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Thursday, 15 December 2011

AND THEN THERE WERE THREE, PART FOUR



I have been putting off writing the end of my tale about the three little kittens as it is very hard to relive those moments and write about it. However, there were so many good and fun moments before the end that I like to remember those.

Life was a bit chaotic at the Bed and Breakfast with four cats and three dogs. I had brought along Mitzi who was my yellow lab from the farm, and my daughter who was co-owner of the Bed and Breakfast brought along her two cats and two dogs. Of course because our rooms were rented out to Bed and Breakfast guests, our animals had to stay in a restricted area. They were only allowed in parts of the house, which were either our sleeping quarters, our living room or the kitchen.

The kitchen in the Bed and Breakfast was huge as was the rest of the house, but there were times when they would all congregate in that area and you know animals and their territories. A bit of bickering and hissing went on from time to time. Not among the dogs but of course cats are very territorial.

Only one of my daughter's cats was allowed to go outside. The others we were afraid would ramble off or might get hit by a car on the busy main street which was very close to our house. So there were times when the other cats were curious to see what was outside. One day someone entered the house and Blackie slipped out. We didn’t miss him for a bit then of course we had to comb the neighbourhood looking for him. Alas a week went by and no Blackie. We had just about given up on ever seeing our little black cat again until one night my daughter was on her computer in the basement and noticed Blackie looking in the window. She hurried upstairs and told me. She and I took off outside to hunt around and call for him.

Then we saw him. By this time it was dark and we were operating with a flashlight. We walked up to him but he ran away. Typical of all the three cats from the farm as that is what they always did. He would run from us but then hide in a bush and meow forlornly. Finally I managed to come up behind him while my daughter had the light shone on him. I made a grab for him and caught him. But not for long. Blackie fought to get away, maybe he was confused as to where he was or who I was, I don’t know. I do know that he dug his back claws into my arms and made some very long deep gashes. I dropped him of course and he took off.

He still keep meowing and hiding so my daughter who is a veterinary technician told me to hang on. She went in the house and came out with a small blanket. She told me if I got the chance to come upon him again to throw the blanket over him then grab him. It happened and I did come upon him. Quickly I did as I had been instructed and scooped a non-fighting Blackie into my arms. After we took him back into the house and put him down, he walked about the kitchen like he had never been away. After that we got name tags for all the animals, just in case it happened again.

As time went by I started feeling pressured by the amount of animals that we were housing. I decided to send Blackie back to the farm.  As time went on my other daughter went to university and took Spitty with her. That left me catless for a couple of years. By the time Blackie was ten I heard from my ex-husband that Blackie was ill. Blackie had a tumour behind his eye which required an operation. Since my daughter worked at a clinic, I brought Blackie back to the Bed and Breakfast. Within a few days he was in the operating room having his eye removed. However, the cancer had spread to other areas and Blackie was stitched up and sent home.

For the first couple of days, he was fine. He was so hungry and I enjoyed having him around. He was such a loving cat and always greeted me when I came home from work. About the third day I noticed his food dish was still full. I tried to get him to eat but he would pick at a it then go away. My daughter told me that the cancer had probably spread to his throat and it was just a matter of time. A couple days after that I had Blackie euthanized and cried for three days. We buried Blackie in the back yard with a sad and sombre funeral. 

                          PAINTING OF BLACKIE: RIP 1995-2005

Then came Mittens turn four years later. Another call from my ex told me that Mittens had also developed a tumour and had to be euthanized. 

                               PAINTING OF MITTENS: RIP 1995-2009

This only left our dear little Spitty who was flourishing living with my daughter. My daughter had a child and he as a toddler loved to hug her, hunt for her when she would hide, and at times when no one was looking pull her tail. Spitty was a kind and loving cat like the other two and she loved her little family.

For the summer of 2011, I had the opportunity to keep Spitty with me for a few months. Every morning she would go to the door when I opened it and lay in front of the screen door enjoying the summer sun. Her morning activity was always to find her toys and hurl them up into the air, bat them around then drop them and go walking around with a huge meow coming out of her. Then she would go lie down for most of the rest of the day. In the late evening she would repeat this process.

During those long summer days, I would often take a book and go outside to read. I would put Spitty’s leash on her and take her out with me. She loved to go outside and first thing she would do is start munching grass. I tried to stop her at first because I knew what would happen. However I gave up trying and she would munch it down for a few minutes then go lie down. Before long I would hear her heaving and getting rid of the grass. I always hoped it would happen outside and not after I’d taken her back inside.

In the fall she returned home to her family. In November I was visiting and noticed that Spitty had a funny high-pitched meow. I didn’t think much of it as she was a drama cat at times, and her voice returned to normal after that. A week later my daughter told me that Spitty wasn’t well. She was off her food and drink as well. She took her to the vet to be examined and have blood work. All of her organs were in great shape and nothing could be found. The clinic wanted to keep her and put her on IV drip overnight but my daughter did not want to leave her there. She brought her home and later took her to an all-night clinic where she received a shot between the shoulders for dehydration. That night my daughter and I were chatting via MSN. It was about 1 pm and Spitty was’t doing well at all. I didn’t want my daughter to go through this alone so I hopped in the car and drove the hour or more drive to the city to be with her. I arrived about 3am and found Spitty sleeping a lot and not caring to move around. 

Next day my daughter was feeding her with a syringe. First she gave her water and I held Spitty because she was very strong and fighting it. We managed to get some water down her and let her go. She looked indignant and walked away heading for a heat register as she seemed to be cold all the time. Later we tried her with food and she fought like crazy. I wondered if I was going to be able to hold her or not. We had her wrapped in a little blanket so she couldn’t scratch with her back claws like Blackie had done when I had tried to hold him.

Finally we got some food into her. It had been a hard process and we were both tired from it. But I guess we were not as tired as it had made Spitty, for when my daughter let her free to walk away she collapsed on the floor on her side and lay there gasping for breath. We both realized she was dying and after a couple of breaths she took her last. While she lay there peaceful at last, my daughter and I cried in each others arms. My daughter’s son sat in the highchair and watched us, probably wondering what was going on. Children always have that knowing look as if they realize something is up that is different but they are not quite sure what it is.

Spitty was cremated and is now in an urn in my daughter’s home. This comes to the end of the story of the three little kittens. Happy days and sad endings, isn’t that the way with pets? We love them so much and we know they will not be with us for a very long period of time. Such short lives but such wonderful companions and friends. If only we as humans knew how to live our lives the way our pets do, always loving. caring and no matter what you say to them or do, they come back and love you some more. I have to stop now as tears are clouding my eyes and I think this tale has been told. 

                    PAINTING OF SPITFIRE: RIP 1995-2011


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