Aug. 17th, 2009 01:46 pm
bluesilverkdg: (Sabrina/teapots)
I can't believe that it's coming up on the one-year anniversary of Sabrina's death.

I still sometimes can't believe that she's gone and I still miss her so much. But it's weird. I adopted Trouble shortly after she passed away, not to "replace" her, but just because I felt that I needed to. General was literally mourning himself sick, and I felt this incredible void that just had to be filled. Misty and Oreo still both rue the day I brought him home, and neither of them can really even tolerate him, but they didn't care so awfully much for Sabrina either, so what else is new.

The reason I bring up Trouble, however, is that I firmly believe that Sabrina's spirit somehow inhabited him. In other words, I think, when I went to the Washington County Humane Society that fateful day, I didn't choose him as much as he chose me.

I wanted a holding kitty. What I mean by that is, General likes to hop up on my lap, and the girls will occasionally snug with me if I'm sitting or lying down. But none of the three like me to pick them up and hold them. Sabrina, however, would've probably happily lived in my arms 24/7 if it had been practical. She loved for me to carry her around and would curl up in a little ball underneath my chin and just stay there, purring like a baby kitten. The day I went to the shelter, I was specifically looking for a kitty that wanted to, and enjoyed being held. I picked up every cat there, I think. Some of them tolerated being held, some of them seemed to genuinely enjoy it, while others wriggled out of my arms almost immediately. Trouble (who was at that time called Tiger) melted into my arms just like Sabrina used to do. And he stayed there. Eventually I turned him over so that I was holding him on his back like a baby, and he fell asleep. I sat at the animal shelter for about half an hour and let him sleep while I held him, and it was at that time that I realized I needed him as much as he needed me.

Fast forward one year, the resemblances between Trouble and Sabrina are remarkable. They share some of the same crazy traits that no other cat I've ever had, will do. Case in point: plastic shopping bags. Used to be, whenever I'd bring in bag of groceries, Sabrina would stick her head and feet through the armholes of the bag and walk around the house like Superman in his cape. She'd do this for 15-20 minutes, until she tired of it, then she'd wiggle back out and I'd put the bag away. Recently, I was putting up groceries, and forgot one of my bags on the floor. A little later, I was watching TV in bed when I heard a crinkling sound coming up the stairs. I swear, it was Trouble wearing one of my shopping bags.

You want another weird example? I just recently got a hula hoop (unfortunately not one of the weighted dance/exercise hoops like I was wanting, but it does the trick.) It was laying in the middle of my bedroom floor the other day when I noticed Trouble snoozing inside it. Guess who else used to sleep in my hula hoop?

Everyone used to say that Sabrina looked like a lion. She didn't have a typical "cat nose" sort of turned up at the end. Her nose sort of pointed downward, more like a C-shape. Trouble has almost the exact same nose.

It's eerie how much he reminds me of her. Oh, and there's of course, the fact that from day one, he made torturing Oreo his mission in life. Sabrina also used to enjoy this. I just have to think this is all more than coincidence. I'm a big believer that things happen for a reason, and like I said, I'm pretty sure that there was a big reason Trouble and I found each other that day.

On August 19, it will be one year that I lost Sabrina. I still grieve for her almost every day and find myself tearing up when I see pictures of her. I think most of you were on my friends list last year when she died, but if you were not, or don't remember, she passed away under anasthesia while having her teeth cleaned. One of her teeth had actually fallen out, which is what precipitated our visit to the vet. Upon arriving, I was told that she had Stage 3 periodonatal disease that needed immediate attention. She needed to have the hole stitched up where the tooth had fallen out, and the others needed cleaning. Sabrina had asthma from the time she was a kitten. I was concerned about her going under anasthesia, since she was asthmatic, but I was assured every precaution would be taken. However, on the operating table, she stopped breathing, had a heart attack and was dead in the span of a few minutes. I got to the animal hospital three minutes after she died, and I'd also made the decision to leave her there overnight, rather than taking her home with me, then taking her back the next morning for the surgery/cleaning. I still have not totally forgiven myself for that decision...the fact that she spent her last night alive in a strange place, in a cage, with cats she did not know, rather than sleeping in my bed with me. I know that logically, I had no way of knowing she wouldn't be coming home the next day, but all honesty, I did have a really bad feeling. I just knew something was going to happen, so I still blame myself for not bringing her home that night.

OK, well, this has just been depressing. As if there wasn't enough depressing stuff going on already. But the good thing is, I do believe with every ounce of my being that Trouble was brought to me to fill the void that Sabrina had left, and he has done so in spades.
bluesilverkdg: (Default)
Hi everyone..

Just wanted to say thank you for your comments and kind words yesterday. I also had several sweet texts, e-mails and voice mails when I got home, and I was really touched by everyone's concern.

I'll get to comments from yesterday later on. I have over 80 to address, so it'll take a while! But when I got in from her burial and saw all those comments, I was a little overwhelmed (in a good way) at everyone's response.

She has been buried up at our cabin, next to my Dazzle kitty. Dexter is also buried there. It's becoming a regular pet cemetery.

I was glad that I decided to go ahead and bury her body, rather than having her cremated. When Dexter died, I opted for cremation, in part because he was so big, and also because I was so distraught, I was incapable of coherent thought and figured that was the best thing to do. I had to wait a week on his ashes, and then when they called to tell me that they were ready, I had a panic attack in the parking lot of the ER when I went to pick them up. I actually had to have my friend Cheryl get them for me, because I could not bring myself to get in the door. So it was like reliving everything at a later date...almost like losing him twice. But with Sabrina, I was actually able to hold her body in the car while we were driving up there ( was wrapped), then I buried her myself. OK, in fairness, dad dug the grave. But I laid her in it and helped to cover her. I think that was therapeutic in a way, even though I did sob like a baby when I was putting her down.

I'm a big believer in, rather than putting fresh or dried flowers on a grave, planting a perennial on it instead. My grandparents have lilies and roses and all kinds of other flowers around their gravesite that come back year after year. On Dexter's grave, I planted a magnolia tree (which had a gorgeous bloom on it yesterday.) So I was trying to come up with something appropriate for Sabrina's. I remembered that she used to love to eat my purple shamrock (oxalis, I think it's called.) My aunt has a ton of it growing around her house, and even though it goes dormant in the winter (as a houseplant or an outdoor bedding plant), it comes back every spring. So, now Sabrina can have all the shamrock salad she wants, because her grave is sporting a vast array of purple shamrock.

Today I just feel sort of lost. I think it's finally starting to sink in that she's really gone and not coming back. Yesterday, I was numb, but I had no choice except to be busy. Today, I just feel...sad and a little angry. It just seems so senseless that she's gone, but my logical mind keeps thinking that there must have been a reason. I know that periodontal disease can cause heart problems in both humans and animals. Plus, factoring in her asthma, I knew there was a risk with her breathing under sedation. But still...she was a relatively young, pampered housecat. I truly expected her to last another healthy 5 years or more. I just don't understand.

I think General has finally started getting back to normal. He's sleeping and eating at least. Oreo keeps laying on the spot on the carpet where I'd put her body for them to sniff. Misty won't come out of the guest room, and hisses at me every time I look at her. It's going to take a while. I have decided that I'm going to get a young cat in the near future. Not to replace Sabrina, but just to try and bring a sense of balance back to the house. I don't think I want (or need) a baby baby kitten, but I don't think it would be wise to bring a full-grown adult cat into a house full of senior kitties. So I'm thinking one between 6 months-1 year might be the way to go. I'm debating another male. I'm not sure if General would have it. Any words of wisdom on this? I think what I'll probably do is just go to the shelter and let one pick me. No preconceived notions about what I want or think I need..I'll just let a sweet, friendly, affectionate kitty adopt me. But that's for a later time.

Today, I need to just keep my mind occupied..
bluesilverkdg: (Default)
Well, because I needed a bit more stress in my life, Sabrina decided to provide me with some. I noticed last night that she had something on her lip. Until this morning, however, I did not realize that it was her tooth.

Her long fang tooth on the lefthand side had come dislodged and was curved up over her lip. She looked like a sabre-toothed tiger with only one sabre. Or a punk cat with a lip piercing. Either way, I knew there was no way that could be good. So I did some googling and found out that a loose or missing tooth can be the result of periodontal disease, and is a Very Bad Thing. By this morning, the dislodged tooth had actually come out and was laying next to her on the couch. I just got back from the vet, where they're going to keep her overnight to do a dental cleaning, start her on antibiotics and stitch up the hole left by said tooth. She *seems* in good enough spirits. Mad as can be, at the indignity of being put in a carrier and having to ride in a car, but when I left her she was just meowing angrily at me. I'm sure I was being cursed mightily.

I'm trying not to panic and/or freak out. But some of you may remember, she is my asthmatic kitty. In order to clean her teefs, they have to sedate her. As you might expect, these two things together can cause issues although the vet assures me that, of course, they will be monitoring her breathing very closely while she's under. Still...she's my baby. Literally, she is the baby of the family. Yet, she is ten years old. All four of my kitties are in double digits now. General will be twelve in January.

Having to sign the release form stating that I understood the risks associated with sedation, including possible death, brought back a flood of memories from signing the release for Dexter saying that I consented to have him put to sleep. It was hard to hold it together, thinking of what I was signing. I know it's standard procedure, but still..

So, that's pretty much been my day. I could think of ways I'd rather have spent it, but I'm glad to be getting this taken care of. The vet did verify that she has stage two periodontal disease. That's two out of four. So, not nearly as bad as it could be, but worse than it oughta be. But she said otherwise, she does look to be in good health. They're going to give her a thorough dental exam in the morning to make sure she doesn't have any other afflicted teeth, but if she does, I've given them permission to pull them before they also fall out. I just hate that she's going to be a snaggle-tooth, but they assured me that it should not affect her eating or anything else. I know some of you have cats with pulled teeth. Have you found this to be the case? Needless to say, I'm worried about her (a lot), but I'm trying not to think of the "what ifs" and just wait until tomorrow morning when I know something more definitive.

In the meantime, I decided to re-examine their diet after my post last week about General yacking up his food. I went by the natural pet foods store on my way home. They gave me samples of Wellness, Taste of the Wild and Innova cat foods. Thus far, General has turned his nose up at the Wellness, but Oreo seems to be enjoying it. Misty is sleeping somewhere and hasn't partaken yet. I got them a little pouch of shredded, dehydrated chicken treats. It's supposedly just cooked chicken, dehydrated into bits. General very much enjoyed playing with it and batting the pieces around the kitchen, but I'm not sure if he actually ate any of it. So, I think I can draw the conclusion that my cats prefer crap. If I put down Friskies treats, he'd be all over them. My cats like junk food, apparently.

Please send good thoughts, prayers, what have you, to Sabrina. I'm trying really hard not to cry and worry, but it's hard. She is my baby. I know a lot of you pet lovers relate.
I stopped by the library on my way in, because I had four books to pick up. I'm going to just hole up in my bedroom and read tonight, and pretend that she's not gone. I'm sitting on the couch right now, and the fact that she's not sleeping next to me is wrong. The house seems so weird without her here..

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bluesilverkdg: (tiger.)
I just poured General out some treats, and noticed that they're shaped like little fish. Now of course, General is VERY observant and also noticed that they were shaped like fish. He appreciates the effort that I put into choosing treats that are appealing to his sensibilities (the reason I use "he" in this post, is that the girls couldn't care less about treats, so they rarely partake.)

These treats are also multi-colored. One side is brown, the other side is yellow, which is very important. Cats also like their food to be color-coordinated.
I have to wonder, exactly who are the cat fud makers targeting when they do stuff like this? Certainly not the cats. I'm actually pretty confident that I could throw down a gray lump of slime, and if it tasted appealing, they'd eat it.

I heard a stand-up comedian talking about cat fud flavors one time. He was laughing about how we have chicken and turkey and tuna flavored cat fuds. Of course, those are all made to appeal to the owners, not the cats. He observed that if the cats had a say in it, cat fud would be mouse flavored. And it's probably true. But would anyone buy it? And I guess in order to MAKE mouse flavored cat fud, someone would have to know what mice taste like. Well, there probably are people who know what mice taste like. And those people are insane. But most everyone knows what tuna or salmon or beef tastes like, so if we have human taste-testers at pet food places, they can say "yeah, this tastes like chicken." Which makes me wonder, DO they have human taste-testers working for pet food makers? When Purina says "now more flavor than ever!", do they really KNOW that it has more flavor than ever? Why were we denied more flavor in the past? And who decides this? It's not like Fluffy can say "wow, I'm really enjoying this bag much more than the last. I mean, the other was OK, but now this? THIS has so much more flavor. I'm picking up a hint of bacon, with some undertones of mahi mahi. And I have noticed that the morsels are decidedly more crispy. Excellent choice this week!" oooooooooooooop;olllllllllllllllllllll

OK. Sabrina put that last part in there. I'm not kidding. She actually spelled "poll." I think she was trying to say "lol", but she got a little excited. She's telling all of you in Kentucky to get out and vote today. Or perhaps she wants me to post a poll about whether or not people would buy mouse flavored cat fud. And she also thought this entry was funny/entertaining/observant, and said "ooooo, lol!"

I think perhaps I'm lacking some brain cells at the moment. Someone please help me.


bluesilverkdg: (Default)

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