I got her early in 2005, right after our other cat, Cosmo, died from poisoning. He’d been at odds with the Florida reptilian community. If he was a snake-catcher in Virginia, I never knew about it. But I used to watch him running about in our Florida backyard with snakes wriggling in his mouth. One day he stopped eating and peeing, and that was that. Bowtie came within a week or so, and we immediately made her an indoor cat, though she spent most of her waking hours in the screened-in lanai. It was the best of both worlds for her. She could romp in the potted plants, chase a cricket or frog now and then, but she was snug as a bug in her own bed at night, inside and out of harm’s way. I still got her vaccinations and occasionally cleaned her teeth, but she was a low-maintenance, happy cat for years and years.
Then we moved to NC. She’s been inside and miserable. She started biting and hissing when I’d pick her up. I tried to ignore the obvious symptoms of pain, but when she lost control of her bowels I knew something was wrong. She wasn’t playing at all, she wanted no part of me, and she slept constantly. She’d over-eat and then lose it. She had symptoms of blockage. I gave her medicine; I changed her diet; I tried to cajole her, but she was simply miserable. And I, in turn, was miserable.
I would like to say it was quick and easy, but it was not. She turned feral the minute we arrived, and while the doctor was palpating her abdomen, confirming my suspicion that she had a thumb sized mass determined not to be scar tissue or colon contents, she showed more signs of life in her last moment than she had in her last eight months. It was dreadful and surely the cure of my ever having another pet. I’ll just need to think of her in those last few moments and, as with Cosmo…that will be that.
I’m going to keep her photo on my blog sidebar, not that I believe in kitty heaven, but rather I believe that when that picture was taken she was a different cat. I’ll look at this photo and remember her as content, happy, playful, and clearly very healthy. Now she’s only at peace, but that’s the right thing for her, and the only thing for me.