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Posts Tagged ‘pet loss’

I am continuing my four days of remembering Smoky, a year after his death.  Why? Because I need to. Because I have not been able to look at photos of him all this past year without weeping.  Because this reminds me that he had such a good life here.  Tomorrow the blog will return to quotidian life.

Smoky and friends, 2017

1-4-17

1-4-17

1-5-17, reading with Frosty and Smoky

1-5

1-6-17

1-11-17

2-10-17

2-10-17

2-13-17

2-15-17

2-22 (Allan’s photo)

2-24-17

2-24 (Allan’s photo)

2-26-17

3-2-17

3-6-17

3-8-17

3-8-17

3-8-17

3-9-17

3-13

3-14-17

3-17-17

3-23-17

3-23-17; this shows well the faint tabby marking on the top of Smoky’s head.

3-24

3-24

3-25

3-26

3-26

3-27 (Allan’s photo))

3-27 (Allan’s photo)

3-27 (Allan’s photo)

3-27 (Allan’s photo)

3-27

3-27

3-27 (Allan’s photo)

3-28

4-3, Smoky followed me to work at Norwoods, two doors down.

4-4, cat door blocked, someone was recuperating from an injury and had to stay in. Probably Skooter, who gets into fights with the neighbor.

4-4

4-6

4-7

4-8

4-9 (Allan’s photo), really shows the subtle markings on his head

4-9

4-9

4-10

4-10

4-10

4-12 (wonderful book)

4-21

4-24

4-25

4-26

4-29

4-29

5-1, morning tea

5-5, front porch

5-9

5-12

5-12

5-13

5-14

5-15, great book

5-21

5-21

5-21

5-22

5-23

5-23

5-26

5-29

5-29

5-31

6-1

6-2

6-3

6-10

6-15

6-17

6-18

6-18

6-18

(Allan’s photo)

6-19

6-19

6-19

with Devery

6-21

6-24

7-1

7-1

7-2

7-2

7-29

7-29

7-31

8-2, blogging

always helpful

8-7, morning tea (Allan’s photo)

8-7

8-8

8-9

8-10: With all the big comfy chairs on offer, Smoky and Calvin chose this one for awhile.

8-10

8-18, helping me blog

8-20

8-20, reading the Tootlepedal blog (my favourite)

8-22

8-23

8-25

8-27

8-27

8-29

9-4

9-6, Frosty, Skooter, Smoky

9-11

9-17

9-28

9-28

10-6 (I was not horribly depressed, just tired from work!)

10-7

10-14; every time I had cereal, he got a bit of cereal milk

10-16

10-20

10-20

10-20

10-21

10-23

The night of October 25th was when I realized that Smoky had suddenly become so bloated that he would walk a bit, then lay down.  What a terrible sleepless night of worry that was. He lay at my feet in bed; this was out of character because he liked to sleep in the living room curled up with Calvin.

10-26, morning, as we gathered him up to take him the vet, who drained fluid from his body.

We did send the fluid to be tested; the results did not come back till after he died and, frankly, my memory is just blank about that.

10-27; he took to my bed and did not want to sleep with the other cats

10-27

On the 27th, he went outside in the afternoon and was missing for awhile as I worked on the Corridor of Spooky Plants for Halloween.  Much to my horror, he came walked up to me at 4:30 looking horrible swollen again.  I got an emergency visit to the vet just before they closed till Monday.

10-27, after the vet and having fluid drained

10-28, cereal milk in bed

On the 28th, we had to go to work for awhile.  When we came home, Smoky came walking from two doors down, looking terribly bloated again, but he was able to walk without lying down.

10-28 (Allan’s photo)  It was a Saturday so could not take him to the vet (no emergency vet around here at that time, back then—there is now).

10-29; he went outside, bloated again

10-29, a drink from St Fiacre’s fountain

and a bit of cereal milk outdoors

10-29

He disappeared for a couple of hours and I was terrified he had gone off to die.  I found him close to the house under some shrubbery.  He could not walk far that day.

That was the last night he chose to sit in my lap. On the next night, I carried him from the bedroom to sit with me, but after a short while, he got down and managed to walk slowly, lying down now and then, back to the bed where he wanted to be alone.

10-30, another visit to the vet in the morning. He was all bloated again; he got a steroid shot as a last hope.

10-30, drinking a bit of tuna juice on my bed; he had stopped eating despite food both kibble and tuna fish being offered.  (Allan’s photo)

10-30, tucked up in bed. He couldn’t get to the litter box anymore and did not want to eat or be petted.  By evening he did not even want to drink water and turned away when I gave him some with an eye dropper.

10-31, the shot did not work; his breathing was failing. This was his last morning.

We took him back to the vet where the especially kind Dr Raela helped us let him go.

This is what my friend Maggie wrote to me when she knew we were on our way to that last vet visit.

me and my Smoky

Now it’s been a year and a day since he’s been gone.  I thought I would bury his ashes with those of Calvin, who died five and a half months later at age 13, both of them where Smoky and Frosty’s mother is buried.  I thought I would but I just can’t yet; the two boxes of ashes sit on a shelf next to my reading chair.  Winter seems too cold a time…even though Smoky often was out in wet weather and would come in to give me a cat weather report (wet fur).  Maybe I can do it in March, the anniversary of Calvin’s passing.  (I must believe in some sort of afterlife because I don’t want Mary to be alone out there in the ground by the garden boat.)  Neither Frosty nor Skooter have the gentle, peaceable lap cat ways of Smoky, and neither of them share that sort of bond with me.  I love them, and loved my Dumbles and Miss Marble and my Orson and PudgeBear, funny little orange Valene and cantankerous little Maddy, but Smoky was on another level of feline-human bond, something I may never experience again.

Marion Cran wrote about the passing of her cat, Tatty Bogle, in a way that described how I felt.  While she got to say goodbye to him naturally at home, Smoky and I had a moment of communion at the vet that brought back all the many hours we had spent close together.

“We fought in by inch for his life; no one wanted to lose Tatty-Bogle…but the changes of dissolution were upon him.  At last after long vigil I had to face it.  There came a dawn when I took him into my arms, the poor cruelly disheveled body—and nothing mattered to us but each other.  Nothing about his sad body-troubles could tire me, and nothing about the approach of death could stay his song when he found himself close to the heartbeat he knew best in the world…that loyal and generous purr I had loved so many years broke out clear, for a moment…and then stopped.” (1924, intro to the Popular Edition of The Garden of Ignorance.)

Needless to say, there, on page 4 of the first book of hers that I read, I fell in love with Marion Cran. Years later, she got another cat who looked like her Siamese Tatty-Bogle and who turned out to be distantly related; she came to call this new cat Tatty-Come-Back.  I wish Smoky would come back to me in that way.

 

 

 

 

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