Saturday, July 13, 2019

Godspeed Rosa (2005 - 2019)

Yesterday morning Rosa left this earthly plane to be reunited with her mom Mamacita and her brother Manny at the Rainbow Bridge at the young age of 14.

A recent shot showing her weight loss.

Rosa's appetite had been off for a couple of weeks so last week we had the mobile vet look at her.  Her urine showed bacteria in it and her blood work was a bit wonky probably due to an infection.  She was put on antibiotics but did not improve so the vet stopped by on Monday to take an x-ray of her tummy and organs.  She had fluid in her abdomen but no noticeable masses. Her belly had increased quite a bit in size since last week. The vet took a sample of her belly fluid when he drained it, sending it off to the lab.  The results were inconclusive but with her symptoms he assumed it was cancer. The past week she was incontinent, not eating or drinking on her own and the last night she gagged when I tried to feed her.  When she began to have trouble breathing  we made an appointment for the vet to come on Friday.

Don and I spent her last morning with her, telling her how much we loved her and what a wonderful girl she was.  I asked the spirits of Mamacita and Manny to be with us to comfort and guide Rosa in her passing.  The vet sedated Rosa as she lay on the sofa next to me. She purred while I gave her Reiki and she seemed to let go before the last injection was given.  Rosa is buried next to Only and Sweetpea in our pet cemetery with wildflowers marking her spot until I order her gravestone. Rosa was the last of our black cats.

We caught Rosa back in 2005 as a tiny kitten along with her brother Manny and mom Mamacita.  The two kittens were living in a rickety old shed on our neighbors land,  Both little ones had severe URI's. I knew they had to be caught and treated or would not survive the infections.  The little family lived in our bathroom for several weeks while I administered the eye ointment and antibiotics to the kittens.  

Rosa is in the center between Manny right and Mamacita left.

I knew they were getting better when while playing they accidentally turned on the bathtub facet and got all the bedding in there wet!  They were so wild!  We got them spayed and neutered and moved them to our kitty room in the house.  (Manny later died in 2007 from complications due to a urinary infection and blockage.)

Rosa with Angel Georgie

Rosa was a shy quiet little girl who grew up to be a plus sized ladycat like her mom. She was a big girl with a tiny meow!  As a youngster. Rosa gradually made friends with the white kitties who were a year younger than her.  Once we moved to our present house, she became more attached to her mom, never leaving her side for the first few years.

Hiding form guests.

They were the kitties no one ever saw since they ran and hid when we had company.Both remained quite feral even thought we had them for over a dozen years. We could pet them but not handle them to pick up or carry.

Rosa and her mom

Rosa and her mom would cuddle and groom each other gently but then the emotions would become too intense and a scuffle would ensue with both cats in a swatting battle!  Poor Mamacita never got a break from Rosa.

Rosa making biscuits on Mamacita the lazy way
Rosa loved to be toasty warm, sitting in the sun, looking out the window or getting fresh air on the porch. Her favorite place in the winter was right on our Monitor heater!

On the screen porch

On the heater!

Christmas was a fun time for her and she would sit next to the tree and stare into the lights. 

 Rosa and her mom preferred to sit on the same chair in the living room.  Often Rosa would hang her front paws of the chair arm to watch golf on TV with Don.

Watching golf!

As all cats, Rosa enjoyed napping in the pile of fresh from the dryer laundry before I put it away.  problem was she got black furs all over it all!

When Mamacita passed
last June I was worried that Rosa would not adapt but she became more social with the others, especially Woody and Tabitha and sought us out when we were in the living room.  Don was the first to get up in the mornings and often Rosa would sit on the sofa with him, enjoying her one on one time..  Soon all the others would pile on there too, getting in on the loving.

With Tabitha and Woody

With the gang in the mornings
We took special care to make sure Rosa was included in everything as much as she felt comfy with.  At meal times, I would call her name and she would pop up out of her napping spot to answer me. I would fix her a plate of food and bring it to her.  If she wanted another flavor, she would sniff and back up a bit. It was my cue to try something else.  When she was ready to eat but not in that spot, she would run over to her chair or her nook under the counter and wait for me to bring the plate over.  She had us well trained!

We will miss her quiet gentle presence in our home. I know that Rosa and her little family are together once again and watching over all of us until we meet again.

I leave you with a sweet video of Rosa...

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Farewell Only (2006 - 2019)

Only crossed the Rainbow Bridge peacefully a few days ago at home nestled on my lap while the vet gave him his final injection.

Only Christmas 2018

We noticed last summer that Only had lost some weight and muscle mass. No other symptoms were evident. The vet checked him out and his blood work was fine. No tumors were felt and the scan did not show anything amiss.  A GI panel showed his B12 and folate low - an indication of either IBD or lymphoma.  We began a protocol of B12 shots, prednisolone and CBD oil with herbal and nutritional immune boosters. Being a rescue, we could not afford chemo for him, so we did not want to subject him to exploratory surgery.  We treated it as if it was lymphoma, the worst case scenario and hoped for the best.

Only a couple of weeks ago

 None of his treatments worked for long term. He began to lose more weight. Hiss appetite dropped severely and he developed diarrhea in his last few weeks.  We suspected cancer and knew the end was approaching. Only enjoyed his last days, going out on the porch, napping on Don's lap,  and cuddling with his siblings.

Only had a larger than life personality.  He was our Eddie Haskill (from the old TV show Leave it to Beaver) - always causing trouble with the other cats but acting all innocent when we came into the picture. 

Only sitting on Lily

When Don got the cat food ready, Only would get on the shelf above the counter and persistently tap Don's hat as if  he was saying "Hurry up".  If Only wanted to sit someplace other cats had already acquired, nothing fazed him.  He would just plunk himself down and put up with bites, swats and abuse until the other cat or cats left.  Only always got what he wanted.

Only on the right
Only in front with his litter mates and Lily

Even his name was unique.  As kittens, born under our back porch in Lily's third and final litter, Only and two litter mates were all white with smudges of black on their heads like paint got smeared  
on them. Two Spot had two smudges of black, Smidge has just a trace of black and Only had only one smudge - thus the name Only.  Little did we know that these bits of black fur would fade away as they got older!

Only in front, Two Spot behind

Only and Two Spot

Only bonded with Two Spot as kittens.  They were inseparable, even sleeping together.  All ears and long thin bodies. Two peas in a pod. When we caught them to bring them inside as young cats, we trapped them together before we caught the other cats and Lily.

Only with Two Spot

Only had large bedroom eyes - sleepy and intensely green.  I called him my Lounge Lizard.  I could see him making girls swoon, playing some musical instrument in a bar if he was a human.

Only loved to cuddle with us or his siblings but was very shy with others or if there was any unfamiliar noise.  He hid at the first sign of something new - burrowed under blankets, opened the old cabinet and hid in it.  Once at the vet Only tried to hide in the basket of dog toys before the vet came into the room.

Only with the whitesters

Under a blanket

In the toy box
A few weeks ago

We were his family and with us he was so easy going.  He would patiently let me pose him for holiday photos.  He even came when I called his name.  He even came for his nicknames - Only Baloney, Own Balone.

Only's gift to us was his ability to be totally himself all the time. He answered to no one but himself. He even had a goofy walk uniquely his, wiggling his hips from side to side.  Only was extraordinarily, uncommonly, singularly himself.

Snuggling with Tabitha on his last day.

On his last day, he was very unsteady on his feet but still stopped to play with his ball, and used the cat scratcher on the floor. I spoke to our animal communicator and she said Only wanted to be with the cats outside in the shelter one last time.  We had moved only inside with us a few months ago to better care for him. Don swaddled him in a fleece blanket and carried him out to see Snowball, Two Spot and the others.  Only seemed to settle down a bit once he had been with them.  

Napping on Don

We took turns talking to him, loving him up and telling him how much we will miss him. He napped on the sofa next to Don or myself.  Once the vet came, things went so peacefully and quietly.  Only was gone in a second.  We buried him with his favorite toy, wrapped in a soft fleece throw in a grave above Darby on our land with a red rose on his grave. We will get a stone with his name and dates in a few months.

We will never forget our little man and his enormous personality. We love you and miss you so much!
Until we meet again dear Only.

If you cannot see this go here.


Saturday, August 4, 2018

Go With Bast, Sweetpea 1999 - 2018

Sweetpea had been declining these past  few weeks in spite of increasing her sub c fluids to twice a day. Her symptoms indicated either liver issues or lymphoma.  Due to her age and frailty, we decided against testing and opted to let her go before she suffered more.  We had the vet come to the house yesterday afternoon and her passing was peaceful.  I held her in my lap with her head cradled in my hand as she crossed over.

Recently eating baby food.

This past week we pampered her with fresh salmon, grilled hamburg and other favorite foods which she ate with gusto.  She even played with her feather toy if only for a few minutes.  She asked to go out on the porch and enjoyed the fresh air. It was as if she was doing everything one last time. She spent a lot of time on our laps even tho she was not much for that normally.  We refrained from giving fluids and meds for the last two days - she was resisting them lately and we preferred to not upset her.

As a kitten

Sweetpea was a feisty girl  from the get go as tiny as she was.  I noticed her with the feral colony back in the winter of 2000 - a tiny fierce kitten with matted fur and skin issues. She was all black, long haired with a white locket of fur on her chest and long white ear tufts.  After a heavy snowfall Sweetpea and the others didn't show up at the feeding station for a few days and I was worried sick about her. I made plans to trap her as soon as she came back.


Sweetpea was the first of this feral group to be brought indoors. She was so wild that the vet who examined her had to sedate her to do it.  Still groggy from the sedative, we bathed her at home in the bathroom sink and treated her skin.  Sweetpea spent weeks in the bathroom while we worked hard to tame her.

Kitten Sweetpea in her bathroom

Once she accepted us and life inside, we introduced her to our two cat Chica and Yoko, ages 7 and 6 at that time, respectively.  Sweetpea was so in your face with a larger than life personality, she intimidated the two older cats. Eventually they all adjusted. 

Sweetpea on left, Chica and Yoko

Sweetpea was very independent, innovative and self sufficient.  Her tiny size was not an obstacle for her.  She had minimal jumping skills but she could hook her claws on to something and shimmy up to where she wanted to be. Climbing was her super talent and she used it often.  During her first Christmas inside with us, she found a quiet spot to nap in the upper branches of the Christmas tree.  I panicked thinking she got out but finally found her there sound asleep, hardly visible being black.

Her extra long fangs showed

She preferred to be up high and I would find her on the top of bookshelves, cabinets etc. She had a habit of falling asleep sitting up and would fall off her high perch to land safely right side up on the floor wondering how she got there. 

With Chica and Don in 2000

She chose when and where we could pet her.  She came to us when she wanted affection.  She preferred Don for some reason.  I think it was because he ate meat and I didn't.  Sweetpea would sit next to him as he ate with her paws on his leg or TV table waiting for a bite.

A few weeks ago

She was inquisitive and very playful. Everything was a game to her. I caught her once sitting on my dresser puling the clothes out of the partially opened drawer and dropping them on the floor!  She loved helping me make the beds, hiding under the sheets or chasing the billowing sheets as I spread them on the bed. Sweetpea played "attack" with the clothes on the drying rack while laying on the floor.  She did this with our jackets over the back of the kitchen chair.

Playing on a chair

Rearranging my dresser drawers

Playing with the laundry

In 2016 she was diagnosed with late stage renal disease and severe hyperthyroidism.  The vet did not think she had much time left as she could not tolerate the meds for hyperthyroid cats.  I found herbal blends to treat both and she did well on them with sub c fluids for two years. Last fall she began losing weight and muscle tone.  She stopped grooming and we had monthly appointments to let the vet trim her wonky claws and  shave her mats. I knew she was winding down but her indomitable spirit was still in her.  I called her my Energizer Bunny as she kept going and going.

Pensive moment recently

We spoke to an animal communicator this past week and Sweetpea was ready to go to Spirit.  She was tired and felt that all I was doing for her was not helping her be comfortable anymore. She asked to pass at home with us  and that was how we did it. Sweetpea was the last of my first feral colony.  I hope that they were all there to welcome her to the other side. She lives on in both of our hearts until we meet again.

Her grave

Sweetpea's gift to us was her ability to live in the moment and always find joy each day no matter how sick she was.  She loved life and would have liked to stay with us longer but it was not meant to be.  She is buried next to Darby above Mamacita in our pet cemetery.  Losing three within six weeks has taken a toll on me. Bear with me as I get back to you with thanks for your support and comments during this sad time.

Our cemetery



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