Last night I was happy to notice that I’d achieved 99 posts here at Notes. I made big plans for #100; I’d have a success story; something happy; and given the date, something for which to be thankful. Then my day took a left turn. Straight into the Jersey barriers.
Chang came to us in May of 2008 as a foster cat. She and her brother Smokey had lived together in one home for 12 years before being surrendered to the shelter. Their owner gave them up because she was afraid her elderly mother would trip over them.
I can’t imagine owning an animal for 12 years then giving it up, but her loss was our gain.
Chang’s prognosis was poor when she came to us. She was in renal failure and weighed less than 4 pounds. She was listed as a hospice case and was only expected to live a few weeks. We nursed her back to health with chicken fingers and yogurt, and she won our hearts.
Smokey didn’t get along well with our cats. He went back to the shelter shortly and found a great placement with an elderly couple. Last we heard he was doing well.
Chang, meanwhile, continued to gain weight. She topped six pounds, and got along well with our other cats. Her kidney failure retreated. We decided to adopt and make an honest cat out of her.
I’ve written about the impact
of our animals on our lives before. Chang became a cuddly lap cat, riding around the house on my shoulders whenever possible. We began to discover a lot of Shelby’s traits in her. We’d never known how many of Shel’s quirks were really Siamese traits.
In short, we discovered that we were Siamese people and that we’d met an exceptional Siamese. There’s no point in detailing everything; she became a beloved part of our colony.
Less than a month ago, the renal failure returned with a vengeance. She began to lose weight again, and the vet found her lab values off the charts. She spent a few days inpatient at the clinic, then came home again to share whatever time we had left. The first night home was awful. She had two seizures, and we feared she might not survive until morning. But Siamese are stubborn.
Chang rallied, and our lives became a roller-coaster. We had ups and downs, good days and bad. We administered medications and fluids. We didn’t know how long this could continue, but we were determined to keep on as long as she had a good quality of life. If she wasn’t giving up, neither would we.
Five days ago she stopped eating, even her favorite people foods. She lost almost half of her weight, but she was still feisty with a wonderful spark in her eyes.
Until this morning.
She could barely lift her head, and the spark was visibly fading. It was time.
We held her and comforted her at the vet’s office. She purred one last time for my wife, something she hadn’t done in days. We stayed with her, petting and comforting, until the end.
Chang’s soul broke its earthly bonds at 12:34 this afternoon, peacefully and painlessly. I know she’s not suffering anymore, but she left a huge hole in our hearts.
It’s not the post I’d planned, but I am thankful for the time we shared. Thanks for reading.
I’ll live this life until this life won’t let me live here anymore,
Then I will walk, yes I will walk with patience through that open door.
I have no fear, angels follow me wherever I may go.
I’ll live this life until this life won’t let me live here anymore.
Rest in peace, little Meezer.