Monday, July 5, 2010

Independence Day

Well, this year's 4th of July will always be memorable. Not in a pleasant way, however. This past week my oldest cat's health dramatically declined. She's been slowly going downhill for awhile, but this past week she just got worse. Unfortunately, this all occurred while Mom, Granny, and I were at the beach. I feel awful for not being here for my kitty Chatty in her last few days.

When my sister updated us on her condition on Thursday I felt so anxious and panicky-- like the feeling of "I have to get to my cat." Thankfully, Chatty was able to hold on enough so that we could give her a proper send-off yesterday. I can't tell you how horrendous it was to come home to see my cat laying so weird on the floor of my bedroom and hardly breathing. When I saw her I immediately broke down crying and stroked her fur.

My aunt Maxine told us about an emergency vet in Tualatin where we took her to be put to rest. It was not easy having to pack her up in the carrier and have to drive her all the way over there. I'm thankful though that the people were extremely gentle with her. The doctor that euthanized her was so kind and comforting. Chatty left this world peacefully.

Chatty was a special kitty-- she came to our house during a very cold winter about 18 years ago. Chatty basically showed up on our back porch and refused to leave! Mom tried to scare her away but she didn't leave. After a few days mom gave her some food and water, hoping that would keep her satisfied. However, she still wanted a home. We were a little weary of the idea of having another cat because we already had one, Kasey (at that time she was about a year old). I remember sitting in the back room and discussing whether or not to let Chatty live with us. We all felt terrible about having her out in the cold. The answer to take her in was unanimous: yes!

We had our ups and downs with Chatty in the beginning because she was a farel cat. It took her awhile to get used to the domestic lifestyle. She never did become a lap-cat but she was always a faithful greeter in the utility room. When she wanted to, she would come and hang out in the house. During Christmas her favorite place was under the Christmas tree. Oh how she loved the Christmas tree! I'm so glad she got to enjoy it this last Christmas.

(Christmas 2009)

To sum up Chatty's life, the word humble is appropriate. Chatty lived a very simple life-- all she ever wanted was a home, a place to call her own. She didn't ask for much, just some love and a roof over her head. She also was so sweet to Kasey when she got ill. Chatty was truly the "nurse cat." When Kasey's health declined she stayed by her side- I will never forget that sweet gentle spirit. I hope that Kasey and Chatty are enjoying their sweet reunion :)

While to some this may seem "overboard" on writing about a cat... but she wasn't just a cat, she was a family member and a friend. She will always have a special place in my heart.

"For the life of every living thing is in His hand, and the breath of all humanity." (Job 12:10)


Janelle said...

That's a cute picture of Chatty under the tree! She was the only cat of your's that would actually tolerate me (hehe). I'm still very sorry to hear that she had to be put down. :-( The house always feels a little empty after losing a pet.

Elizabeth said...

Just wanted you to know that I've been thinking about all of you. It's always so incredibly difficult to lose a creature that you love so much and that was so much a part of your regular routine too. You're right in the fact that she is probably happily galivanting up there with Kasey, but it doesn't always make it any easier here. Sending you a BIG hug cousin! Love ya gal!