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Monochrome Snow Day and Katy Going

by Marijo Phelps  
12/02/2009 / Death

There have been sunshine and incredibly blue skies as we have more than 300 days of sunshine a year. Today it is so overcast I cannot see any mountains. Since we live at 8600 feet in the middle of a meadow surrounded by mountains, this is saying something. It is snowing, thick, white fluffy snowflakes and Katy is dying.

I remember my first glance at this incredible little feline. Our "cat lady" who'd helped us before sent us to Pet's Mart to see "Sassy" as they called her. Mick and I spoke with the lady who pointed out a cage on the end and way up high and told me I could take her out. I was looking for a Birman type kitty with long hair and blue eyes.

"Look at that TAIL!" I squealed at my husband who was a bit behind me in the rush to see this 6 month old kitty.

I opened the cage and picked up a feather the tail was longer than the kitty and it was evident she'd just had her altering done as her tummy was shaved and sutured. She had the overall appearance of a long, flying squirrel with raccoon eyes. She was mostly cream colored with chocolate points and tail.

She was not the Birman I was looking for but my heart was taken instantly.

"Well, what do you think? Is this what you are looking for?" the ever patient Mick awaited my thoughts.

"Ohhh, can we get her?"

Thus began the saga of our life with "Sassy" whom we renamed Katy Dancer.

On this snowy day I am looking back. This little girl never knew a stranger and fit right in with our other two cats. Well, Mitzi hissed and slapped at everyone and everything but Katy tried to make friends anyhow.

She and Stormy Blue became best buddies and would sleep entwined with each other.

She loved to play we had a toy mouse tied onto a fishing pole with some string so we could cast it and reel it in. Oh, she loved that toy. Out living room had a half wall the couch was placed in front of. Behind the half wall was the stairs going down to the basement. Katy was at the top of the stairs and Mick cast the mouse over the half wall so she could chase it down the stairs.

"Honey, she'd not running down the stairs but on top of the couch NO! she jumped off the half wall!"

We heard a soft thump and ran down the stairs to find Katy shaking her head and turning to zip right back up the stairs with the mouse in her mouth. That was the end of the fishing pole no matter how much fun they had with it we weren't going to risk another high dive stunt.

One night we were both reading and had been for maybe a half hour. I glanced up and saw the screen on the kitchen window sitting in one of the kitchen chairs.

"Mick, the screen is out of the window find the cats!"

I hollered their names. Stormy came running to the living room immediately and I knew he was ok pretty soon Mitzi sauntered out stretching from her interrupted nap.

"Jo, I think I see a shadow of a cat in the corner of the deck." It was past dark outside. Would she think it was fun and run? Would she run into the road? Would she hide and be lost?

We lived in a semi-rural area with dirt roads and larger lots backed up to a highway. There were foxes in the neighborhood who ate house cats and small dogs. Our kitties NEVER went outside and were total house cats. Leave it to Katy to change that.

"It's Katy and I grabbed her. Who else is missing?"

"They all came when I hollered and I have Stormy and Mitzi how in the world did she get that screen out of the window?"

Everyone was safe again until the next time.

I was on the phone, my mom called in the middle of me changing a light bulb on a wooden ladder. I ran to the kitchen to grab the phone and was talking away and heard a huge crash. "Gotta go, mom, something happened in the living room."

The ladder had overturned and Katy ran from me while I saw Stormy limping across the floor. Apparently Katy had run up the ladder with her blue eyed "brother" hot in pursuit and she must have jumped off tipping the ladder over on top of Stormy. Oh, my our first trip to the emergency pet hospital because it was a weekend, naturally. An X-ray showed he didn't have a broken hip but it was badly strained and he spent time being caged and taken out for excecise for about a week and we spent "Christmas" on Stormy.

There are so many Katy Tails (or was that Tales?) I hardly know where to go next.

We used to call her Chewbacca starting with the time that she chewed a big piece out of my padded card table apparently "daddy" had spilled something irresistible and Katy took that as her invitation to chow down on the card table.

It is still snowing, reflective of my monochromatic mood. Katy is thirteen and has had kidney problems for some time now. She couldn't tolerate the medicine and wouldn't eat the low protein food. The vet's office said "feed her whatever she will eat, cats will starve themselves to death" that was almost a year ago and she'd been eating really well ever since.

Just the first of November she was sitting in the chair next to me at the dining room table always polite and not meowing but waiting for a treat or two. I had fixed a whole turkey dinner and she was getting bits of turkey and loving every bite. Just a week later she wasn't eating at all. We tried every cat treat and temptation known. We tried "people food" and she refused even turkey. We tried baby food to no avail.

I had checked her teeth and they looked ok, no enflamed gums and she had a dental not too long ago and at that time they said it would be her last. Her kidney blood tests showed that pretty soon she'd be so bad that they wouldn't be able to give her anesthesia or she'd die on the table. The blood tests after that showed the disease was progressing.

It has been over 3 weeks since she has eaten normally and if she is eating at all we aren't aware of it. She quit having BMs a week ago (excuse the RN in me, please but this is my little patient)

Up until 2 days ago she was following me around and head butting and sitting in my lap when I read. The kitties have nice two story condos in the garage but we had been having Katy sleep with us for about three weeks now. She is still drinking but moving slower and slower.

This morning she was drooling and moved away trying to go behind the couch. It is almost like she knows time is short and wants to go away and maybe spare me her final moments. She doesn't seem to be in any pain. I have moved her into the utility room with the box and water and her favorite rugs to lay down on and there isn't much more that I can do at this point.

We knew from the vet that this time would come and I am SO glad that we have 13 years of memories to look back on.

I told her this morning that it was ok and she could go. I just want her to be released and not having to suffer. Mick is off hunting deer. This is a hunt he has waiting for for 13 years. And me? I am sitting here with my tears running down my face as I try to type on the keyboard.

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About Self

Saved by His grace in 1974, from 9 years of professing atheism into His loving arms. RN for 23 years, missionary with YWAM then statistical analyst for Every Home for Christ over 9 years. Living with my husband in the middle of a mountain meadow. GRIN! Wanting to spread the good news

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