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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Final "Question"

I was staid, going through the motions, handling business and I thought I was going to be just fine. The plan was to pick up the supplies, pay my bill and then ask for them and leave. I thought I was doing fine…….until she handed me his ashes with that sympathetic expression. I felt the tears well in my eyes and I headed for the door. By the time I was sitting in my car I was full-out crying.

Question died on February 26th. The snow was just beginning when I carried him out to the car and started toward Dr. Tammy’s clinic normally a half hour drive. That snow was coming down hard, though and the roads were progressively worse as I headed north. I believe it took me 45 minutes but I was in such a bad way that I don’t really know.

Unfortunately, Dr. Tammy was already in surgery and couldn’t leave but both of her associates were able to help me through my decision. My sweet Cutey-Q was dying before my eyes and we couldn’t do anything for him except end his suffering. He trusted me, he always had and all I could do was help him to die. I felt so helpless. He was so brave.
Q during one of his few cat show appearances

Out of all my cats during these last several years Q was the only one who ever stayed visible when someone visited. He had to be in the middle of things, to know everything that ever went on in his home. He tried to help the furnace guy check out the furnace and instructed the plumber on how to fix the plugged drain. When someone came to the door, he was right there to greet them while the other cats scrambled over each other to escape upstairs.

The vacuum cleaner didn’t bother him, nor did the dog. Out of all of my cats, Q was the only one who consistently came running when I called his name. He was an indoor only cat and never once acted like he was interested in going outside, at least not until that last week of his life. Suddenly, when the weather turned cold one day he tried to follow the dog outside. I decided to go ahead and see where he would go figuring he would simply turn around and come back in when he realized how cold it was. Instead he kept walking, right down the sidewalk toward the gate!
Question and his brother Sky Voice

I brought him back inside then and for the next few days I had to pick him up and hold him whenever I let the dog out. The night before our snowy journey he stayed close by me but didn’t want to be held. I stayed up with him most of the night worried that he wasn’t acting well at all. He’d been ill but I really hoped he would pull through.

Then, early in the morning he jumped up on my bed, though I don’t know how. He never moved again. I had to carry him downstairs because he couldn’t stand anymore. That’s when I called the clinic and told them I was coming.

Ironically just a short time ago I thought I was losing my precious Mewdy Blue. But he recovered, miraculously, and Q got sick. Part of my grieving included the feeling that fate was paying me back for praying for Mewdy Blue’s recovery by taking Cutey-Q. Another part of me feels guilty for ever taking my cats anywhere possibly exposing them to who knows what. Perhaps I should have kept them in a bubble where they’d never be exposed to the toxins and pathogens present everywhere in our world. But what kind of life would that be?

The mind and heart plays these games with our psyche shooting our emotions out of the realm of reality as we come to grips with a loss such as this. Someone must be blamed. We’re sure it is all our fault, or maybe it’s someone else’s fault or he’s not really gone, or maybe, just maybe I can bring him back (I’ve actually had a dream where we’ve euthanized one of my cats accidentally and I was able to counteract the euthanasia solution to bring him back).

So today I look at the cats before me and realize that I no longer have any blue and white cats. All but two of Effie’s family are now gone. Besides Lady Butterfly (18), Effie’s sons, Mewdy Blue and Sky Voice (16), are the only ties left to the first colony of feral cats I ever worked with. The only ties left to so many spirits. Perhaps it is appropriate that they are both blue.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Character of Color

Ineffable (Effie) 1992?-2008
What kind of character does your household have? I’m not talking about the design of your house or the way you’ve decorated it inside. No, I mean what kind of a feel do you get from the animal “hues” around you?

There was a time when two blue cats, four blue and white cats and one silvery brown and white tabby resided with me. It gave me a cold feeling for a very long time. Their colors were cold, just the colors not the cats. I also had one red tabby, a brown-patched tabby and white and a couple of tortoiseshells but the number of blues outweighed their warmth.
Blizzard and Isis

Over the next several years the blue and white cats have left me and more red tabbies have joined us (along with a fiery calico and a quiet tortoiseshell). Now the household feels warmer.
Much warmer, huh? This is Mulberry Spot, Gooseberry and Strawberry

Now this is not to say that those blue cats were cold or snobbish, or that the more recent red tabbies are any cuddlier. I only mean that the atmosphere within my house reflects the colors that fill it.

Have you ever thought about the colors of your pets and how they affect the very air around you? Could they even affect your mood at times? Have you ever adopted a pet based on its color? Or do you find yourself attracted to certain colors without consciously having a preference for it (I mean you might “like” red tabby cats but find yourself looking more at calicos for some reason)?

Question, my Cutey-Q, 1997-2013
I’d love to hear your thoughts on how the color of your pets might affect you. Just drop me a line in the comments section.