Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Remembering Miss Kitty
Miss Kitty shared her final years with us. She was a "stray" cat that showed up in our back yard two summers ago. She didn't act like a stray, though. It seemed she craved human company as much as food and water. Every time we went out into our yard or on the porch, she was there. If we sat down, she came over and jumped into our laps. She would sit in your lap for as long as you would let her, purring contentedly. Whenever we were outside doing yard work, she would follow us around, sitting in the sun nearby. When we went for a walk, she followed us all the way around the block.
One day when she was on my lap, I noticed she didn't have any claws in her front paws. That was the first clue we had that she once was someone's pet. Over time, we became convinced that she had also been spayed because she never went into heat and didn't become pregnant. She was well-behaved and polite and gentle with children. We wondered who her people were, and how they had become separated. I put her photo up in the local vet's office and asked around the neighborhood.
In the meantime, we fed her regularly and took her for shots. We tried to take her into the house with our other three cats, but they would not accept her; nor would she accept them. So, she became our outdoor cat. We bought her a small dog house and put straw and a blanket in it. She slept there every night. In the morning she came to the door for her food and water. During the day she often went around visiting with neighbors.
Several days ago, Miss Kitty stopped eating and became lethargic. We brought her in and let her stay in the basement so we could keep an eye on her. My husband sat with her last night and became convinced she was near death. I called the vet and made an appointment for this morning. When we came downstairs to get her, she was lying still with her eyes wide open. We were afraid she had died overnight. When she moved her tail slightly at our approach, we realized she still lived. My husband took her to the vet and came home with tears in his eyes. They said she must have been very old, and had complete kidney failure. He let them put her to sleep.
We will miss Miss Kitty. She was a real presence in our lives, but we will never know her full story.