(We are hosting Weekend Cat Blogging this weekend. If you would like to take part, just leave your permalink in the comments section of this post or email me at upsiefan (AT) yahoo (DOT) com. We would appreciate it if you mention our blog in your post. The Roundup should be ready on Monday.)
Last November, we agreed to take in two feral kittens and make them people oriented, so they could be adopted. When it was obvious no one was waiting in the wings to take them, I gave them names and told my husband we had two more members in our household. Not long after that, the girl, Dexter, died from FIP. We held our breath, waiting to see if the male, Sundance, (or Upsie) would come down with it. But, we seemed to have dodged a bullet, and Sundance grew and grew. We felt safe. Two months ago, I noticed that he wasn't his normal lively self, but he was still affectionate and seemed healthy. Then, two weeks ago he suddenly crashed. He avoided us, hiding and cringing when he saw us coming near him. He stopped eating and drinking water. It was obvious that he was in a great deal of pain. I knew in my heart that he had FIP, because he was acting exactly the same way Dexter behaved just before she died.
And I was right. He did have FIP. His condition became so bad, I knew it was cruel to keep force feeding him food and water. In the past I've had difficulty facing the loss of my pets, so I kept them alive at all costs--trying to spare myself the pain of their death. But, I've come to see how cruel that can be. So, on Friday the home vet came to the house and helped Sundance pass over to the other side, where he can play with Dexter again and not be in pain.
He was in horrible pain, but when the vet gave him the first shot, to calm him, the drug took away his pain and for five minutes he purred and purred, as I petted him and told him how much happiness he brought into our house. He was himself again, and he licked my hand once. And then the vet gave him the other shot and he took his last breath and was gone.
I took a lot of pictures of Sundance, but could only use a few of them. He was always so active, running instead of walking, jumping and playing his heart out. Most of his pictures were a big blur, unlike Upsie, who poses like she's Angelina Jolie.
I will miss him every morning because he greeted me with huge affection when I woke up. He always ran just ahead of my feet, almost tripping me. And he had the funniest way of running, stretching each of his hind legs straight back as he ran, like he was doing yoga. I told him to register that method of moving with the Monty Python Ministry Of Silly Walks.
He was such a sweet cat, my mother-in-law, (who is not fond of cats), loved him. We were astonished to see her petting him when she visited us, the only cat she has ever touched, I'm sure. And why not? He was never grumpy or moody. He always seemed delighted when he saw us and brought great happiness and laughter to our lives. And that is why it was worth having him with us, even for such a brief time.
A Prayer for Animals
Hear our humble prayer, O God, for our friends the animals,
especially for animals who are suffering;
for animals that are overworked, underfed and cruelly treated;
for all wistful creatures in captivity that beat their wings against bars;
for any that are hunted or lost or deserted or frightened or hungry;
for all that must be put to death.
We entreat for them all Thy mercy and pity,
and for those who deal with them we ask a heart of compassion
and gentle hands and kindly words.
Make us, ourselves, to be true friends to animals,
and so to share the blessings of the merciful.
(Possibly written by the great Albert Schweitzer)