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RIP Mrs. Gaines

I was gently reminded by a friend that I'm not acknowledging comments on my blog enough. Please, please excuse me. I enjoy reading every comment and I'm grateful for every casual reader.



Mrs. Gaines went downhill much faster than expected. It's only a week ago yesterday that I took her in for another shot and she passed out at the vet's. Friday and Saturday she probably spent the night outside, or part of it. Then we noticed she wasn't eating, but she still drank quite a bit outside on Sunday. She spent a good part of the days sleeping on Maralton's bed on a down lap quilt. Yesterday she slept most of the day in my closet hidden by my wedding gown (28 years ago). Miss E pulled her out at about 6pm and I chided her for it and explained what was going on, that she was hurting by this point. Mrs. G went back into my closet, didn't eat. Miss E was distraught and didn't sleep well, despite having the kittens for company. She was up later than she should have been, thinking about Mrs. G and holding her photo. Weatherdude was distraught as well. Real Dudes do shed...well they do.

At 3AM this morning, I awoke to the sound of dry heaves and asked The Dude to turn on a light. It was Mrs. G out of the closet, but again, she wouldn't drink anything or eat anything for me or for The Dude. I would have to call the vet. She came out and spent time in the main part of the house, asked to go out twice, but I wasn't going to let her. If she went to ground on the property somewhere, I wouldn't be able to find her. She curled up on Miss E's dining room chair next to the electric heater during breakfast. Miss E sat in my spot instead. She stayed there a while, asked to go out again, chose another hiding place in plain sight in the kitchen for a while. Eventually she had gone to ground and I didn't know where. Maralton found her under her bed, stretched out on her side. I've seen that before. Things were happening almost too fast. I called the vet, they said it was time and we could come in with her any time today. The Dude wanted to be home, so I was going to wait 3 more hours.

Miss E was able to pet her when she got home from school, I was able to pet her and talk to her. We were all able to see and talk to her today. Goliath was just above her the entire time, sleeping on Maralton's bed, so you know the overall vibe was calm acceptance and lots of love on all sides. And then she slipped away, some time around 4pm. Again, a last good-bye to the physical body. I'm off to the vet's shortly. She'll be cremated and will join the ashes of our other cats. But first, E would like to have a ceremony, a meditation. She says she'd like a meditative moment each year on the anniversary of her death. We'll have photos out and will tell stories and will reflect on her life.

E was so worried yesterday that she hadn't been a good 'mom' to Mrs. Gaines. But she was. I explained that she was younger and not ready for the responsibilities she shares for the kittens. She was 4 when Mrs. G came into our house, a full of baloney kitten. She had done a good job for her age and Mrs. G had loved her, in her funny, you-can't-catch-me way. When Miss E did catch her and sweep her up in her arms, Mrs. G always went limp. The first full sentence Miss E wrote in first grade was "Put your cat down!" as a dictionary example for the word 'put.'

Mrs. Gaines was an annoying, opinionated, independent cat who bit us when she felt like it, especially if she wanted us to get up and feed her in the morning. Not hard. Never hard. She was a mouser and birder extraordinaire, and an 'up' cat who ran on the roof. I'll miss seeing her shadow up there from my office window, cast onto the pine trees. She was sweet when she wanted to be, a very quiet purr and soft squeaky meow. One of her nicknames was "Squeaky Frome." She was the #1 cat in the house and all the boys knew it. No one messed with her food, though they might steal a dead mouse from under her nose. She never scratched Eloise when she was young. She knew she was Eloise's cat, though she played hard to get almost all the time. Aloof and yet very much a part of the household. A cat cat, usually out of doors doing cat things. Terrorizer of chickens, she stared one down just on Sunday, sore and sick as she was.

RIP Lady Cat, E's first cat: Mrs. Gaines, Mrs. G, Little Bit, Squeaky Frome, Kitty-kitty (the only name she reliably answered to).

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Comments

( 49 comments — Leave a comment )
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safewrite
Oct. 7th, 2009 10:39 am (UTC)
From one cat lover to another, condolences and love.
birdhousefrog
Oct. 7th, 2009 08:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you for your thoughts. I hope your cat(s) are settling into the new life as southerners.
(Deleted comment)
birdhousefrog
Oct. 7th, 2009 08:12 pm (UTC)
Hug your kitty for me today and let her sleep on your papers. Mrs. G wasn't a lap cat, but when she wanted your attention, she just took it. It didn't matter to her that you were busy with people stuff. It was time to pay attention to her.
annpendragon
Oct. 7th, 2009 05:48 pm (UTC)
I am so very sorry for your loss and understand. They really are apart of our families and our hearts, aren't they? Sounds like she had a very loving and considerate family to be apart of.
birdhousefrog
Oct. 7th, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
She was one more member of the crazed menagerie we have. One thing in her favor is that she never objected to another cat's arrival. A hiss or a 'stay the heck out of my dish' and that was it. Most of the strays got along with her quite well. She even had the dog wrapped around her tail.
sacredmime
Oct. 7th, 2009 06:21 pm (UTC)
That's a beautiful picture of her. Peace and prayers for you and your family at this difficult time.
birdhousefrog
Oct. 7th, 2009 08:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you. She's at peace. And we're at peace now that we're no longer worried when and whether she would suffer. She held on and made her own decision about when it was time.
lowly_scribe
Oct. 7th, 2009 06:52 pm (UTC)
From that photo I can tell she was a wonderful, wise cat. It's so hard to let go but I imagine a part of her will still be there.
birdhousefrog
Oct. 7th, 2009 08:07 pm (UTC)
Something is still here. She was a part of this place, was here most of the years we've been here. I keep expecting to see her on the roof. Or asleep in the pine needles on the side of the house.

Thanks for your thoughts. She was a sassy cat, but well, we were never sure how smart she was. And maybe that's what was smart about her. She kept us guessing.
stlscape
Oct. 8th, 2009 01:49 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry for your loss. From what you've written of Mrs. Gaines, it sounds like she had a wonderful life with you and your family.

Miss E - I'm sure Mrs. Gaines will like living in kitty heaven and feeling well again. Some of my cats are there, too. Maybe they can be friends with each other. (Or she can boss them around.)
birdhousefrog
Oct. 8th, 2009 10:43 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for your thoughts. I'll tell Miss E (she's been reading some of the comments). She had a good life, quiet, rural, lots for her to do. Our cats are only bored when it's raining too hard. Three seasons of the year are good for being outdoors. Shade and sun and breeze most days, all the mice they could want in various spots on the property. Laps and door openers when desired.
ann_leckie
Oct. 11th, 2009 01:27 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry to hear about Mrs G. It's always sad to lose someone you love. It seems, though, like she had a nice run, and knew she was loved, which in the end is about all anyone can ask for.
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