It was a cold and rainy Saturday in November of 2004 when I brought home a little grey classic tabby kitten from a Humane Society adoptathon at Petsmart, which was why I named her Stormie. She was the only survivor of an abandoned litter. She weighed a whole pound. I had her a whole day when I had to take her to the vet because she was having profuse diarrhea — Giardia was the verdict and she got medicine to take. She was barely over that when she got a horrible case of ringworm. She hated the goo I was supposed to give her and let it run out of her mouth rather than swallow it. We had to resort to tablet griseofulvin — she got a fourth of a tablet, and several pieces of kitty treat as a chaser. (She was too tiny to eat a whole kitty treat so I had to crunch them up for her.) Because she was so small and I had two adult male cats besides her, she lived in a large ferret cage until everybody hissed and made up, and until she got big enough to hold her own. The cage was wheeled from room to room as I worked, slept, did things in the kitchen, watched TV in the living room. She was still in the cage in when my late sister-in-law of over 20 years, my brother’s first wife, passed that December.
My little grey girl liked to curl up on my chest, and we cuddled off and on, she and I, while it rained quietly and steadily all last night. She would cuddle a while and get pets, then walk off into the bedroom to nap for a while beneath the sheet and bedspread curled up in the hollow on the far side of my body pillow, then I’d hear a thump, and see her up on the dryer eating. I knitted on the yellow baby afghan betimes, setting it aside when she would jump up on the arm of the chair for some more pets. I finished it early this morning.
She was just skeletal. I could feel every bone in her poor little body when I petted her. She had lost all of the nearly a pound she gained back two months ago, and she was getting feline acne on her chin again, which she hadn’t had since a kitten, a sure sign that her immune system had missed a step. She was eating well, but she had several episodes of retching Monday, and I put even more hot water into her canned chicken, mixing it with the chicken “juice” that was in the canned chicken, in an effort to get her to drink more.
When I picked her up and put her in the carrier, she cried, because she knew she was going to the vet, and she hated it. I didn’t call ahead this time, and should have. We were shown to a consultation room rather than an exam room, and had to wait for a vet to come get her. She was so thin they had to put a catheter in a vein to make sure she got the whole dose and they brought her back to me wrapped in a towel. There was a puppy or DYLD* somewhere near where we were (they also board pets) that yipped and yapped constantly and another dog that would howl intermittently, sounds that upset us both, my poor little grey girl and me. She did not go gentle across the Rainbow Bridge. A tech had to hold her by the scruff. And then it was over. She crossed the rainbow Bridge at 11:07 a.m. There was a kind of symmetry to her coming into my life on a grey, rainy day and leaving me on another grey, rainy day. She will be cremated like the three others who preceded her.
I have two soft-sided carriers, the one I took her in, and another one. I got them for the first two I got. The black one is too big to fit in one. They are being donated to the local humane society as soon as I can connect with somebody who will take them. .
When I went outside to take out the trash around 1 p.m., the clouds were clearing off and the sun was shining. There’s irony for you. And the day continues to go downhill. A while ago, when I went into the half bath off my bedroom, my foot squished on the bath mat. The toilet had leaked between the pedestal and the floor. Now in addition to washing a load of clothes (washed, dry and hung up) and a load of sheets and towels (in the dryer), I’m having to do a load of bathmats. As long as I’m washing one set, I might as well wash both sets. Sigh. I’ve already got the drying rack set up.
It’s just me and the black kitty now. Well, he always wanted to be an only cat. Now he’s gotten his wish. I think he may find it a bit lonely when I’m out and about and he’s here by himself. .