Friday morning when I got up and Sweetie greeted me by the door to almost
kill me by tripping me up, I did what me and Squire have been doing for the
last six months. I went to the sideboard to get one of her Whiska's Pate
pouches of food to open up and put into the little monkey dish for her to
eat on top of the baker's primative cupboard. We have to stand and guard
her as Pester's jumps up there and pushes her aside and she's so old she no
longer smacks him back like she used to. She was almost 20. I say was
because after she saw the food, for the second day, her purr was a wierd
rattle that was kinda scary. And as she tried to eat, I saw she seemed more
aggitated than usual. Her senility lately was part of her problem. She
forgot that she ate. We fed her anyway. She was gaining weight and despite
everything else, she was still agile and loving.
But she stood there looking at the food, and I knew something was wrong. So
when she turned away like she was thru, I covered it up to keep Pester's
from eating it, and turned to heat up my own oatmeal when she jumped up on
the high sideboard. Another spot of hers. As I stroked her greasy head, I
bent and did a quick sniff. A familiar, bad smell came from her, not a usual
odor. I knew in my heart she was very sick as well as old. It was time.
I woke oldest son up in his room and told him the 20 was on my computer
keys. Take Sweetie to the vet this morning, in her box, in a pillowcase
which she is familiar with and comfortable with, and please bury her next to
Piquito's brother, Percival Pixell down in the woods. I also told him no
way was I turning her loose in some woods where coyote would get her. That
it was cruel and I felt this was much more humane. And I hated that I had
to go to work and have him do this for me. I named her Sweetie after a dear
beloved uncle who always called me Feedie Pie was diagnosed with cancer.
She was a part of my memory of his remaining time before he died in his
sister's home after a long bout with brain cancer. And we were the only two
who agreed at one point that I'd miss him because he was dying and he told
me that's why he loved me so much. His sister and her husband's only child,
the daughter they loved so much they adopted me, and that he felt like I was
his own daughter as I grew up around him and the others in the house. (my
grandparents had their two youngest sons and oldest daughter living with
them their whole lives, the men went to war and came home, the oldest
daughter married, brought a child home after she left an abusive husband and
they lived with their parents until they both died and left them with no
home). I was very close to them my whole life. So losing Bross was hard on
me. He was the tender one who always had time to make me laugh.
He also had appreciated that I talked about his cancer like it really was
there instead of like everyone else in denial and whispering. We said our
goodbye's and I told him I had a young female cat I'd named Sweetie and
called Feedies for my endearment, and he told me he knew why and we both had
a good chuckle and cry.
So I have lost one of the last Nashville cat's I've had for quite awhile. I
lost Sweetie's older brother, Roscoe a couple of years ago. She went quietly
Mike said. It didn't take nearly as long as they feared at the vet's and
today I got a card from them expressing their sympathy for my grief. Twenty
is quite an old age for a cat. And they called Saturday to tell me they had
gotten tests back on her blood sample they'd run for the hell of it for free
and her liver and kidneys were shutting down. I'd made the right call.
So she rests next to Percival Pixell, a kitten she didn't pay attention to
because at the time I brought him home, she had stepped down in the feline
matriarchal order of our house. She was my Sweetie. The little Lioness who
laid with me while I suffered with my first bout of pneumonia while she
healed from a dislocated hip when she slipped off our shed and to the
ground. She never forgot she fell and ever after that, she would grab you if
you picked her up and cling with razors for fear she'd fall. So I dubbed her
Miz Razorblades. She was also the one who put the new dog, Rose in her
place when I brought the puppy home eight years ago. She gave the pup a year
before she turned in my lap and opened up the soft nose on the dog to let
her know it was NOT acceptable to put that nose up her butt to drive her off
She was a good mother to two fine litters before I had her fixed, and two of
her daughters, Phoebe and Honey were sister/children of my childhood friend,
Alice who kept them until they died of complications of their life and not
ever being fixed in time. One had cancer, the other had diabetes. They made
it only to twelve. And Alice has them buried in a wonderful pet cemetary in
Arkansas. She adored them quite a bit and they were like her children.
Sweetie was also my Little Lioness because of her cinnamon black ruff around
her neck. She was awesome in her prime. Silky black fur, long hair sticking
out of her toes. She was the next oldest female in our house after our
beloved Fwit passed at almost 18.
She's missed but I know in my heart that she's better and she had a very
good life with us. Now Squire will come home and miss the old broad trying
to kill him when he gets up to make his coffee in the mornings he's here. I
would hear him talking to her as he went and opened up her pouch of food and
talked to her. Good cats are a God-send. But I still have Pye, Jenners,
Pesters, Polluxx and Piquito and sometimes Whacka Dew comes down the
driveway from Miz Mary's house where she lives now and visits me. And I
have the two dawgs. I have to say that Sugar never had the luck and
experience of Sweetie breaking her in proper. When she turns a year old
there will be no older cat to put her in her place and give her a different
respect for the cats. Rose knew. <g>
thanks for allowing me to share this. And Sweetie was a perfect garden cat.
She never knocked over one houseplant or pot of anything her whole life.
madgardener up on the ridge, back in Fairy Holler, overlooking English
Mountain in Eastern Tennessee.