Friday, February 15, 2008

A Senior Moment

It all started with "Charlotte", a 20 year old cat that was being surrendered at Animal Control while I was rescuing some other cats. I overheard the idiots say, "We don't want her anymore because she doesn't like to play. We're hoping to get a kitten." I took Charlotte home with me that day, not knowing what I was going to do with this little old lady.

I didn't realize it at the time, but I didn't have to do anything. I just had to love her. Charlotte didn't ask anything of me. She was without a doubt the sweetest little old lady I had ever known. She lived 6 months and I adored every inch of that boney, toothless little girl. I loved her until the day she died in my arms at the vets.

Charlotte lookin' cute!

Because of Charlotte, I've left an open place in my home to rescue and love a senior cat for whatever time they have left.

The next little girl was "Betsy". The vet estimated that she was 16-18 years old. Such a delicate little flower! I brought her home from the shelter and she purred happily in my arms. I remember the feeling of dread in my heart when I was petting her and felt a large lump on her side. I took her to the vets where they did an x-ray and subsequent exploratory surgery. The vet called me during the operation and I knew it wasn't good news. It was pancreatic cancer and it was "all over". I let Betsy die peacefully on the operating room table. I only had her 3 days.

My current little old man is "Lionel Thundercat". The vet thinks he's about 18 years old. When I first brought him home from the shelter, it almost hurt me to pet him - his bones protruded from under his skin. He must've been loved at some point in his life, because he was declawed. Lionel came into my home and took over. He asks nothing of me - he just wants love. The look of adoration in his eyes each day gives me reason to keep doing this. He's been with me for 3 months now and I've grown to love him very much.

Lionel is dying. There's no beating around the bush. He's at the vets tonight and his kidneys are failing. The vet is going to try "one more thing" tonight and if he doesn't improve I'll have to say goodbye to my Thundercat. When he does go, it won't be because I don't want him or he isn't loved. He'll die with someone trying to save his life - not kill him because there are too many cats at the shelter.

When he's gone, there will be another senior cat that needs me. I'm going to keep doing this as a loving tribute to a little toothless old lady named Charlotte that changed my life and the way I thought about senior cats. People who overlook these gentle, sweet souls don't know what they're missing.

An Update: Saturday, 12:00 pm., February 16th; I said goodbye to my Lionel Thundercat. He was in multiple organ failure and there was nothing more that I could do but lovingly let him go. I bet Charlotte and Betsy were waiting for him at "The Bridge". Damn. I'm going to miss that old man.


Anonymous said...

Bless your heart.........

Dianne said...

Peace to Lionel and to you.

Here's another for you..


Animal: Cat
Breed: Domestic Short Hair-orange
Sex: Female
Age: Senior
Size: Small