About 2 weeks ago, on August 6, it was time for out beloved Kitty who was 18, to cross over the Rainbow Bridge. He was our Kitty, our best friend, and even our little boy who never grew up. He had developed such a personality in his retirement years. He had learned to communicate with us by his actions and just how he looked at us. We carried on conversations with him as if he was talking to us. You know he even “cussed” at us at times when we didn’t serve him properly. Lol He was such a good friend and companion. He had been very sick in May, and we thought he would leave then, but he healed and went on to have a great family vacation with us in the MH, heading up to Illinois and visiting family. He enjoyed the trip, seen all the kids. He had a good time traveling and came back home and had 4 good days, sleeping in bed with us, sleeping on Dad’s (Rich’s) lap draped over the arm of the recliner. That has really consoled us as we know he had a last trip visiting his home he grew up in and visited the relatives. He felt good and had 4 more days back home sleeping in our bed, spending time on Dads lap and on top of me as long as I was covered in a fuzzy blanket.
Kitty came to our house in the fall of 2002. He showed up on our porch one day and never left us. He was already full grown, so we assume he was probably a spring baby. We didn’t want a cat, as we still had a dog, Draven. He did not like cats. I feed him on the porch and found a Styrofoam box for him to stay warm in. He didn’t really use it, he just wanted to come in. I checked all over town including the vet to see if anyone was missing him. He was a beautiful cat. He had beautiful white and black hair, and was plump and healthy so I assumed he had belonged to someone. Well to no avail, nobody claimed him. I started letting him in. I would carry him to the sofa. Draven would bark and was not very happy. Soon they both learned to tolerate each other and Kitty became a house cat. Because we couldn’t think of a name, we just kept calling him Kitty.
During those years, Draven and Kitty learned to get along. They were never really friends as they did their own thing, but they learned to respect each other. When they both entered a room, they would go and run up to each other and either smell or bump noses. I assume it was their way to say “Hello”.
Draven was also a very beloved pet in our house. He slept with us and patiently waited everyday at the door for us to come home from work. Dogs have so much personality, just like little people. But after a long good life, he passed away also just before Christmas in 2010. It was a very very sad occasion. But he was ready. He had a stroke several years before, I would carry him outside and hold him up to pee. He knew what to do, but just couldn’t stand or walk. Little by little he started to gain his strength back in his little legs. I remember how excited he was to be outside standing weakly on his own. He would stubble along excited, sniffing the smells in the grass. When he came to a very slight hill, he stumbled like a drunken soldier to stay on his feet. Finally his strength came back, and he could run and play again. He developed a tumor under his leg after that, but he kept walking. They say a cat has 9 lives…..Well so do dogs…..
After Draven passed, Kitty had the house to himself. He didn’t need our attention like Draven did. He played but really not lot. He wasn’t a climber, so we didn’t have to worry about him getting up on shelves and counters much. Sometimes he did, but he was a quick learner. He didn’t like the grandkids when they were little. He would take so much and then nail them with his claws. lol. When they became around 7 or so, he decided they were Ok. Yes, he made most of them cry and bleed a time or two. He had very sharp claws. I would buy him the cardboard scratchers and he would make such a mess. He loved them. He could shred them in short order. His only really bad habit was scratching on the wood work. No matter what we did, he would sneak and still do it. He destroyed our new wood work in the living room doorway. He spent time in our bow window in the living room and watch the birds in the tree. He loved looking out the entry way window also. But he never had a real strong desire to go outside. When he did, it would scare him.
He lived a good quiet life in the house. He was so quiet that one time we thought he was lost. We hadn’t seen him. I called and called his name. Searched all over in his hiding places even down basement. I walked around outside and around the block calling his name. I thought somehow he got out and ran away. About 3 days later, I needed to get into the hall closet. It is a very small closet. I opened the door and their he was laying on the bottom on a towel. He slowly got up, and simply walked out as if he had just got up from a nap. Now we had all walked by him many, many times and he never meowed. Crazy cat. But he never meowed, he was so quiet. The best behaved cat ever. Always used the litter box also. He was happy to just exist in the house. Then we decided to retire in 2014, and go full timing in the Motor Home.
Kitty wasn’t to happy about this. We started to train him by taking him on short camping trips. I remember the first time we left the driveway. He had never been out of the house, nor did he want to be held and carried. It was shock enough to go out in my arms, as he struggled, but you should have seen him when the MH moved. As we drove out the driveway, we twisted and turned to make the curve. He was looking up and I thought he was becoming the Exorcist Cat. He head was going 240, and his eyes was bulging and he was making an awful shrill loud “meoooooow”…… Can you imagine what he was feeling and thinking as he felt his world moving and churning and seeing trees moving out the windows that had never moved before?. Poor Poor Kitty. But he soon learned to love the traveling.
The summer of 2016 we went to work for Adventureland in Altoona Iowa. It was a Fabulous summer. We decided to buy a yard fence so he could spend time outside in the lush green grass.
He never liked that idea, nor did he like the grass. He didn’t want to lay down. He didn’t know he could even jump over the top, as it was open. We tried several times but it just wasn’t something he liked.
While we were at Adventureland, we decided to take a long weekend, leave the MH and travel in the little S10 truck home. Oh how he hated that trip. The truck was so small, he was hyperventilating. We stopped and tried to give him a break outside and I thing it made him worse. It was a rough 5 hours for him. And then we had to go back……But he survived. In 2017, we went back to Illinois in the car from Harlingen Texas.
We used the carrier for the trip. We put the back seat down and had his carrier right in the middle so he could see between the seats. His cat litter was in back and his food and water on the floor. I was worried that it would be a repeat of his little pick up truck trip. Only this would be a 24 hour trip. He was so good. I kept him in until we passed the check points about an hour away from Harlingen. After that, he roamed the back seat and enjoyed the trip. All our luggage in the back gave him a mountain to explore.
When we moved into the trailer he had so much more room to explore. We started putting up the Christmas tree again. He has always been good around the tree. He liked to lay on the tree skirt.
Or if a bag or something was laying on the floor, he had to lay on it.
Kitty had a babysitter here at Eastgate. Roberta would come in a feed him and spend time with him. We used her several times when we were gone for a week or more. She was so good. She knew just what he was thinking. Like a CAT WHISPERER. Roberta called him Dash for Dashboard Kitty. ……lol….After we bought the trailer, Rich built a Mancave on one side for him. This spring, he built me a She-Shed. So one morning when we got up, this paper appeared on the door. So Funny, Kitty had filed papers on us for the house…..He even gave us rules on his litter box and food. That Silly Roberta, she wrote up the petition for him and posted the paper. Kitty like any other cat was always experimenting to find new places.
The last year or so, he started slowing down, but I think he was getting smarter and smarter. He was communicating with us more and wanting much more attention and petting. He loved his neck, nose and forehead scratched. When I was laying on the sofa, he would put his paw on my arm and gently flex his toenails until I either petted him or feed him. He developed so much more personality. He started to eat more table food. He never cared before. He liked cracker and potato chip crumbs. Kitty wanted to lick our ice bar and popsicle sticks. Then it was lick our Ice Cream bowls. He liked to sample things. Not much but he would taste several licks or bites and then be done. He started to be demanding about his food. He had dry food as well as treats. He wanted more and more. He would stand in front of you and just stare. I told him he had to meow for food. So I started to meow. Low and Behold he started to meow. So that became his new thing. He would stare and then start a soft meow until you moved. I was his food person.
When he got sick in May, he vomited and had severe diarrhea. He was so bad, I thought he was going to die. He slowly got better. I took away all dry food and treats and gave him only wet canned food. Pet Smart recommended Pumpkin Puree. It is good for the Digestive System. He loved that also. He finally felt better again and acted normal, but he lost so much weight. He started demanding more food. Every time you moved or got up, he went to his bowl. I started to feed him more often but he never gained much weight back. If it wasn’t for his long hair, he would have looked so skinny. But he was feeling good when Tina and the kids came. They were here for 10 days and then we all went back in the Motor Home to Illinois. He had a good time with the kids. He got to see all the kids and they all petted him. We stayed at Scott and Brandy’s one weekend to house sit. They have 2 big cats, Seymour and Clyde. I usually keep him in the bedroom, but I let him out to explore the house. Twice he found one of the cats. It was so funny, his hair went up, he became a lion on the prowl. He chased them around the living room. I bet he felt so good…..like a BIG FEROCOUS CAT…...He enjoyed the trip.
After we got home, Kitty had 4 good days before he got sick again. He ate good. He slept in bed with us. In fact one morning I got up and he didn’t even hear me. He was sound asleep. He usually starts his nite sleeping next to his dad. So you know what that means. Rich moves over closer to me so Kitty can lay next to him and spread his legs out. lol. Rich would have to pet him and then tell him it was time to go to sleep. He would be happy, lay their awhile and then move to the foot of the bed. Thus was his routine for most of our retirement years.
Around day 5 after being home, he as usual demanded his breakfast. Late morning all of a sudden he started to violently vomit. He started to arch his back and stand their. Then the diarrhea started. He slept under the kitchen stool all nite and didn’t leave the area. He was having severe diarrhea all morning . He was so much sicker than in May, so we made the decision that he should not suffer anymore. After seeing him get so sick last time, we knew it was his time. So August 6th in the afternoon, he made his way across the Rainbow Bridge. It was a very very hard decision, but we knew it was the right one. We never dreamed when he came into our lives 18 years ago, we would grow to love him so much. Kitty retired with us and had 6 great years being a traveling Retired Kitty. He was never to old to learn new things to do. He would spend hours sitting in our laps, especially Dads, as we watched tv. He became so loveable but yet independent.
I’m sure if he could talk, Kitty would say, he had a very long and a very Happy Life….. He gave us years and years of love and companionship.