She was the one her original owners named "Dora" for the Explorer. When we got her at 6 weeks of age, she already had lost the tip of her tail and had a couple of kinks in what was left. I didn't even mean to bring her home--I had gone to et her brother Boris--but she climbed into my lap and I called and asked if I could bring home two. My wonderful husband said, "You do what you need to do." So we ended up with a cat for each of the girls, and unintentially--a cat for each of the grown ups. She was my little baby girl. Boris took to my hubby immediately. She took a bit longer to come around, but (though I love them both dearly) she was mine. She was a talker, and we would meow back and forth at each other. She was always coming into the bathroom when it was bath time...sometimes playing with the water, sometime sitting on the edge of the tub--nibbling my toes when they were offered, sometimes just waiting for her attention on the rug when I was finished.
She always let her brother have the last bite of food--he was the runty one and I guess she realized he needed it more. And anyway, she could always wheedle another treat or two from my husband, so what did it really matter?
Her new favorite sitting place was the windowsill. Not the one pictured that we had left the windows up just for them, but the one in the kitchen where she could rustle the blinds as she hid behind them. She still gave out kitten kisses to those who deserved them. She was much more tolerant of being picked up and handled by the girls than her brother. She was battling it out with Percy for Queen of the Castle, and I don't think that a winner had yet been crowned.
Tonight her "exploring" got the best of her. We let them outside at dusk, and we check on them often during the less than hour they are usually out. We always keep the door open for them to return--though they seldom do. They chase bugs, prowl in the grasses as their larger cousins do, and stretch on the cement warmed by the day of sun. Tonight she climbed the fence into the next yard. Unfortunately a yard populated by two large dogs. Hubby heard a ruckus, and we ran next door. It was too late just that fast. There wasn't a mark on her, but she was gone--limp, lifeless. I wrapped her in a towel and let the other animals smell her. (I remember reading somewhere that was a good thing to do for them.) Then, we took her to the emergency vet where she will be picked up for cremation on Monday.
We still have to tell the girls. I dread that with every molecule in my being. Sweetheart wondered out loud if it was even worth it to have animals. I know that it is, but this is the hardest part of it without a doubt.
I have had cats my whole life and I have let them go outside always--usually with less supervision than these had. I will not do that again. I have lost many pets, but none of them in such a quick and harsh manner. When my elderly dog Sadie was ill, I had the name of the facility for cremation on the fridge. I know now it needs to be there always--not just when you think you will need it.
I learned that what my mother told me as a child was true. "Having animals means that you will lose them. I often wondered if we shouldn't have them because of that. I decided that the joy they bring is worth having to deal with losing them."
She was so right. I will miss you Sidney. The little bitch. My baby girl. The kitten that belonged to my daughter but completely stole my heart.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Posted by Margaret at 1:28 AM