragrance over this morning, and then see you peer around the corner at me like you used to do to see if you got a reaction. Seeing you lounging on your "Bay Blanket" on the back of the chair always brought a smile. I miss reaching over my head and feeling your little furry self napping there behind me.
It seems like just yesterday that we first met. Fast forward ten years later to an equally beautiful summer day in July. It seemed like you got sick over night. We made one trip, then then a second trip to the vet in one weekend. I thought they could "give" you something to make it all better. I thought they could make you healthy again. Please do something for my cat. Make her well. Those thoughts were swimming in my head. I heard the words, "IV... fluids...overnight...bladder...pain medication", then sadly, they said no. "She is a really sick cat. You can't take her home." I knew this day would eventually come, but why now? Why today on this beautiful summer day? We were left alone in the little room as the two of us thought about what we both knew was the only answer. We cried, we hugged, we made some phone calls, then we signed the papers. We silently drove away from the animal hospital leaving you with them. Oh how I wanted to escape this nightmare, but I knew the best thing was for the doctor to help you cross over to the Rainbows Bridge. You were so weak during that last trip in the car, but somehow you mustered up the energy to peek out of your carrier and look up at me. I think you knew. It was time.
I miss you so much. Your sister misses you. The house feels empty without you. I find comfort knowing that you are at peace and pain-free. You were the sweetest cat ever and I will never forget you. You touched our cheeks with your oh so soft paw and our hearts with your gentle spirit, purrs, and head butts. I always loved our cuddle time on the chaise. Today I think about the early morning cuddle that we shared not so long ago. I had no idea that it would be our last.
Farewell my sweet little cat and thank God for that sign on a beautiful summer day in July..."Free Kittens".