Friday, January 26, 2007

Gone to Bast

Shadow
October 1991 - January 26, 2007


Our little Shadow is gone.

Last week her tests at the vet, all those they call a senior profile, read normal. The Clavamox the vet gave us to help with the coughing seemed to be working. She seemed a bit quiet, but was still generally normal, sometimes curled on the bed next to me when I woke, or patting me on the nose to wake me and demand some attention. Then Thursday she kept lying down on the floor, and often right next to the water dish, though I didn't see her drink. Lying on the hardwood floor is not something she normally did unless in a patch of bright sunshine, so I watched her. I poured a bowl of fresh water and put it beside her, and she still didn't drink.

When DH came home, we decided to take her to the vet, to see what had gone wrong. It was far too late to try to drive across town to our regular vet, so I made a few calls and found an emergency vet nearby. They agreed she was very sick, and so we had to leave her overnight, away from The Only Home. The results yesterday morning were very bad. Apparently she had quickly developed extreme pancreatitis, and it had attacked nearly all her other organs. She was septic, her blood pressure was low and she didn't respond to any of the treatments.

DH couldn't leave work, so I went to say goodbye alone. The vet's people brought her to me in a fleece blanket, and provided a warmed one, too. I held her and cried and talked to her about how much we will miss her. Looking into her eyes, it was clear that she was past being able to respond. And so I held her while she went.

Shadow was our clever cat. Her fur, even as a kitten, was so soft we almost named her Silky. She figured out how to lunge at doors left not-quite-closed so that she could open them, even at her little 7-lb weight. Since these were bathroom doors, she also learned what "Out!" meant. She made the most beautiful S-curves with her tail, more complex than the other cats we've had. Shadow would willingly consent to being groomed only if we didn't pull, so she was often called our 'Knotty' cat. Most of the time she slept on her back, with the extreme cuteness that comes from paws upheld and crossed, and she really enjoyed having her tummy rubbed. And she sang complex "Kitty arias" in the hallway, preferably in the wee hours, telling all about how she had once again 'killed' her mousie.

Having retired due to health problems, I have been blessed with the opportunity to spend much more time with our cats than when I worked long hours. Often she was somewhat literally my 'Shadow', moving from room to room to curl up next to me as I knitted or surfed the Web, much more a cuddle-cat than her sister Midnight.

Shadow came into our lives the first Christmas we had in this house, 2 weeks before DH and I got married. We will miss her so much.

30 comments:

jayne said...

Oh, I am so very sorry to hear the sad news about Shadow. I will miss seeing her curled up beside your projects. I hope you have many happy memories of her to warm you through this time of loss.

I think you've written a very moving obit to Shadow here.

Libby said...

Barbara,

I'm sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing her with us.

Libby

Evelyn said...

Barbara, I am so sorry to hear about your little kitty Shadow. Isn't it strange how most of us knitters are kitty lovers. And we do love them with all our hearts. Sounds like you have tons of memories to keep you going. Take care and know that there are many of us that are hurting for you right now.
Evelyn

smariek said...

{wiping the tears from my face} ... I'm so sorry to hear about Shadow.

Christine said...

Barbara,
I am so very sorry about Shadow. I know how you loved her, and I know how hard this loss is for you. I know, also, that she had a wonderful life with you, and that she felt your love even at the last.

Laiane said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Warm thoughts to you.

Kathleen said...

I know you probably don't remember me but you were kind enough to send me a pattern once and one thing led to another and I sent you pics of my cats. You then sent me a couple of your cuties. I'm so sorry to hear about Shadow. Just be comforted with the knowledge that she had a great life with your family.

Kathleen

Kay said...

Barbara, I was so sorry to hear about Shadow's passing.

K

Cindy G said...

Oh Barbara, I am so sorry, and I too had tears as I read. I know how much she meant to you, and what joy and grace she brought into your life. May she rest very gently with Bast. My heart is going out to you.

Jamie said...

CBM dear, You wrote a beautiful tribute to your lovely Shadow. What a wonderful companion she was for you and your DH! I can feel how big a loss it is for you. All best wishes to you.

Grace Yaskovic said...

what a sweet tribute my prayers are with you

phyll460 said...

My thoughts & prayers are with you. I'm sure she'll be waiting at the Rainbow Bridge, lying in a nice sunny spot, 'til you're together again.

Phyll

Calamintha said...

I just wanted to add my condolences to the rest. Every cat is so special in their own way. It is very hard to let them go but you did the best and most loving thing you could for her. She will shine forever in your memory.

Les said...

Awww, I'm so sorry that your Shadow is gone. She sounds like a remarkable and lovely cat.
Think of you
Les

Lisa W. said...

I'm so sorry Barbara...she was so lovely. You did the right thing, the only thing. I hope you are comforted by both your memories of her and the knowledge that you gave her a wonderful, happy life. My thoughts are with you.

Vamanta said...

My heart is breaking for you Barbara. God speed little Shadow. She had a wopnderful long life, thanks to you. She will be waiting for you at the Bridge.

Kim said...

I am so sorry about shadow!

jillian said...

Oh no. Barbara, I am so terribly sorry for your loss. You know we have two furball children, and I can't begin to imagine the pain you feel for such a sudden loss.

grumperina said...

So sorry about Shadow - she was a wonderful cat, and I know she'll be remembered fondly.

Patti Vamosy said...

Barbara,

I thought about you yesterday morning when Shadow would normally tap you awake. I'm so sorry for your loss, but so happy that Shadow enriched your life. It is amazing how a little bundle of fur can have such an impact on us.

I'll be keeping you close at heart.
Patti (from unwind)

Trish - My Merino Mantra said...

Dear Barbara, I am so sorry about the loss of Shadow in your life. You know how much I love cats, and I feel your pain deeply. Thank you for the lovely and moving post and picture of your little angel.

Mary Tess said...

Barbara, I am very sorry for you and your DH over the loss of your beloved Shadow. I have had to put three pets to sleep and it is always an extremely difficult and heartbreaking experience. I know you will miss her very much. MT

Sandra said...

Barbara,
I'm so sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is never easy, as they are really family members.
My thoughts are with you, your SH and Midnight.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Barbara, I know how hard it is to lose pawed children. They have something very trusting and sweet...and you miss it when they go.

You were a good kitty mom.

Bets

Madge said...

I'm so very, very sorry for your loss, Barbara. Please know my heart goes out to you and your husband over Shadow's passing.

Hugs, and lots of them!

SooZ said...

I feel for you as you grieve the loss of your beautiful Shadow. She was a delight to see in your photos. You wrote a lovely tribute to her.

Suzie

Dipsy D. said...

I'm so very sorry to hear about your little Shadow. You know, our cat is almost 18 years now and it's very obvious that she's slowly, but surely preparing to leave us - she's still in halfway good shape altogether, but just slowly withering away like a really old Lady would do. The positive thing is that we have a little time left to prepare for what's coming, but still, it's going to be so hard to cope with, so I can definitely relate to your loss. Do keep all the wonderful memories you have of Shadow - she'll always be in your heart!

Merigold said...

CatBookMom,
I stopped by to see your shawl and read about your kitty. I'm sorry. She had a good, long life and was loved. Your telling of the farewell was really touching. God bless.
Merigold

Anonymous said...

Barbara,

I'm very sorry to hear of Shadow's passing. I admit to having some tears fall when I seen & read your posting. I know all to well how much our furry children mean to us.

Jennifer (fritomuddy)

Eileen said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Shadow. As I was reading the story I was crying. She was a beautiful cat. I have a cat and I love them.