I put my beloved friend to sleep on Friday, noon. I held her in my arms as she finally slept without those horrible muscle tremors. These two months were hard on us but for her, it was a living nightmare. I am neither proud, happy nor relieved of what I did. If I continue to dwell on the past 2 months and especially that last day, all I remember of her would be fear, pain and on my part, bottomless guilt. So, I decide to write down what I remember best of her short life with me.
My Last Hug
Kate lived only one and a half year. A short but well-lived life. She has overcome every darn thing life threw at her. She was a fighter, stubborn, courageous. Her body failed her but she was determined to enjoy as much life as she could. If she couldn’t run, then she was determined to gallop. If she couldn’t strut, she would trot. She couldn’t jump, so she climbed. She fought for control so she could lick water, she stubbornly put her paws where the food was, so that she could compensate her head-shaking.
She meowed non-stop because she knew I loved talking to her. She was so proud when she pounced for the first time in her life. I remember her showing it off. She was upset when she fell over after she pounced, but boy, was I proud of her. I remember her trying to rub herself on our legs which was near impossible because of her lack of co-ordination. She was naughty and challenged my authority over her. But when I was down, she sat next to me, put her paw on my lap and gave me comfort.
Whenever one of us come home, she would wake up, stretched and trotted happily to the door even before the lift door opened. It has always amazed us that she knew which ‘ding’ meant owner’s home. I didn’t have to wonder when Alistair would be home from a gig. If she was sleeping, he ain’t home.
Every night, she would climb her way under my comforter to snuggle. If I worked too late, she would grumbled until I stopped working and snuggled with her. Every morning at around seven, she would wake me up. She would put her face into my face, she would play with my toes or she would bite my toes. “Good morning, pretty”, I would tell her and she would jump down (she loved jumping down) and clawed the rug happily. Then it was time to play. But by nine, she would hurry us out the door. Her duty completed for the day, she would find a nice spot and curled up until I come home.
She loved to sit at the balcony and watch the world in the morning. She would sun-bathed while I played the piano. When I bath, she would make herself comfortable and wait outside the bathroom. She preferred I sat with her for breakfast.
She loved snuggling in soft comforter, car rides, tickles, water in the bathroom, air-con. She enjoyed walking outside the apartment, watching her zoo. She liked tuna, sardin.
Kate has a tremendous spirit in a weak body. It was obvious I was the world to her. I hope she knew I loved her just as much.
This past 1 and a half month has been tiring, physically and mentally. After a long holiday, the first week home itself drained me.
Kate Cat has been fighting for her life and sanity while I feel myself going into despair watching her helplessly. Her seizures started a few days after we all came home. It wasn’t that bad but it became worse and became daily.
Her seizure or fits range from “mild” where she goes into a panic, crouch in fear, cry and run into her box to hide, to “violent” where she trash and slam all over the apartment, losing all control of her bowels. In one of those violent fit, she tore out two of her claws (right leg). Some people ask me what’s the big deal, I can’t explain the terror you will feel when it happens. I can’t explain the terror she feels as she fight for control.
Some people can’t begin to understand why it is such a big deal to me. It is a big deal to me because she is a living being under my care, a living being who has shown me incredible strength, a will to live and unconditional love.
We have sent her to so many vets – her regular vets, UPM vets, AMC (emergency ward at 3am). She was diagnosed with so many contradicting disease by the vets – perhaps it was hematoma, or otitis, or epilepsy, or vestibular syndrome, or poisoning, or right now, we are trying to treat her for Ataxia and Thiamine deficiency. She was put on so many meds to try and correct the problems. She had to see a vet averagely twice a week, usually the second time being an emergency.
Every time it looks like she is getting better, something new will pop up. After being on meds for fits, she began circling and falling on her side, not including being so depressed she stared into space. We had to get a vet on an emergency call when she didn’t pass motion for the 8th day. Every day, it is a tense wait for the next fit.
It breaks my heart to see her so very different from the naughty, stubborn companion who made me laugh. It breaks my heart whenever she see me bring out the syringe, and her eyes will become lifeless, she just gives up and crawls into her box after each time I force some medicine into her. And the medicine after a few days, seems to be causing her more problems instead.
We have tried medicine. We have tried not giving medicine. I have tried praying. I have tried not praying. I am running out of strength. She is running out of options.
Tomorrow is supposed to be Easter Day. A celebration. Of hope. After the whole month of daily false hopes, all I can think of is what nasty disappointment will pop up tomorrow? Or perhaps, a very very very desperate perhaps, her Creator will have pity on us and help her?
We had a quiet Christmas, this family.
We put up a tree, and had dinner together. We have been working on Christmas Eves for years. This year was a great change.
I am so happy.
Merry Christmas, Katrina!
Recently I was going through a tough time. Caught between wondering whether this month will bring me a pay check, and worrying about my husband debilitating HBP and a few other concerns which I can’t tell anyone or find solace from, the pressure was building handsomely.
I came home to find Kate crying about something non-stop, refusing to eat whatever was still in her food bowl, and a pile of bills on the desk. The house was in a mess. The car was giving some problems which will take a few hundred dollars to fix. Adding to the “shitty” list.
People advised me to give up Kate (that is one reason I can’t tell anyone I have stress) because she was adding to my stress, causing me headache and lost of sleep. True, of all my concerns, Kate is the only item easily deductible from the list. Just give it to SPCA.
But you know what?
Kate was the only item in the whole darn list that came to me, sat next to me quietly while I cried my heart out, the only item who waited until I finished and shakily put her paws on my lap and looked at me with her shaky bobbing head.
I would not give up Kate even if that trade means that the list will be completely erased off.
She is not a pest. She is my beloved pet.
Another of Kate’s bunny-friends have gone to Carrot Heaven. Hercules died today at the age of 7 rabbit years.
Hercules was born totally black. Because he grew up overshadowed by his prettier brothers, we decided to give him a powerful name. Our wish for him to become strong.
Hercules was timid and shy. Mostly he kept to himself, hardly sick or have any complaints. Not fussy, not demanding.
He was the yang to Winter, who was white. They have been together for 7 rabbit years. When Winter became blind, Hercules was her support. She leaned on him and followed him to the food. He would keep her safe.
Then Hercules went blind. And Winter became his support. His guide. His comfort.
Rest in Peace, Hercules.
It has been one year since Kate becomes part of this household.
She is now my hot water bottle at night. She grumbles by meowing non-stop. She is one grumpy cat.
She pounces when she plays. She trots (like a horse).
One year. Wow.
She still has trouble eating dry food. She cannot jump up anything taller than the IKEA Pello armchair (which she and my husband fight over every day).
But she purrs. Like a broken engine.
Katrina, my beloved cat.