Oh Whitey. I can't believe I am writing this today; I listed your date of birth the day I "found you", but, the doctors think you were around 11. I've selected "Wind beneath my wings" for your song..because you always stepped back and allowed AC to be the attention hog first, and then you would get your turn. Whitey, you made me a better person the time you were here. |
As always, we'll start at the beginning.
In early 2013, I believe that was the first time I saw you outside. Back then, I assumed you belonged to someone because you were so clean. Once in awhile you'd come on the patio and say hi to the other cats and be on your way. It was during this time, I was trying to also take care of/trap AC, who I knew was a stray. The last time I remember seeing you was on, or about, December 12, 2013 (still thinking you belonged to someone). Well, that winter, was incredibly cold. We had wind chills 50 below. The next time I saw you was October 2014; and it was then I realized, you did not have a home. You also were not the same cat I recalled seeing in early 2013, as you were kind of beat up and appeared sick.
Finally, on November 21, when you came to the patio door, I said "my project this week is to find this guy a home". Well, long story short, we found someone to help. But, when you tested positive for FIV, they said they would likely euthanize you. Hell to the no; I drove back that afternoon to bring you back home. I will never forget the countless emails I sent to try to see if any other rescue might have room for you. One rescue, Treehouse said they might be able to help, but, at that time, their admission list (or whatever it was called) was very long; likely wait one year. So, it was at that moment, I knew your home would be with us.
Your short term residence was in the garage; I had a heated cat house for you and the first couple of weeks, we were at the vet constantly. Finally, you were well enough to be neutered, get a dental and able to come inside. I already had an FIV cat (AC mentioned in the first paragraph), so my plan was to let you recover in his room. Since we did not have a "proper" way to do the introduction with AC, I bought the biggest dog crate I could find and covered it with sheets. AC was curious, but not upset. In fact, neither were you. You might remember, you had to stay in the cage/crate a few weeks because you got an infection after the neuter, but, once you were cleared, you never had to be in the crate again.
From the get go, I have never seen two cats get along as well as you and AC. You were best friends from the start. In fact, many of the pictures I am adding have you and AC, because you were always together. Whitey, his heart is broken and the pain in his eyes is unbearable. Please check on him from time to time.
Some of your favorite things were watching Tinykittens or the critter room on livestream (foster parents who stream their fosters live). I used to always laugh because sometimes I would come home from work and you'd be watching the kitties on the computer. You and AC would love watching birds and sleeping side by side. I thought I lost your catnip fish, but, I found it this morning after you left us. I will treasure it always. I also will keep the little orange parrot Dr Chris gave us the first time you met her.
There were so many times Whitey I thought we would lose you. In Feb 2015, you did not seem to be yourself and I remember crying and crying. In fact, I started writing notes about how I felt that Saturday. But, you were fine. As it turns out, you had a few infected teeth that needed to be removed. I remember crying when I dropped you at the vet that morning (it would be a quick procedure), but, when I brought you home, you looked like you had had a few too many drinks and I am sorry to say, I kind of laughed.
In November 2015, we had another scare and I was certain you would not come home. But, once again, you proved me wrong. You stayed overnight at the vet, received fluids and the next day, you came back home. AC was so happy to see you. He ran right up to your carrier and before I could even open it, he was sticking his head in and giving you kisses.
We had a few more scares, but, you always came back home. But, in November 2016, we received the bad news...mass/tumor in liver. There are really no words to express the pain in my heart when we received that news. But, we continued as always; you loved the Friskies party mix California dreaming treats, you enjoyed other snacks and treats. As the days progressed, I could see you were moving a bit less, the mass had grown, but you were still eating and AC was still giving you baths everyday.
Last night (01/13/17), I called the vet and asked if I could bring you in today. After I made the call, I came back upstairs and told you again what a good boy you are and we would be going to the vet today. I just did not think you were comfortable anymore, although you were still eating and drinking. I checked on you early this morning and you seemed ok. However, about four hours later, when I woke up, I knew you had taken a drastic turn. There was no time to get you to the ER vet; I held your paw, and you passed with AC by your side at 6:30 this morning.
I look back on the past 24 hours and think what I could have done differently; but, our friends have told me Whitey perhaps, although eating and moving and drinking, you knew I really did not want to take you today. Or, perhaps another angel was needed immediately at the bridge and you needed to leave. I do know I did not want you to suffer and I can only hope and pray (since it was four hours between visits), when I found you, you had not suffered long. Others have said you wanted to die here, at home, with your best friend AC by your side.
I'm sorry this is not a great memorial Whitey. Everyone loved you and you loved people. You loved visitors, you loved AC, you loved the birds, playing with the red dot; you always were so happy when I came home and it was supper time/breakfast time.
I know everyone says had I not brought you in that November day, you would have died a horrible death alone outside. And, while my head knows that is true, it does not help my heart. Your life mattered Whitey, it still does. We won't forget you; until we meet again my little love.