Sunday, July 27, 2014

A life without Magic

A life without Magic
Magic P. Katt
March 1997 - July 25, 2014
Sweet stripey wonder-cat, kitty of my heart, rest in peace

We lost our dear, sweet cat Magic on Friday night. She had some seizures earlier in the week, and on Friday she seemed not to recover fully. After an evening of labored breathing when it was clear she was in pain, we once again made that awful final decision to end her suffering.

Sleepy Magic, Sleepy Soda

Her dear companion for 17 years, Soda, died just two and a half weeks earlier. I think Magic wasn't too interested in living life without Soda.

I am just devastated, without my two cat-babies who were with me for 17 years. This apartment without cats is grim indeed. I am still in shock, and can't believe they're both gone.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

On grief, loss, and missing Soda

Rainy Day Soda

Last week I broke the news that Soda, the cat of my heart, was gone. (Today I lost the best cat who ever lived.) Above is one of the last decent photos of her I took, or at least one of the last ones I really love, from late May. Here on this blog I usually posted photos of her on my writing desk or with stationery, but of course she was all over the place so I'm going to share a few of those views now.

Friends, I am grieving very, very hard. I knew I would be devastated when I lost Soda - I have loved all my cats, but she was just that extra-special one, the one who followed me around like a puppy and was my closest furry companion - and indeed I am a wreck. I keep thinking she should be there. Why is she gone? I keep seeing her out of the corner of my eye. I miss her terribly, achingly, constantly. In less conscious moments, I forget she is gone and then I remember. I expect her to be at the door to greet me when I come home. I expect to see her sleeping in her favorite spots.

Backtalk Soda

I expect to hear her meowing! She was an excessively vocal cat, and the apartment is so silent now without her (okay, occasionally very obnoxious) sounds.

One of the very hardest places for me is, in fact, my writing desk. Soda loved to be on my writing desk with me, sprawled out across whatever letter I was trying to read or write. As often as not, whenever I settled myself there, Soda would hop up and join me. I am so touched by the letters of condolence I have received from pen pals who didn't even know her, and I find tears running down my face as I read them at my writing desk and feel Soda's absence most poignantly.

Magic on her scratcher

Last week we had a very rough patch with our remaining beloved cat, Magic. Magic and Soda were not littermates, but I got them as kittens within weeks of one another. Magic came first, by just a couple of weeks. Other than those first weeks, Magic and Soda were together for their entire lives, 17 years. Although they didn't sleep together in their adult years, they would occasionally lick each others' heads; if not the best of buddies, at least the only other cat companions they had known (besides dear wonderful Memo, who was with them from 2001-2011). Who can say whether or not a cat grieves, but Magic did not show much interest in food, water, or the litterbox for a week or so, and was very mopey. She is coming back into herself and showing a bit more liveliness now, which cheers us greatly also.

Soda letter seal

I guess this post doesn't have much to do with letters or mail, and I hope you can forgive me that -- and bear with me as I am pretty low on the mail output (and pretty low in general). I do still have a lot of photo stickers, and a few photo stamps, with Soda's image, and I'm using them in her memory now. I miss my best Feline Postal Brigadier, and grief is a slow and heavy process. Thanks for bearing with me as I share that with you.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Today I lost the best cat who ever lived

Soda oversees another letter
Soda P. Katt
April 1997-July 7, 2014
My best cat, kitty of my heart, rest in peace

I still cannot believe this has happened, but today we had to put down my most amazing, best beloved cat Soda. She was fine yesterday morning, but yesterday afternoon she started a very quick and heart-rending deterioration. It was most likely a blood clot or a tumor. Yesterday afternoon she could not move her hind legs, and by early this morning she could only move her head. She was also clearly suffering, so we made that awful, final decision to end her pain.

Soda was with me for all of her 17 years, since she was a tiny kitten. I cannot believe my constant feline companion is gone. Longtime blog readers will know that Soda was a mail cat extraordinare, charter member of the Feline Postal Brigade, and a frequent "helper" with my letter-writing. I wanted to share this news of her passing with you all, with a plea for understanding that I am absolutely devastated and may lay low from letters and blogging for a while.

A very kind relative asked about donations in Soda's name; I will say that she came to me from the Gifford Cat Shelter, which is a truly wonderful no-kill cat shelter (or, as they say, "sheltering home for cats") that I support wholeheartedly. If you are one of those wonderful souls who is moved to make a donation in her memory, that would be the place both she and I support.

We are down to one cat - the ever shy and retiring Magic, who, while not much of a mail cat, is still a wonderful kitty and a great comfort. (Here's the irony: Magic is the one with health problems; we expected to lose her long before Soda.) She is sad along with us today; while she and Soda were not littermates, they were they same age and spent all but their first weeks of life together. Now I am off to cuddle Magic... please love and appreciate your pets (and all loved ones!) while you have them. You never know when you may lose them.