Hello friends. It is with sadness and a heavy heart that I write to you this week, May 25, 2014. I debated writing about this or anything at all, as my blog is about food. But not this week. This week, I am taking a respite to mourn and honor one of the loves of my life. My best feline friend who passed away this week.
Her name is Kittle, also known as Kittle Girl and as of the past few years, Granny Girl. She came into our lives in 1994, by fate. My husband found her stalking birds in the back yard of our Virginia Beach, VA home. She was a stray and in need of food, water, love and shelter. When my husband introduced me to her, I knew we’d found a new forever friend. We made a commitment to her on that day for the rest of her life.
Over the years we have moved across the country several times and Kittle came with us from Virginia to South Texas and finally to our current home in beautiful Western Washington. Despite the moves and stress, she always adjusted well and made us feel right at home.
Kittle was cautious and shy, but eventually warmed up to people and made friends, especially those that came regularly to our home. She made our house feel warm, inviting and comfortable. She had many favorite activities, but she spent most of her days basking in the sunshine, following it throughout the house as the day wore on. She had a spot picked out in every room, at every window. And, if a shade or door impeded her sunshine, she would let us know by showing us and taking us to that spot!
She loved exploring outside, with good supervision of course, and watched the landscape of our Washington home mature around her. We started from a blank canvas where we planted as many as 14 trees, countless plants, flowers and shrubs. She explored and knew them all, finding solace and security under our Douglass Fir trees. She would give butterflies a chase, chatted at passing birds and even had a beautiful female deer greet her nose to nose.
Through life’s ups and downs, trials and celebrations, she was a steadfast, loyal, comforting and supportive friend.
In November, 2012 she was diagnosed with kidney disease, not uncommon for older cats. We were heartbroken, but knew that cats can live quite a while post diagnosis with the proper home therapy. Her sister, Claire, had been diagnosed the year prior, so we knew we would manage. We joined a knowledgable online support group for families with cats dealing with kidney disease. And it was because of our support group, excellent veterinarian care and diligent home therapy that we helped Kittle have a very good quality of life post diagnosis.
About two weeks ago, we began to notice a slow downward progression in her appetite, energy, and overall interaction with us. We called a most trusted home vet to come to our home and assess Kittle. We found that her kidney disease had critically progressed. As a last ditch effort, we tried a three-day regimen of intense therapy, including antibiotics, but her body just could not go on. Her poor kidneys had given all they could. She had given all she could. She stopped eating all together, despite our interventions. She was so weak and unstable. We found that we were no longer able to help our best friend. We knew it was time to say goodbye. So, on a rainy Sunday, May 25, our home vet came and at 5:15 Kittle took her last breath surrounded with her forever family, gratitude, love and kindness. She was 21 years old. She was our Granny Girl. She will be laid to rest here at home, where she found solace beneath the Douglas Fir trees she so loved.
Kittle Girl has taught me the meaning of friendship. Her kindness, love, support, curiosity and sweet nature will be held close to my heart forever. The impact she has made on our lives is profound and it is my hope that I returned to her what she gave to me through our 20 years together. She was a precious gift and one that I will be forever grateful for.
Hug your pets, hold them tight and appreciate the many lessons and gifts they give. For their precious little lives are way too short.
“…love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.” – Kabil Gibran