Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sparky: The Send-Off

As promised here, what follows is the story of my Sparky's passing last New Year's Eve. Of course there was sadness, but far more importantly there was love, friendship, sweetness and even a bit of silly.

He was frail, but still eating. (As long as I was serving Friskies salmon pate.) And he never stopped purring for me when I would hold him and give him love. Even Iris, who had never had much interaction with him, comforted him during his last days. He always had another kitty or two very close by.

Sparky had always been an indoor/outdoor guy. In fact, he came to me in the summer of 1993 as a stray that found his way through the open back door and down to the basement. There he stayed, scared out of his little brain, for several days before deciding it was safe to venture upstairs. Once he was officially mine, it was decided he was about a year and a half old, so his birthday became New Year's, 1991.

During his final months, his trips outside consisted of wandering onto the back porch for five minutes or so, then wandering back in. That last day when I went to let him in, he wasn't there. He'd never left the yard before, he wasn't at the neighbor's, it was so cold outside and I couldn't find him.

I don't need to tell you what I was feeling. I know that animals go off to die sometimes and the thought of that happening was heartbreaking. I posted notices on doors and hoped for a phone call. An hour and a half later, one came.

Sparky had somehow gotten himself nearly three blocks away and was found by two wonderful women outside the post office. When I got there and saw the dear lady holding my very bony little guy, I stopped the car in the middle of the street and ran to get him. We both cried. I brought him home. He wanted only to go back outside.

It was that evening that I knew it was time. I called my dear vet at her home and she immediately agreed to come over. Her vet tech was not available, and although she'd be fine by herself, it would be nice to have an assistant. Enter Sarah, my kind, huge-hearted, vet tech friend. Of course she would be right there. These wonderful women not only knew how much I loved my boy, they loved him as well. I am so grateful to them both. I couldn't have scripted it better if I'd had the option.

I had recently found adopters for a litter of kittens and had thought that I would hold off getting more until Sparky moved on. It didn't work out that way. I did get more and I knew as Sparky left me that I had done the right thing. His life ended in a room full of love and baby kittens. New life. It was perfect.

And now for the silliness. Most of you know the fabulous Laurie of IBKC fame. This amazing friend of mine has a knack for knowing just what to say when I need a smile. What follows is her composition, with a nod to the Jack Nicholson/Morgan Freeman movie of a few years back.

Sparky's Bucket List:

Race Go-Carts with Tiny
Audition for the Broadway production of Cats
Go to the post office
Shake hands with Siegfried and/or Roy
Get high with Willie Nelson
Get a bad-ass tattoo
Climb a tree so high he has to be rescued with a cherry picker
Become a certified SCUBA diver
Run for public office
Make out with Eartha Kitt
Become the spokeskitty Friskies salmon
Ride across the country and back in a boxcar.
Finish reading "War and Peace"
Learn a second language
Hook up with Drewey

His karma came back to him in spades that night. The nicest kitty in the world had a most beautiful send-off.

And he'd made it to the post office.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ahh, The Sweet Taste of Freedom

Little Reuben has been crated now for the better part of 6 weeks. His fractured leg seems to be good as new and he's more than ready for some scootin' around time! He'll see the shelter vet on Tuesday, and I'm confident that he'll get a clean bill of health and will be scheduled for surgery later in the week. (We're crossing our fingers.)

The lad is thrilled to finally be able to gallavant to his heart's content! He wasted no time at all in discovering the curtain on the front door that I still haven't gotten around to hemming. All the better, he says!

I'm entirely in love with Reuben.

Long may you pounce.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Have a Rosie Holiday

Rosie asks that we put aside our differences, our troubles and woes, and make room in our hearts for the absolute joy she exudes every single day.

We wish you all love, contentment, passion and the ability to recognize what brings them.

Thanks for showing us how it's done, Rosemary.

Sue, Tiny, Rosie, Minnie, Frances and Iris

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Want a Cookie?

I hope you're not allergic to nuts, because this one is chock full of wacky.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Reuben Taylor - The Rest of the Story

Reuben's medical issue that prevented his having surgery with his siblings is a fractured left forearm. We noticed right away on his arrival at the shelter that there was something amiss. He wouldn't put his weight on the leg when sitting up, and had a definite limp when he walked.

The shelter isn't equipped with an x-ray machine, so a quick trip to the vet down the street was scheduled. Sure enough, a fracture.

It's in the bone between his shoulder and elbow and as such couldn't be splinted. Surgery was out of the question, so it was decided we'd see how he'd do just leaving it alone to heal. Frankly, within a day or two he was using it normally and unless you knew, you'd never know.

Don't let this picture mislead you. He just happened to be hangin' that way and it seemed appropriate for the story. By the time it was taken, he was using it just fine.

Reuben has spent a great deal of his time crated so as not to put unnecessary strain on his leg. I do let him out to visit, but keep a wary eye on his behavior. No kitten climbing or frolicking for this little guy. Not just yet.

But as you can see, his little claw flexors work just fine and he's no worse for wear. He'll be ready for surgery in another couple of weeks.

Oh yeah. He's still a stud. Rrrooowwrrr!!