Into the Starry Blue Fleece Mar12

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Into the Starry Blue Fleece

In my mind I was prepared for this to happen at some point along this journey. I did think we’d have more time though, that it might be more gradual, but almost every aspect of life on this trip seems super accelerated.

After all, we are doing a hell of a lot of living each day, certainly more than we’ve been doing for many, many years. I guess it’s mostly to do with the fullness and the relative intensity of each day’s experiences. It’s appropriate for time to feel fast to us.

But like I said, I was prepared in my mind for this to happen, but it still surprised my heart with it’s timing and the ache is deep. Our 18 year old Kitty wasn’t really ready for an accelerated life.

Kitty

Kitty

She had been sick since before we left, bleeding from what the vet thought was a urinary tract infection. We saw some improvement from the first round of antibiotics, but that and more returned with a vengeance the day we left.

For a while we told ourselves it was just the stress, or car sickness. We hoped it would all even out with time, that she would start to feel better, eat again, stop throwing up, that the antibiotics would work if we gave it more time. She slept a lot, but when she was awake we knew our kid was miserable.

She stopped using her box. She sat by herself on the floor instead of in our laps. She stopped purring.

The Oak Creek Veterinary Clinic in Sedona is filled with the most compassionate wonderful people. They spent an inordinate amount of time with us talking through all the choices and possibilities and eventually helped us make the decision to let Kitty move on to the great beyond.

Sleep

Sleep

In the end, while we waited for the morphine to take full effect, our baby laid on the table wrapped in a blue fleece blanket covered in white stars. The vet explained that Kitty would be relieved of all pain, she would be on cloud nine and she might get the munchies while we waited, so she left us with a pile of treats.

It’s such an odd thing to laugh when you’re crying, but ultimately I think it’s good. With one drugged up paw and a snapping turtle mouth, our kid proceeded to try to scoop and inhale every treat that was in sniffing distance. There was no dexterity about it at all. She was lying on her side, head resting on the table and no other body parts were engaged in the adorable frenzy – it was all paw, tongue, and teeth.

Ali and I just smiled at each other with tears streaming down our faces. We started to help by putting a treat at a time into her mouth for her, but we had to be fast. That snapping turtle mouth was tricky, but it was worth every tooth-hole in our fingers.

I thought about the 18 years that this wonderful fur-person has been in my life. I remembered the day I brought her home as a kitten and she ran mad-crazy circles around her litter box for hours. I think she loved how much noise the newspaper made and how it flapped up and ripped in her claws when she stopped suddenly. I thought about her awesome snuggling, how she wooed Ali into letting her sleep in the bed in between us, spooning with the moms under the covers.

A+ Snuggler

A+ Snuggler

I thought about it all. I’ve had just a few relationships in my life that were longer than my love affair with this Kitty.

As she left us, we smothered her with kisses and thanked her for all the love she had given us. We told her how brave she was for coming in the RV and the vet agreed that orange cats are the best. I politely interjected that Kitty preferred to be called “butterscotch”.

Laughter through tears.

Rest now baby girl. We’ll miss you like crazy.

This was another day last year -  not the blue fleece with stars day. Be good Kitty.

This was another day last year – not the blue fleece with stars day. Be good Kitty.

P.S. Kitty – we gave all your food, litter and treats to a handsome black guy cat named Gunner who lives at the Sedona Ranch RV Park. He says thanks!