Thursday, November 19, 2009

I Might Be Turning Into a Cat Lady…

I love the look on Moses' face here. He looks so concerned. What's behind me??!?

I think I've found the secret to a clean house. Get a kitten. They will literally find every piece of dirt, debris, paper wad or q-tip in the house.

We're about two weeks on with the new kittens and they are adapting to our home nicely. Both of them are under the blanket cats, much like Ashley was, and I have both of them sitting with me on the chair while I work. They sit behind me, while I scooch up as much as possible on the chair so I don't crush them.

Moses, our older cat, is slowly getting used to them. He still hisses at them when they are bugging him too much, but no fights yet. They just want to play with him and honestly, I don't think he knows how.

I had told L shortly before Ashely died, that when I do get another cat, I want a horde of cats to train as my minions—mwah ha haaa… These guys are fitting the bill nicely. We've already had to remove their collars as they both got their lower jaw stuck in them. We had to cut the collar off of Wilbur because he was stuck so bad. He also had the quick release portion in his mouth and every time L went to grab it, Wilbur somehow bit him. Poor little guy was freaked out.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Friday, was a very bad day for me. I don't think I went for more than about an hour at a time not in tears over the loss of Ashley. It had been building up for the past week and I just could no longer contain it. I tried, I really did, but I was miserable. I felt guilty over wanting another pet so soon, as though I haven't done her justice. I know I made the right decision with the euthanasia, it helped ease her transition into death.

Saturday morning, we had made an appointment to see a local about some labrador puppies he had for sale. We drove over to his house and were confronted with a very walled in domicile. The entire place was fenced, including where he parked his cars and there were a the parent dogs barking at us frenetically. L didn't have the man's phone number on him, as his phone was out of battery so we called the number we saw on his company car. It had a message to call yet another number in case of emergency. He tried it, someone picked up, pressed some buttons and hung up on him. I said, "it isn't meant to be, let's just leave."

After that, we headed over to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona. We looked at the dogs there and all of them were shepherd/pit bull/boxer mixes of varying ages. No really young dogs though. I wasn't going to bring a large dog into the house with Moses here. So, we checked the cats out. Of course, seeing all these lovely purring affectionate cats made me mourn for Ashley even more. There were two though, that were very lovable, energetic and interested in us. I of course fell in love with them and adopted them.

This is Wilbur and Orville, named after the Wright Brothers. They have already earned the nicknames of Willy, O-Town (L's suggestion—I have no idea where he got that one) and Wingus and Dingus after an episode of Futurama. Wilbur is more sedate and cuddly, and Orville is more adventurous, much like the two brothers in real life.*

Wilbur in the front and Orville in the back mid tongue lick.


Just two little mini-panthers hanging out.

They're super snuggly with each other, which allows Moses—our other
14 year old cat—some space to himself until he gets used to the new kittens.

*I have no idea if Wilbur Wright was a "cuddly" man. Actually, I'm pretty much doubting that adjective was used to describe him. Just a hunch.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

March 1992 — November 2009

At 8:15 this morning, Ashley was euthanized. Last night, around 3:45 in the morning, she was having difficulty breathing and her heart rate was fluctuating between about 60-120 b/min. Normal for a cat is 180-200 b/min. L and I stayed up with her all night keeping her warm and comfortable.

When I brought her into the vet, she had entered shock and her temperature was only 91°, whereas she was normally at 101°. They took a look at her, took her temp and felt her digestive system—which had literally nothing in it. They then took her in back and put in a catheter into the same arm as before, so all that fur that grew back from when she was in the hospital in July was once again shaved. They asked if I wanted a paw print and I said yes, so they did that and then brought her back into the examining room. They then gave her the sedative, which literally made her fall asleep in almost 2 seconds. She did not like that—she kind of let out a strong angry mew! They then gave her a double dose of barbiturates to stop her heart and then what they said was a "finisher." That may have been the second dose of barbiturates. She passed in about 3 seconds and I spent about 15 more minutes with her.

Immediately, she had lost color in her paws and ears. She was cool to the touch and didn't even smell the same. She was simply not there anymore and in a way it made it easier to say goodbye, knowing that the body is not who she was, but only a vessel.

I was with her the whole time. I let her stay wrapped up in the blanket laying down as I didn't want to squish her any. She didn't struggle or anything.

She has always been a member of my family and I'm so happy that she was able to be with us nearly 18 years. This past week has been especially difficult on both her and myself. She had been unable to walk and stopped eating two days ago. Until the kidney disease she was in remarkably good health. Even this summer she was her usual self, pawing and screaming at us to get up to feed her every morning, sitting with me while I work and just being a generally wonderful friend.

I ended up taking her to our local vet, only about 1 mile away. They were very nice about the whole thing, explaining the entire process. They answered all of my strange questions and listened to me ramble about her. This is not the same vet or clinic she saw while staying in the hospital. This vet was also a grad of Colorado State University.