Our dear, sweet, calico cat,
Carrie, a 1995 adoptee from your shelter, crossed over August 3, 2007.
Carrie was at MCSPCA for several years, according to the adoption
records in our file, with one failed adoption, before I found her on the
internet -- at the time a tool very new to me. I immediately fell for
her photo, and called or emailed, and soon your volunteer, Elaine Bloom,
was telling me Carrie's story. Apparently, Carrie had developed a
reputation as a problem pee-er. To make a long story short, we adopted
her, thinking, at the time, we could always let her be an
"indoor/outdoor" kitty if the problem continued. (A little later we
learned we had fox in the vicinity, so all of our cats became indoor
only cats). We found out Carrie had a heart murmur, and we worked with
a behaviorist who consulted with the University of Pennsylvania, to try
and identify her litterbox problem. In the end, we did succeed in
finding a way to keep Carrie happy, I think. We used a "cat playpen"
with a litterbox in it that was hers alone!
It has, as I
mentioned, been a wonderful fourteen years. Carrie never showed a
single sign of her heart problem until a week ago, when she suddenly was
having difficulty breathing. We rushed her to the emergency clinic.
She was put in oxygen, and a lung tap was done to remove the fluid
surrounding her little lungs. I was able to visit with her every day,
and it seemed, briefly, as though Carrie could eke another few months
out of life, but sadly, it was not to be. When she came back home, we
couldn't get Carrie to eat more than a few bites. She would rally,
briefly, and then she would seem listless and depressed again. Pilling
her was agony for all of us -- Carrie was never a lap cat, and in fact,
didn't like being held or handled much at all. I hope she was happy. I
think she enjoyed being able to again look out the windows and watch the
birds, and see the bugs and butterflies zooming around. But last night,
she reached out for me one time, and then she was gone
Although this is a terribly sad story, and I am grief-stricken by
Carrie's death, I want you to know that I would not trade the time we
had for anything at all. I learned so much from Carrie. I've shared
some of what we learned, with others, since she came to us, and at least
one man emailed to say that we might have saved his cat's life, and I
consider that a real credit to Carrie. I think it's also an
illustration that, though kittens are loads of fun, if you adopt an
"older" cat, you WILL still bond as surely and strongly, if you choose
to, with that cat. Also, anyone considering adopting a "special needs"
cat, or anyone who finds out they have such a cat -- a cat with
hypertrophic cardiomyopathy like Carrie, perhaps -- should know that
there can be years and years of love and play ahead, and the care that
may be required is worth every moment.
Although Carrie lived her life but
for a few months with us, indoors, I am attaching my favorite photo of
her, which happens to have been taken when she was enjoying that "indoor
outdoor" experiment. She had found the catnip stash, as you can see. I
think now, that it looks like she knew where one day she would be going.