Monday, July 2, 2018

Slan Darby Until We Meet Again (2000 - 2018)

Darby threw a clot on Sunday afternoon July 1st.  She had been diagnosed with hyperthyroid in December 2017 but in May she was having trouble breathing.  The vet put her on Lasiz to drain the fluid around her heart.  She was feeling better but last week we took her in again as she was coughing and wheezing.  The fluids were gone in her chest so the x-ray gave us more information - she had an enlarged heart - cardiomyopahty.  Her blood pressure was normal, as was her thyroid. Along with the Lasix and Enalapril, the vet prescribed a very low dose of aspirin to prevent clots.  She had a good few days but then Sunday morning I noticed she was very restless even tho her breathing was normal. She wanted to be off the bed so I put her on the floor. She was walking in circles, falling over. She had had a stroke/a clot in the brain.

Darby terrorized poor Yoko in her early years.

We took her in to the emergency vet. They were very busy as usual. While we were waiting to be seen, Darby had a saddle thrombosis.  Both Don and I were holding her when the vet gave her the final injection.  I had hoped to spare her this pain and confusion but it was not meant to be.

Just after her spaying

Darby was a little spitfire of a cat from the beginning. A neighbor alerted us during the winter of 2000 that a small grey and white cat was living under our rental house in the crawlspace.  We began putting food out for her and were able to trap her on St Patrick's Day.  Because she would chase off all other cats outside, I thought she was a boy and named her Darby.  Once she was spayed I realized my gender mistake but the name stuck.

Celebrating her Gotcha Day

Darby took a long time to tame, spending weeks in our bathroom while we worked with an animal behaviorist to calm her fears.  She would swat our hands if they came to close.  We eventually got to pet her through a towel and then just with out hands.  She still was quick to swat if she did not like what we were doing to her.  She did bond with me over playing and petting.  She preferred people to our cats. She tolerated the other cats more so in the past few years.

Darby loved playing with a ribbon, catching it with her paw as it flew over her.  She napped in the funniest places - perched high on several pillows in the spare room like the Princess and the Pea story.  Often she slept face down in our clean laundry, snoring, whistling and chirping as she dosed. 

A favorite game she liked was when the sun came in the western side of the house in the bedroom I would make shadow puppets on the wall for her to chase. She would go and sit on the bed, waiting for the puppet show to start even on cloudy days! She also delighted in the laser toy, chasing hte red dot until she was pooped.

Catching the red dot

Playing shadow puppets with me

These last few weeks, Darby enjoyed sitting in the bedroom window watching the birds and goats outside. The window had always been a favorite place to sit.  In autumn, she would try to catch the leaves as they fell in front of the window from the maple tree outside.

The other cats were afraid of her - she would run at them growling and swat them. if Darby wanted the couch , no one dared to sit there so she would have it to herself.  Her favorite place was the office chair  at my computer desk.  We had to share the chair with her or let her sit next to the computer if we wanted to work there.

My Princess and her Pea

We were treated to a free session with an animal psychic for the blog in 2014.  This is what she said about Darby then - She described Darby as a happy cat who gives much love back to us: she is very affectionate. Nancy did not see anything negative with Darby.  She stated that Darby had deep feelings and was very intuitive.  Darby can pick up on things without being told - she reads our energy.  In this way she felt that Darby is a healer, a cat that stays with us when we are not feeling well.  Nancy explained that Darby needed companionship, to be constantly reassured.  She learned to be quick and very sharp living on her own outside before we took her in.  She can take care of herself in spite of her small size. 

By Lou Belcher

Darby was beautiful with tuxie markings and eyes that were either green or gold depending on the light.  Artists and blogger Lou Belcher did a drawing of her a few years back.  I will treasure it always.

Sitting in her window recently.

I thought we had more time after last week's vet visit and so did the vet.  My time was spent caring for her, making sure she got all her meds each morning and evening.  Sweetpea is the last of the older cats.  The house seems so empty now. 

Darby is buried with her blue paid ribbon next to Mamacita and Mr. Kitty on our land. I will always remember my feisty little grey tuxie for all of my years.  Until we meet again sweet girl..

PS - I apologize for not visiting all who commented on Mamacita's post here and on Facebook.  I will get to all of you eventually but my heart needs to heal from all this loss.  Thank you for stopping by and for caring.



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