The first time came almost 14 years ago. We were getting over the emotional trauma of losing our 17-year-old cat, Schmidt, to old age. We actually waited a few months after Schmidt's passing, but the house was so eerily empty and incomplete that we had to do something.
Did we ever.
Kim always wanted a Ragdoll cat. We read that Ragdolls are called that because when you pick them up, they literally go limp in your arms. Plus, they are exceptionally sweet natured and, well, quite large. And blue-eyed. So we found a Ragdoll breeder in Spencer, where Lora Tesh presented us with Do-Little, who was born on Valentine's Day.
We named her that because another feature of Ragdolls is an ability to sleep 18 hours in a 24-hour day. Do-Little.
So we brought her home, and our spirits soared. We laughed. We played. We could hardly wait to get home from work to be with our kitten. Clearly, Do-Little had saved our emotional lives. It was so much fun that we decided to get another cat, making us this close to being crazy cat people. We didn't care.
|Mosey (left) with her friend, Do-Little, back in the good ol' days.|
I had always wanted a Norwegian Forest Cat, so we found a Wegie breeder in Raleigh, where Margaret Rothman presented us with Mosey.
Remarkably, Mosey and Do-Little, although never litter mates, became best of friends. They ate together, played together, napped together. It was, for us, a remarkable thing to see.
Then about three years ago, Mosey went into irrevocable renal failure and we had her put down (see here). She was 11 years old and her passing nearly defeated and deflated us. Except for Do-Little. She, of course, missed Mosey too, sometimes roaming through the house looking for her. But somehow, she managed to stitch the hole in our hearts and kept us breathing when it was hard to breathe. I think we did the same for her.
So she had saved us again. How can a cat do that? How is it a totally different species from ourselves seemingly knows something about unqualified and reciprocal affection? How do they know when we hurt? How do they know when it's just the right time to nuzzle, or extend a paw?
A few months ago, Kim noticed Do-Little was losing weight. The vet found a mass on her colon, and later tests suggested lymphoma. A cat that had been healthy for almost 14 years was now suddenly deathly ill. Over the weekend, she came down with a respiratory ailment; a dose of an antibiotic was only minimally effective. And nothing was going to cure the lymphoma, which affected her appetite to where she had stopped eating.
So today we took her to the vet one more time and said our good-byes. In a moment, she was gone.
Sadly, there was nothing I could do to save the cat who had twice saved us.