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Old 30 November 2017, 00:43   #1
gimbal
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Your beloved pets ;-)

Rest in peace, Kitty

Gut wrenching moment, I don't wish it upon anyone; last Monday I had to make the hard decision and have my cat, Kitty, put to sleep. This is after a hard battle of over a year against diabetes in which the poor cat had four bladder infections, lost most of her body weight, lost a large part of her sight and couldn't really do much anymore other than eat, sleep, potty... and be as loving as she could be, regardless of her condition.

You might wonder: diabetes is treatable. Normally yes and very well indeed, but Kitty was an adopted street cat with feral tendencies. To us after several years of coaching she was a normal house cat, up to limits (couldn't ever touch the paws or pick her up, for example). But to anyone that would have to handle her physically like a vet if we could even get her there... she would turn into a triple headed pitbull. I kid you not, this cat would fight tooth and nail to get away from her "attacker" and was ready to kill if necessary. Treatment of any kind was absolutely impossible, the simplest of examinations ended in bad scratches and a very stressed cat. Unfortunately diabetes is very treatment heavy, requiring frequent blood checkups and two daily injections. For this cat: not feasible, it would have caused too much stress which is no good at her age.

So we did the only thing we could do; make her life as comfortable as possible for as long as she still had - and a long life she had, we estimate she made it to 17 based on stories of neighbors who had seen her on the streets for many years already before we moved in. She lived in a wooden house in our front yard, so we basically got her with the house. I can't imagine what happened to her before we invited her into our home when she must have been around 10; all I can say is that she had almost pure hate for people or other cats, except for us - eventually.

The best memory I have of her is the moment she decided she was no longer a street cat. We kept the front door open for long periods of time (at risk of burglary) so she could decide on her own where she wanted to go. Slowly but surely she would start to explore more in the house, but always ready to race outside again. And then one day not long before the first frost of the year I saw her hesitating in the hallway before bedtime - shall I go outside, or do I stay inside? With conviction she turned around and stayed. I closed and locked the door, she went to her toilet, she hopped into her sleeping basket, and we went to bed. It took a good two more years for her to trust us enough to really act like a house cat, but I don't regret a second of the time we spent together. We cracked her icy exterior and taught her how to play, communicate and be social. That is a rare story when it comes to feral street cats, clearly she was once a house cat and had turned feral because she was dumped.

But that last year. It is killing to have to watch a cat slowly fade away because it is ill, every day wondering: is this the day? Yet that day did not come, this cat was the strongest creature on earth and she kept on trucking, never showing a sign of distress, always running with the tail up and mewing in her friendly yet demanding way. But when her fourth bladder infection set in last week and I had to catch her to put her into a cage for transport to the vet (you don't get antibiotics without a mandatory checkup unfortunately)... I felt nothing but bone and a heart that was racing faster than it should. I knew it was the time and my heart sank. But she was still so sweet and loving even if she must have been in pain, I figured that the cat wasn't giving up just yet so neither was I.

Except while we were waiting at the vet to discuss any options left she gave me the signs. Through the bars of the cage for the first time ever she gave me kitty kisses; very calmly she blinked her eyes at me and she responded to mine every time. I was amazed and surprised because we had never been able to get her to do that - not a single time, despite what must be hundreds of attempts. On the table the vet carefully opened the transport box and we expected a wild tiger to jump out... and she just laid down, calmly and waiting. We could all touch her, no stress, no anger, no fighting, not even a hiss - nothing. She was just waiting for us to proceed, her fur really soft which only happened when she was relaxed. And my heart sank again.

I knew that this was it and my girlfriend and I gave the vet the okay to give her the eternal rest that she deserved and clearly was waiting for. No more fading body that can crash at any moment, no more aching joints, no more hunger with a body that will not absorb the food well and just consumes itself. Rest in peace, Kitty.

In the end I don't know what is the actual truth. Were we waiting for her to give us a sign that she was ready, or was she waiting for us to be ready?

---

These moments in your life change you. I've been an emotional wreck for the past two days and did more crying than I've done in my entire life. It was not only the loss of a beloved friend but basically repressed anxiety, helplessness and sorrow of the last year that came out. I came to realize that for a long time now I've basically shut myself off from the outside world, always saying "no" to events and parties and just wanting to go home as soon as possible - to be with Kitty. Didn't take any trips, because Kitty needed our care and company and basically nobody else could do it. I loved that cat more than anything but it does take it's toll to be a cat guardian rather than a cat owner. I have no regrets, except that now I really cannot allow myself to adopt another cat or two for the foreseeable future, even if deep down I would really want to. Right now, it is our time. I cannot ignore the fact that my relationship with my girlfriend has also suffered because of this.

But now that I've had my time to mourn and set my mind in order, I feel so much better and actually start to look forward to doing things again. I feel like I need to end this year on a high note rather than a somber one, send it off with a blast. Don't know how yet, but by golly it is going to happen. And a trip to Paris next May is already almost booked. I'm friggin' 36 and have never set foot in Paris. How crazy is that?

Up yours 2017, you took too much from me. But in the end, I'm a transformed Gimby which is something I have 2017 to thank for. I feel better, more open, more outgoing. So even after this sad story, let me be the first to wish you all a tremendous incoming 2018. I'm definitely going to give it my best to do everything right for a change!
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Last edited by gimbal; 02 December 2017 at 19:04. Reason: Restored Title.
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Old 30 November 2017, 00:49   #2
jmmijo
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I hear you, I've had to put down a couple of cats in the past two years as well, one had a similar illness and was slowly fading away as well
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Old 30 November 2017, 01:33   #3
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Thanks for sharing Kitty's story, Gimby. It will strike a chord with anyone who's ever owned a pet - especially a cat.
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Old 30 November 2017, 12:27   #4
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Animals are better than people.
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Old 30 November 2017, 12:59   #5
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...it's a very difficult decision when you have to put your much loved animals to sleep, but if they are in pain and don't really have a good quality of life then it's the right thing to do.

Very sad, and I'm sure you'll miss her intensely.
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Old 30 November 2017, 13:14   #6
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Here's my little snugglers; Cloud & Storm (we didn't name them BTW):





They live with my ex-girlfriend so I only see them say once a week... they are also sisters. I miss them so much; beautiful little things
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Old 30 November 2017, 14:05   #7
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My sincere condolences Gimbal.

I can't imagine what you must be going through right now. Cats are not only magnificent creatures, but gorgeous little companions, too. We have two felines of our own - Cersi and Norah - and they mean the world to us, despite driving us up the wall.

Now that things have progressed abit, I think you should take time out for yourself. It's sounds like it's been an incredibly taxing year or so for you, so remember to focus on your mental health, not to mention your relationship. Needless, to say, both are super important for your health, happiness and recovery.
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Old 30 November 2017, 16:25   #8
gimbal
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@Retro1234 it's posts like that why I choose to share things on EAB, there is just good folk here

@DamienD Beauties. Funny part is that if you take Storm and give her Cloud's hair color, you have a spitting image of Kitty when she was younger. I've been frantically searching for a good photo of her from those days, but no luck so far.

What's in a name, eh? The reason why Kitty was named such is also rather simplistic; the leading language in our house is English and so when we bought the house we referred to her first as "the kitty" as in "need to feed the kitty". And that quickly turned into "Need to feed Kitty". Then came the time where we had to register her with the vet and we had to provide a name; Kitty it was, because that is what we were calling her until then.

@Muzkat Thanks mate. I feel a lot better now, crying like a baby does a person a lot of good! Who knew?

And indeed personal health is important. One thing I'm going to do is get me some jogging shoes again. My mental health will be fine on its own, my physical health on the other hand...
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Old 30 November 2017, 17:07   #9
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It is heart wrenching Gimbal, and I'm so pleased you were able to share this with us all on EAB.

Your story is an example of kindness and love, for a cat that has played such a large part in your life. They become family members, is what I like to say, and they mean so much more than people in general, perhaps with the exception of GF's/Wives <DH looks at his wife >. If you show them love, they'll show you love back, and that's something that can never be taken away.

I will remember this story mate <DH fills up again>
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Old 30 November 2017, 18:41   #10
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I feel your pain I had say good bye to my polar bear (white akita) in September , i honestly don't know what is going on at the moment but so many people seem to be saying good bye to there companions.
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Old 30 November 2017, 19:44   #11
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Old 30 November 2017, 19:45   #12
DamienD
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This thread is very sad indeed and I welled up when reading gimbal's story

I'll tell you a bit about my girls and it might make you smile.

Around 2 years ago we were at a friend's house party. Chatting with a person there and somehow animals came up. She said to me and the ex: "I have a friend who's moving rental properties while waiting for a house purchase to complete. He has 2 gorgeous cats and is looking for someone to mind them for say 6 months". Being animal lovers we said yes.

They then moved in and we looked after them, 6 months later the owner's house still hadn't gone through so we said he could move in with us. He then stayed for another 6 months.

Eventually his house was settled. A week before he was to move in, he sat us down for a conversation. He said: "You guys obviously love the cats and they love you. You have a nice spacious house with decent sized / protected garden that they can play in. I'm moving to a 3rd floor apartment. How would you feel if I said you can keep them?"

Obviously we said yes!!!

This was a year ago, they are probably about 7 years old now. The one thing I wish is that we had them as kittens

We asked the owner if he had any photos and he sent us this:


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Old 30 November 2017, 20:30   #13
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Maybe we should make a thread in OT - General called "My Pets" or something...

I could make it sticky and everyone can then post pictures / stories about of their beloved animals?
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Old 30 November 2017, 21:48   #14
gimbal
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Yeah why not, perhaps just rename this one? I see dear jmmijo also has a few stories to share.

Need more happy stories though, it won't do to have a bunch of crying hairy men ganging up on each other. We've been there before, it wasn't pretty.
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Old 30 November 2017, 22:00   #15
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Myself and prowler seemed to be making changes at the same time

...too many chiefs

@gimbal; I really hope you can find / post some pictures of Kitty.

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Old 30 November 2017, 22:08   #16
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I send you my deepest thoughts and very best regards to you gimbal, in your hard time!!
Regards
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Old 30 November 2017, 22:54   #17
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I am so sorry for your loss Gimbal. I think she really loved you, she learnt to trust you after all she went through and you did your absolute best for her. I'm very sure Kitty knew that. I rescued a cat that wasn't quite a street cat but had been mistreated and abandoned by humans and eventually after about a year of living with me, he started to trust me. I gave him a name - Anonymous Puss but sadly, he ran away after I was forced to move out of my former home.

I'm very fortunate to have my other cat Black Magic though, he's been with me for more than 10 years now and he still takes to tearing around the house at crazy hours. Black Magic's my best buddy. I'm grateful for the time I spent with Anonymous though, I'm sure he was happier with me than he ever had been in his life so it was time well spent.
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Old 30 November 2017, 23:05   #18
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Sweet story Cammy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cammy View Post
but sadly, he ran away after I was forced to move out of my former home.


...I hope he's still ok and has managed to find another nice owner / home.

I really, really, really don't get people that are cruel and mistreat poor, innocent animals. IMHO people who do this should be shot!!!
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Old 02 December 2017, 19:09   #19
gimbal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DamienD View Post
@gimbal; I really hope you can find / post some pictures of Kitty.
We were diving through the photo archives yesterday - we found many pictures of many thing we didn't remember we had, and quite a few of Kitty too. Attached two of the better ones to the OP.

Those are of her best years. We were also really happy to find the very first pictures we took of her when she was still living outside... what we didn't remember is what a fatty she was back then. Twice the cat you see in the pictures above. She was well-fed outside by several people, but with the biggest and cheapest junk you can get :/ Supermarket pet food... just don't do it.
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Old 02 December 2017, 20:42   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gimbal View Post
We were diving through the photo archives yesterday - we found many pictures of many thing we didn't remember we had, and quite a few of Kitty too. Attached two of the better ones to the OP.
Ohhhhh so cute, beautiful girl

Quote:
Originally Posted by gimbal View Post
@DamienD Beauties. Funny part is that if you take Storm and give her Cloud's hair color, you have a spitting image of Kitty when she was younger.
I can see that
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