My Little Girl Is Going To Cross The Bridge

ermentrude

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My sweet Catherine.  I finally know what she's probably known for some time.  She's dying. 

Catie was a street cat in Chicago when I found her in January 2007.  She was not feral, but definitely street smart.  She was sweet in her way, with a healthy distrust of humans.  It was bitterly cold when I found out from someone in my condo complex that people had been feeding her outside for some time, but no one wanted to take her in.  I couldn't let that stand.  One can of cat food later, I had lured her close enough for me to snatch her up and take her to the vet.  They checked her out, she was full grown, probably spayed, and had a chip.  The vet would contact her owners and let me know if no one claimed her in 3 days.  I called every day anyway.  I offered to pay her bill even if she couldn't come home with me but they refused.  I wasn't sure what I was going to do with her because I already had two very bonded male cats.  On the third day I called and they said the humane society that put in her chip didn't really want her back and there was no other contact info for an owner.   If I didn't take her, she'd be put down. I questioned if I was crazy, I had only ever adopted male kittens, this was a fully grown, testy female.  I went over and picked her up.  

It took some time for me to gain her trust.  And it took time for her to learn to play without drawing blood.  But slowly, she became my little lady.  She hated my mother from day one, and still hisses when she gets too close, but it is more out of habit now than the blind rage of the early years.  She's a lap cat, even gets up and lays on my hip if I take a nap on my side.  

I knew she was slowing down.  I started to see it after the first of the year.  Last year had been so brutal, the bonded pair that I had when she came home both passed, I knew Catherine was older and had always assumed she would go first.  I hadn't been prepared for them.  So when I noticed the slow down, I tried to prepare myself, just a little.  Over the summer she stopped eating.  The vet did tests and said it was very early kidney disease.  (I think that was actually wrong.)  I started administering fluid and she perked up some and started eating.

Then she started wiping her mouth on things, hard.  So back to the vet and they said she needed a dental visit, I knew she had tooth resorption, but they thought maybe they were now infected.  The vet put her under, removed a few teeth, but she said once she got the teeth out, she was pretty sure there was a tumor.  And yesterday they confirmed it.  Squamous cell carcinoma.  The same tumor that killed one of my boys last year.  The vet said it is common with older cats.  With dogs, you can remove part of the jaw and they do OK for a while.  Cats do not.  

They said with pain meds she could make it weeks, maybe until the end of the year.  But that the tumor would grow quickly and spread.  She would have fewer and fewer good days.  I should take the time I need to say goodbye.  When the bad days outnumber the good, it is time to let her go.

But how can I let my sassy spunky girl wind down until she's a shell of herself, just so I can cling to her longer?  She doesn't feel well now, even with the pain meds.  She doesn't sit on the porch, in the warm autumn sun watching the squirrels, she goes upstairs and lays in my bed.  She's not sitting on my lap or by my side as she normally would be, she's upstairs laying on a blanket I put down for her in the closet.  She still eats well, but that is just not good enough.

So this Friday morning, in her home, I'm letting my girl go.  The travel vet will be here at 10.  Hopefully she still have most of her dignity.  And know I love her.  

I miss her already.

The first day I found her.  Her white tummy dirty from living outside.  Not at all sure who I was or what I wanted.


With her brothers, early on.


Sleeping with her younger, fuzzier, brother.  


Peacefully sleeping earlier this year.

 

catlover73

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I am very sorry for all your losses. Our babies are never with us long enough. No matter how much it hurts letting our babies go when the time comes is our final act of love for them. You now have two angels watching over you from the rainbow bridge. A piece of your love has lit their way to the rainbow bridge. A piece of their love is in a special place in your heart and the memories of the times you shared will always remain.

You have done everything you can for Catherine. I am sorry you are faced with saying goodbye. Catherine would not have known love and a safe home if it had not been for you. Your love will light a path to the rainbow bridge for Catherine too. Her brothers will be there to welcome her. Hugs to you during this very difficult time.
 
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les26

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So sad and sorry to hear that this time has come, but it gets us all eventually, unfortunately. You did a WONDERFUL thing by taking her in, neither she nor you have any regrets, and she knows that you love her and are doing the one last sign of love by helping ease her pain.

God Bless......
 

di and bob

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My heart cries for what you are going through, words will never be enough to help heal a broken heart. You gave that little girl a home, a family, and a life, for that she will always love you. Her physical body has grown weak and tired and is full of pain. The quality of life has deteriorated and I  pray you find the strength to be with her at the end to give her that final act of love and compassion and let her feel your presence to give her comfort.  The bond you have formed with her over the years can never be taken from you, it will change, as all living things do, from a physical presence to a spiritual one.Use this bond and your precious memories to comfort yourself in the times ahead. She will never want you to be so sad when she goes, she would want you to live the remainder of your days in sunshine and happiness, as you would want for her if you were the first to go. She will take a piece of your heart when she leaves and the pain will be great. But she will leave a piece of hers behind to help fill that hole, and her  reunion with those two brothers will be glorious and she will once more reign with an iron paw and become their princess. The past is full of their love and presence, you have made their world one of love and contentment. The present is full of sadness and grief, but time will help to make the future one of fond remembrance and the knowledge that you made a difference in all their lives and they loved you so much for it. You will be blessed for giving your heart and your home to these little ones, surround yourself with those who understand your grief and will help you live through these difficult times. You must make a new life's order for yourself now, and although your path has taken a fork in the road and your life's journey will continue along a different route, know that theirs will parallel yours for the remainder of your days. They will never stray far from you and will send the comfort that  will help to heal your grief. Take care, I'll keep you both in my thoughts and prayers........RIP beautiful Catherine when the time comes, your star will shine bright from the heavens above, let it's light shine down on the one you love above all else and dry the tears that fall for you.  Sleep tight, dear Princess! 
 

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I just read this.  I cannot imagine how you feel.  The pain that must be gripping your heart.  I am so so sorry.  When we give our love and our heart to anyone or any animal, part of us dies when they do  But I believe that the comfort we all can obtain, is the knowledge that we gave the ones we love, our love, without limitations and even if words could not be communicated, our touch and eyes tell all.

I pray that you will be comforted knowing the love and care you gave her, helped her enjoy and experience safety, comfort, and feeling very loved.

Joyce
 
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hellomisskitty

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Oh my heart is breaking for you you and your Catie girl. Your story is certainly an epic story beginning on the day you two met in 2007. You've loved each other through joy and sorrow and Friday you will with a heavy heart show Catie once final act of love. Take comfort in knowing Catie will pass in the comfort of her own loving home and will cease to hurt. Her brothers will be waiting for her on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge. You and Catie are in my thoughts and prayers.

[emoji]128149[/emoji]Godspeed beloved Catie[emoji]128149[/emoji]
 
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ermentrude

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Catherine passed today around 11am.  She fought both the first and second shots - spunky to the end.  My two boys hid under the bed when the doctor got there, so I pinned up the bedskirt and put her on a large blanket next to the bed.  Both came over, sniffed and went back where they were before.  Her fight is over now.

Her last picture, as we waited for the vet.


Thank you to everyone for the kind words and support.  They have really meant a great deal as I let go.
 
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hellomisskitty

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I was thinking of you and Catherine when I went to bed last night. She is at peace and with her brothers now. Please take comfort in knowing that.

[emoji]128149[/emoji]RIP Spunky Catherine[emoji]128149[/emoji]
 

zed xyzed

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I am heartbroken, I know how special each little one is and the pain we experience when they leave for their next journey. What beautiful picture of her she looks so content. Catherine your will be missed and  always  loved  
 
 
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Primula

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Catherine passed today around 11am.  She fought both the first and second shots - spunky to the end.  My two boys hid under the bed when the doctor got there, so I pinned up the bedskirt and put her on a large blanket next to the bed.  Both came over, sniffed and went back where they were before.  Her fight is over now.

Her last picture, as we waited for the vet.


Thank you to everyone for the kind words and support.  They have really meant a great deal as I let go.
:rbheart::bawling2:
 

nurseangel

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Your pictures tell a beautiful tribute of Catherine's life with you.  I am very sorry for your loss.  What a blessing that the two of you met and had so many years of happiness together.
 

tamu708

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I'm so very sorry for your loss.  RIP beautiful Catherine.  
 

les26

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She is resting peaceful now at the Bridge just like in that picture and has all she wants and needs again, she is fine and you will meet again one day and it will be so joyous....

"Their last breath on Earth is their first breath in Heaven" :rbheart:

God Bless.....:alright: :grouphug: :rbheart:
 
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