Old Lady Bonka Baby
by Saralyn Delfosse
This will be long as I'm using this as an outlet for my heavy greif but thank you for letting me share Whiskers' story.

3 years ago I met Whiskers. She was the guy I liked's kitty. A few months later that guy (Erik) and I started dating, then a little over a year after that we all moved in together (me with my 2 kitties and Erik with his 2 kitties). Whiskers took the move well and bonded with my fur babies (as well as they would let her anyway). She was so gosh darn loveable, rarely, if ever, hissed, got upset or gave us any issues at all. She was the absolute sweetest. After living with this angel for about 5-6 months we noticed the slow changes of her old age setting in, she clawed her way up to get onto the couch or bed as she was losing muscle and unable to jump up herself anymore, she lost her balance sleeping on the back of the couch and over time needed to be picked up and set on her favorite comfy places and no longer allowed on high places. She did learn to slide on her belly and catch herself to get down though (was the cutest thing to watch). We grew concerned about 2 bladder infections and losing weight fast. So we took her to multiple vet appointments where they eventually found that she had kidney disease, hyperthyroidism and kitty dementia was beginning. She was put on 3 medications twice daily and that's where my bond with this precious baby really started blooming. I was so adamant on giving her meds at the same times everyday, 12 hours apart and giving her favorite wet foods and sticking to a routine for her health. She eventually started gaining weight back and her bloodwork levels improved. Her routine actually helped me with my depression and anxiety as I was on a healthy sleep schedule and ate breakfast every morning with her. I was ecstatic and told everyone how I nursed this cat back to health! She became more and more vocal due to her illnesses and would "scream" around routine times, when we woke up for breakfast and meds, when we walked in the door coming home for the day and of course for dinner and 2nd med time. Always screaming when she wanted something. Mostly it was to be picked up, loved or set on the couch or bed to cuddle. She was hands down the best cuddle buddy and made the cutest grunt if you disturbed a particular comfy cuddle time! I was always jumping up to come to her every call to fix whatever displeased her and give loving pets and kisses. She would yell when we went to shower or she couldn't directly see us. She even started calling out for me specifically when I was at work or not home, much to my boyfriends dismay as he worked nights and sleeps during the day (he totally misses it now of course though) but she wouldn't stop til I walked in the door and was able to cuddle on the couch with her. She began slowly losing her sight and had a hard time navigating the apartment. She had many nicknames, Old Lady, Chewbaca for her loud purring (Erik is a huge Star Wars fan), Chewy or Baka for short but this is where she gained the nickname Bonka as she would walk into things often. She called out when she was going in circles to which of course I always came to scoop her up and was rewarded with kisses and the loudest instant purrs. This went on for about another year, our routines and plans always set around her needs and walking certain ways through the apartment or carefully opening doors as she always found a way under your feet or in your path somehow. My favorite times of the day were getting ready in the mornings or doing dishes or something where I was standing in one place for a while as she would always lay on my feet. She was my buddy, following me around the house all the time and sleeping with me at night. She was my baby.
Well the day finally came we had talked about a few times before and were dreading. Friday, November 5th, 2021 we had wrapped her up in the blankets on the bed like we had so many times before with her head poking out, making it easy for her to get out of while she drifted off for a snooze and we left for the store. We were gone maybe 45 minutes and when we got home preparing to spend the day together and make a late breakfast and big lunch and dinner as Erik and I both happened to have off work, when we noticed Whiskers wasn't walking right. She was walking with her toes curled over, dragging her back feet and collapsing or stumbling every few feet. Made the call to the vet and they were able to squeeze her in right away that same day. Erik took her inside while I waited in the car as covid is still underway and only 1 person is allowed in with each animal. So I sat on my phone not thinking too much of what this appointment would entale and expecting as always in the past she'd be sent home with orders to take care of her, up her pain meds or be put on a 4th med, when Erik came back out to the car, slowly, without Whiskers. He said that I needed to come in and they'd make an exception to the covid rule to discuss "options". The vet said it was more than likely some kind of spinal cord tumor, cancer or even a blood clot but the tests would be costly and there wasn't a guarantee that she'd make it through any treatments with her old age or they may not even find anything wrong at all. So we made the hardest decision of our relationship and decided it was her time and we had to say goodbye. From there it all happened so fast. They gave us a few minutes to love her then she was given a sedative to sleep. When she was completely asleep, the catheter was placed and vet came in to ask if we were ready and we said we were as ready as we could be given the situation, then Whiskers was given the shot to send her off as we sat in front of her talking to her and petting and loving her while she went, when the vet calmly affirmed, "Whiskers has her wings", then we both lost it. It's been 3 days and meal/med times and leaving or coming home is the hardest. It's so quiet without her screams and so lonely without her cuddles. Yes we have 3 other kitty's and give them so much love too but they're not Whiskers, they won't cuddle and nap for hours or purr quite as loud and it's hard to get used to. We have ugly cried so many times and I feel so guilty as she wasn't technically "my" cat, she was Erik's and he's spent more time comforting me than I feel I have him but he has said he completely understands and has thanked me so many times for taking such good care of her in her last 2 years. My eyes and nose are raw from wiping them and seeing her favorite cat beds and sleeping spots empty hurts quite a bit but knowing our "ChewyBonkaBakaBaby" isn't suffering anymore and she's with her twin sister that passed before me and Erik got together brings me comfort. She is and will continue to be so missed. We did have her cremated and can't wait to get her back home where she belongs <3
Comments would be appreciated by the author, Saralyn Delfosse
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