The Tale of Whitty and Kitty…

Firstly, I want to thank y’all for the sweet messages/comments I recieved after I posted that I was “blue” (as opposed to red or silver) on Friday’s lame excuse for a blog post.  It was much appreciated.  I guess I should explain why I was “navy blue,” but I don’t really want to… it’s always been embarrassing for me to have emotions and to cry over things other people think I’m insane for crying over.  Like, my cat.  I have a big ole lump forming in my throat as I type this… tears welling in my eyes and I can’t stop them and it makes me mad… mad that I can get so emotional over something many people term “just a cat.”  But this cat is not “just a cat”… not to me.  She has been my best friend since I was 11 years old.  I was the one who picked her out of the neighbor’s litter of kitties.  I picked the runt of the bunch over the strong butterball kittens because I felt sorry for her and I knew that I could take care of her and fatten her up.  I’ve never regretted that decision.  Even if she shed abnormally and drooled like a dog when she was happy.  She was supposed to be the family cat, but everyone knew she was mine… even she did.  She’d follow me around everywhere… when I’d go on a walk down the canal bank or around the neighborhood… she’d follow me until she got to the edge of her “territory” and then she would sit and she would meow until I was out of sight and then would always be there when I’d come home… waiting…

In the olden days, whenever my sister and I would come home on the school bus, she’d run down the drive to meet us… meowing her version of hello.  She sat by me all during my moodtastic teenage years.  She knew when I was sad and would climb up onto the back of this chair swing we used to have and lay her little paws on my shoulder.  Wherever Whitty would go, Kitty would follow… her favorite place to sit was on my feet, nestling her little bony body in between my slippers.  She’s not much to look at… this kitty of mine… all bones and fur… weighs 5 pounds… but she’s tougher than all those 5 pounds and all the animals in the neighborhood know it.  The times I did not live in the house, she would sense it.  She’d sit her little furball butt in front of my bedroom door… and she’d wait and she’d meow.  Whitty will be home soon… I just know it.

I’m speaking as if she is already dead.  She is not… not yet.  She’s been sick these last few weeks.  Quite sick.  She has a hard time keeping any food down, has scratched her ears and eyes raw, and spends most of her time sleeping.  I took her to the vet last week… only the 3rd time in her 21 years she has been inside a vet’s office.  They took a sample of her blood and informed me on Thursday that she has hyperthyroidism… which is manifesting itself in psoriasis (explaining the itchy skin) and vomiting because everything in her body is on super speed.  That vet never once mentioned putting the cat to sleep as a solution.  She gave me 3 options… all costly… one a surgery, the 2nd medication (which would end up costing more than the surgery with all of the interim vet visits), or radioactive iodine treatment… the costliest of them all.  When talking to my family about which option I should choose… they say she has lived her life and it’s time to let her die.  It hurts my heart to hear that.  I can’t even think about it without immediately tearing up.  What will I do without my little friend… the one who’s been there through it all… has never judged me because of my weight… and has only ever loved me for me… she thought I was pretty alright, even when I didn’t think so.

I can’t bring myself to put her down right now without at least trying one of the options given.  At 147 people years old, it is not likely she will do well through a surgery, so I’ve opted to give the medication a go.  It’s a commitment for me… 2 times a day every day slathering some gel inside her ears which I’m sure she will just immediately itch off and it’s going to cost me a pretty penny… but I think I owe her that.  I told my family I would give the medication a try for 5 weeks and if there was no improvement, I’d let them put her down.  I want no part in that… but I know that she’ll be loyal to the end… waiting and meowing at the pearly gates for her friend Whitty to show up one day.

Why am I typing her eulogy now?  I guess I’m just trying to make it easier on myself to live in a “kitty”less world.  I don’t expect anyone who has not had an animal best friend to understand the whirlwind of emotions I am feeling.  I’m a tough girl and definitely not an animal lover due to the germiness factor, but this little runt ball bag of bones and fur has somehow wheedled her way into my steel-plated heart and will forever leave her stamp there.  So, is this just a cat?  Is Paris just a city or the Eiffel Tower just a building?  Please do not tell me she is just a cat.

Lindz, Kitty, and Shayne...

 

Nephew, Christian and magical unicorn kitty!

 

Question of the Day:  Do you have a pet?  What’s his/her name and how long have you had them?

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31 Comments

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31 responses to “The Tale of Whitty and Kitty…

  1. Jen

    I don’t think you are weird at all for loving your cat so much. You know I love all of my pets too. And what a sweet eulogy you wrote. It was probably good for you to express your feelings that way. I think it would be so hard to put an animal down. Have you seen Marley and Me? That movie makes me cry my eyes out when the dog has to be put down. I was an emotional wreck when the movie ended. I will pray for your geezer cat.

  2. Avster

    Of course she’s not just a cat, Whit! She’s your pal and always has the right thing to say and do when you’re down.

    I’ve never had a cat for twenty-one years so I can’t even begin to imagine how much more attached you are to her.

    I had to make the decision once to have one of my favorite cats put to sleep. He had FIV which can be very contagious and fairly easily spread.
    He was on medicine for three days and wasn’t any better. One morning he could hardly put any weight on a paw that was already injured.
    Just seeing how much pain he was in and how lethargic he was when his medication wore off made me feel miserable so I ended up making the decision to put him down.
    I still sometimes regret having him put down (he was only three)… but I also know that I wouldn’t have been able to keep him and I doubt I would have found a person who would have been willing to take a cat with FIV unless their cat already had FIV.

    • Thank you, my cat-loving friend, Avster. I remember when you had to put Laz down and I was so sad for you because I know how much you loved her. 😦 These cats anyway… quit being so sweet and cute…

  3. Avster

    I forgot…

    ~hug~

  4. Dorothy Dingman

    Whitney, my heart is breaking for you right now. I know how you feel! Our pets have a way of loving us most when we love ourselves the least. They find a nice quiet spot in our hearts and there they stay.

    I have always said that I don’t like cats and I am highly allergic to them. That being said, I do have a soft spot for those that are unfortunate. We had a stray that hung around the house. She was the smallest thing ever, skinny to a fault having been abandoned, and had deformed toes. I hated seeing her that way and fed her after Ray told me if I did so that I would be the proud owner of a cat. I was. I named her Smokey and she was all mine.

    I had her for just 3 years, and she became really sick. I took her to the vet and the outcome was not good. She had FIP. It is an incurable disease that causes the cat to have fluid accumulate in their abdomen and surround all of their organs. It causes respiratory problems, among other things. The only treatment, is to have the fluid drained 2 times a day. It was costly, and very uncomfortable for the cat. I had to make a choice and I made the hardest one of all. I chose to have her put to sleep after days of agonizing over it. I am not one to give up on anything, and I was afraid that she would think I had given up on her. It was so difficult to do, but I know that it was the right decision for us. I held her when she got her shot and she meowed at me, licked my hand and drifted off. I like to think that she was thanking me for a good life and for letting her die with her dignity.

    I am sitting here crying my eyes out right now. It sill hurts to think about it and talk about it, but it does get a little easier with time. Sending much love your way, and hoping that the medication works for your kitty.

    • Dorothy… your cat story made me tear up. Poor little Smokey… she was probably so thankful that you put her out of her misery. I don’t know if I could be as brave as you were by holding her when they give the injection… but I bet you never regretted being there. Hugs!

  5. This is your best friend in the world. How natural for you to grieve for her health! My little dog has more problems than anyone ever used to fix in a dog, as well. We opted the medical pills route and he actually turned back into a normal-ish pet with a few bad episodes once or so a year. At this point it’s still worthwhile. I don’t like animal suffering to help my own feelings of loss, but it’s really only up to you to decide if your friend is suffering too much, or if there is a possibility it’s worth it for you both to try and get some quality of life left. It’s possible there is! So don’t regret, just do what your heart says is right. You obviously did right by that kitty up to now! (I hate my own weakness, too, but it’s normal-ness).

    • Thank you, Nammy. I’m glad your little dog is doing better on medications. I agree that animal suffering is not the route to go. The vet told me this is a manageable illness, so giving her the meds is a good route to go. If she suffers much after the meds, I won’t let her live like that… for sure!

  6. tb

    Wow, our 16 year old cat was diagnosed on Friday with hyperthyrodism. Her fur has been falling out in clumps, and she lost half her body weight. We are also going with the medication in her ears. A lady also checking out at the vet’s office said her cat had been on this medicine for a year. She said it made a huge difference in her cat.

    • Wow… how coincidental is that!? I’m sorry to hear about your cat. I hope the meds start working fast for her… and thank you for sharing the story of the lady who is using the same med on her cat. I’m glad to hear I’m not just prolonging the inevitable.

  7. Karen

    Whitney,
    I am in tears reading your blog today. The hardest thing I ever did in my life, was have to put Oscar down after having him for ten years. He was sick for awhile before I finally knew it was time. I did want to be with him when I took him to the vet. Took me months to even be able to talk about him with not have tears.He was my cat and curled up in my lap and slept on the bed.
    Months later my kids decided I needed another friend, and sent Connie from CT, COD on the plane. She is small and totally a different personality, but I’m glad I have her and even hate leaving her to travel.
    Animals have a special place in ones heart and they are so unconditional in their love. I do know how you feel and my heart aches.

    • Karen… I remember your sweet cat, Oscar. He was the one who had diabetes, right? I felt for you when I heard you had to have him put down. So glad to hear that you have a new little companion and that she is filling some of the void… never all of it… but Connie sounds like a keeper!

  8. Nellie

    I completely understand your feelings for your kitty. I’ve had my Penny cat for 15 years. She lives at my parents house, since we couldn’t have pets in our various apartments. She would call to me with her funky little meow whenever I would come home or leave, she’d climb up onto my belly when I’d lay down and do her little paw massage on my tummy. (Like what kittens do when they nurse…) it was my favorite. She would drool like a dog when she did that too. Now she is super old, and also sleeps much of the day, but still comes out to greet me when I go to the parents house. She looks pretty bad, being an outdoor cat now instead of pampered inside…due to people marrying into the family with severe allergies. 😦 It’s sad to see her all beat up and matted and dirty. But she is my kitty. I will love her till her last day.

    • Awww, Nellie… Penny sounds like a sweetheart! I have never heard of another cat who drools like a dog… maybe our cats are related somehow! 😛 I hope Penny has many more healthy years.

  9. Louisa a.k.a. ProudMomOfTwo

    Question of the Day: Do you have a pet? What’s his/her name and how long have you had them?

    Ok – you all have made me cry BEFORE I even got to tell my loving pet story.
    ( and I am NOT a crier ).
    Alright …{deep breath} here goes.

    I grew up on a farm so there were animals over the yrs that I considered mine. As I grew up and they got old, I saw some die from old age and some we had to do the humane thing and put them down so they wouldn’t suffer anymore.
    It hurts every time but my parents always taught us the old adage that it is better to have loved them and lost them than to never have loved them in the first place. I can honestly say that I am better off for having loved them.

    When I went off to college and got my own apartment, we weren’t allowed to have pets. I had plants but it just wasn’t enough for this farm girl. I found out they considered pets …cats & dogs. They had no problem with fish or birds. I had fish for awhile before I decided to take the leap and get a bird.
    I went to a breeder and he had a new batch of Lovebirds that needed homes. He was VERY picky and I had to go through this whole ‘process’ of adopting one. Imagine this big square plexiglass nursery of baby Lovebirds in every color. I had to pick mine and then show up everyday, twice a day, to feed it and spend at least 15min with it to prove I was worthy of this featherless, ugly, little precious bird.
    He made me buy everything I would need up front too ( a big enough cage for two or three, food, perches, and books on Lovebirds ). I kept thinking what have I gotten myself into here? But…I kept going back and back to feed. Before long …a little peach-faced lovebird seemed to stand out of the pack. Mind you they still only had a few feathers so I really didn’t know what coloring it would be until much later. The breeder saw our connection and banded him mine ( a little band on his leg with my initials ).
    I would send a pic but don’t know how on this page so you will have to Google ‘peach faced lovebird pics’ to see. They are the most colorful.
    Most lovebirds do not live more than 6-9 yrs even under the best of care. My little “Tike” lived for 13 yrs and was never sick a single day. He was my best friend all through my college yrs, starting my career, moves, dating, marriage, and even my kids. He was just amazing & fun and everyone loved him. He was all mine though. He always came to me, snuggled with me, adored me and was there for me. When you hand-raise a bird they love to be with you ALL the time. He rode around on my shoulder everywhere at home and outside. He loved to go on road-trips and ride on my steering wheel ( boy did we get some looks ).
    I would like to think the breeder would have been happy with trusting me with that precious fellow.
    When birds get old or sick they fake feeling ok b/c that is the way they are programmed. It is fake-it or get killed by something else for being weak kind of world for them.
    So, I didn’t know anything was wrong until I got a call at work from my husband telling me “something is wrong with “Tike”.
    I rushed home and he was flopping around in the bottom of his cage. I took him out and held him and waited. He bit me and it really hurt but he was having seizures and I know he didn’t mean it. He continued to have seizures a throughout the night. I held him. I was the one he trusted. I was his mommy. The only ONE he trusted through it all. ( this feels like poking at an old wound that is still tender ).
    I took him from one vet to another and they said he was suffering and the seizures weren’t going to stop. I didn’t really have much of a choice. There wasn’t a surgery or medicine for him. My only option was if I wanted them to put him down or did I want to hold him while they put him down. I didn’t want either one of those options but I couldn’t make him keep going through the seizures. He was exhausted and helpless and staring at me with those trusting eyes. I had to do it and HELL NO – no body else was going to hold him while he passed. I was his first love and he was mine and I would be the last thing he saw and felt as he went to little bird heaven.
    It was the hardest thing I have EVER had to do. I was wrecked. No one could console me – I had to cry it out for wks and months. I am still crying about it right now and can’t even see what I am typing. He has been gone over 7 yrs.

    Two of my horses are 27 yrs old and I don’t know what I will do when it is their time. I treasure them both is such different ways.
    “Admiral” has been a part of my life since I was 14 yrs old. The big lug is a fixture in my heart. He was the first horse ever born on our farm and he was all mine.
    “Dewie” has been a part of my life for 21 yrs. and she was the 1rst horse I ever rescued and bought with my own money ( as an adult ). She is my doll.
    My trailhorse, “Sweetboy”, is 22 this yr and I bought him when he was 4yrs old and he was my challenge. He was also a rescue.
    I can’t imagine anything happening to him. He has always been my strong stubborn man and could and would do anything I asked of him.
    I can’t imagine him not being around to blaze new trail with me
    .
    The other older one was my daughter’s first full-size horse, “Baylee”. When she passed him down to my son b/c she got a young one to raise up, it was a real milestone. “Baylee” is so super with the kids. He has taught many kids to ride over the yrs. He is getting hard to keep weight on now and is starting to decline. I don’t know how many more winters we will have him.

    Our spoiled, full-figured, indoor, calico cat is the best cat we have ever had.
    We adopted her from Columbia’s Second Chance as a Christmas present 5 yrs ago. The truth is…she knew us when she saw us as her family and SHE adopted US within about 5 min of us walking through the door. She is exceptional! She even wormed her way into my Dh’s cold and crusty heart…lol.
    I will be wrecked if I lose any of them AND my kids will be wrecked as well and that will be double hard to get through while supporting them and bring them through it.

    My heart breaks for you Whitney. I will keep you and Geezer Cat /Kitty in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Wow, Louisa… you have had all kinds of pets… all of them just as loved as the last. What a sweet bird, Tike must have been. I did Google them and what beautiful birds they are. I’m so sad to hear that he went out that way, but am glad you had the strength to stay with him until the very end. Hugs to you!

  10. Ruby (StrongHeart)

    Whitney,
    I do not think you are strange for feeling such strong emotions toward a pet.
    I too am a cat owner; three of them to be exact. I have owned a cat since I was 4 years old; there has ALWAYS been a cat in my life.
    Like you, I do all I can for my cats when they are sick or hurt; they are important members of MY family and for someone to tell me “it’s JUST a cat”, well those are fighting words to me!!

    Of the cats I currently have, my oldest is a female. Her name is Daisy May and she will be 15 at the end of this year. I know that there will come a time that I will have to say good-bye to her, and I do not look forward to that day;especially since Daisy has lived longer than any other pet I have had up to this point. My heart breaks for what you and your precious furry friend are going through.

    Hugs & Prayers are going out to both of you.
    ~Ruby (StrongHeart)

    • Thank you for the sweet words and I agree with you Ruby… “Just a cat” is totally fighting words!! Not on my block! I will send prayers and vibes that Daisy May has many more happy years!

  11. Jacque Hunt

    I have never really been a real pet person but my daughter decided she wanted a kitty to keep her company. She soon realized that her roommate and landlord were not real thrilled about a cat in the apartment. Needless to say we ended up house sitting her kitty for a few months. It’s amazing how you can form such a quick bond with a pet. Meg always wanted an orange fluffy kitty which I swore would never be in my house but the second we saw him we all fell in love. He’s now a 17 lb. cat that rules the roost. He’s definately one of the family now. Since then we had a poor stray cat that showed up after Meg took her kitty back home with her. My son just begged to keep her so how could we say no. Watching my kids have this unconditional love for their pets just tugs at my heart strings. These pets have found a special place in our lives. I’ve seen what affect these pets have had on our lives and know that they an important part of who we are. As a side note, last weekend my 16 year old son came home with a little puppy that had been hit by a car outside of his work. No one came to claim the puppy so he brought it home. He was so upset that this poor puppy was hurt that it brought tears to my eyes. He has such a tender heart. We waited til morning and took him to the vet to see if there was anything we could do. The vet said that his internal injuries were too severe to save him. We had to put him to sleep. Watching my son go through that showed me what he is really made of. Our love for these animals is an extension of who we are inside. I love the fact that my son has such compassion. Just like you!! Love you.

    • You are so sweet, Jacque… you ole softie, you. It’s true… once they worm their way into your heart… pet lover or not… it’s hard to say no. My mom is still anti-cat… but I think this cat did a little bit to change her mind… I said a little bit.

  12. Lindsay

    Aaaahhh I am crying…I love that cat just as much as you do! I remember a few things about “Kitty” whenever i would go into my room and cry my eyes out over something I would hear a meowing at my door and when I would open the door there would be “Kitty” and she would jump up on my bed and sit next to me just so she knew I was ok! When I got married the 1st time 🙂 (by the way 2nd time is a charm!!!) I was more scared and saddened to leave my cat then to get married. I worried that she would be so sad to see me go and that is what broke my heart.

    Whenever I come home to see you all I still feel that cat remembers me and all the kisses that I shower it with (since whit isn’t the kissing type for humans or kitties) I love kissing that little tiny tiny thing.

    It will be so hard to see her go (when or if she does) but I always like to remember that no one likes to be in pain or sick! She has lived a LONG and wonderful life and has thrown us for a few scares. But your right I truly believe all cats and dogs go to heaven they are humans closest friends sometimes!

    That Kitty does have something special, it was raised with both you and I do believe it was our guardian and special friend during some dark times!

    So what a blessing!

    Love,

    Lindsay

  13. So sorry about your Kitty. I am just plain not an animal person (allergies have a lot to do with it and I wasn’t raised with them), but I certainly have compassion for those who have animal best friends. My family got a black lab named Toby when I was in college. He was the most adorable puppy and he was fun to have around. He was such a good natured dog. He never barked except at the occasional deer that would wander through the yard and the little boys who lived next door loved to run around with him. That dog lived to chase balls. My dad and brothers were completely crushed when Toby passed away about 2 years ago. I hope the medicine helps her (and you) feel better.

  14. Amy

    She is not just a cat. She is another soul who loves you unconditionally and knows that love is absolutely mutual. I’m sorry to hear about your friend. You certainly have taken great care of her. 21 years is outstanding n I guess we can’t really blame her for staying in your home for so long. She couldn’t imagine heaven to be better, with all the love she’s already swimming in. She’s definitely a huge presence in your home n it’s easy to see in the pictures that it all fits her like a glove. I pray for you and your kitty while your sweet heart is breaking. I hope the medicine helps out. Either way, she loves you and knows you are loving and helping her the best you can.
    I have 4 dogs. The thought makes normal folks cringe but especially a germiphobe. Now, here, I’m not implying anything about germophobes. We share the same fear/disgust regarding hotels but I won’t elaborate on experiences as I want you to anticipate your NY trip with excitement n not dry heaves but, back to the dogs… 4 of them. We didn’t plan it that way but the Brady bunch doghouse just happened when Steve n I got hitched each of us had 2 and then there were 4. I can’t bear the thought of getting rid of mine n Steve was the same for his. Now it’s mutual between the all of us. I guess all of us were misfits in one way or another and now we are our odd little noisy/partially furry, slobbering family. I am constantly sweeping n mopping because of them but they pay me by making noise in an otherwise deathly silent house, the are ecstatic to see me n my huge little Malia looks at me like I’m a 68″ T-bone with a red ribbon tied around me. Malia has been there with me during some of the best and some if the loneliest times of the last 7 years. I hate to even think of my dogs’ age because I don’t want to imagine my drab days without them. It makes me tear up to imagine us when we come to the point that it’s reality and not just a sad thought. 21 years is astounding and I have no doubt your kitty will be keeping some white slippers warm for you in Heaven. Meanwhile I hope the medicine works and you are able to have some more sweet times with kitty. God bless both of your hearts.

    • Thank you, Amy! I did not know you had 4 dogs… but I had to laugh at the Brady Bunch reference… and now I have that theme song running through my noggin. I bow to you… 4 dogs is a lot of work… we’ll just call you Amy, the Unselfish.

  15. Liz

    I also have a cat named Buster aka Busterman, B-Man, Busta Rhymes, Fuzzball, Mister or Trouble. I have had cats my whole life so I can knowingly say that Buster is unique. Loves people, plays fetch, demands bellyrubs about 15 times a day (no joke). He just turned 3 and I already know how heartbreaking it will be to lose him when his time comes. My heart goes out to you, but hopefully someday you will be ready to bring another furry little friend into your life and they will be just as special.

    • Awww… love the Buster nicknames. Too cute! I have approximately 8000 names for mine too… but she seems to know them all. Sending you and Buster vibes for many happy years together!

  16. Deanna

    Aww, Whitney!! Reading this made me tear up. So sad! Of course she isn’t “just a cat”! This is your best friend and a member of your family. Sadly, kitty lives are much shorter than ours. While, it’s not someting you want to do or think about – if it’s not now it will be sometime in the future that you will have to let her go. I hope that the medication does help extend her life so that you can have more time with her. In the end, you will be left with lots of wonderful memories of your time together and what she meant to you. No doubt, you are as much loved by your kitty as you love her.

  17. Katrina

    Awww Whit, your precious kitty is adorable!! I hope and pray that the medication helps her to start feeling better, so you can have many more years together.
    When I was in high school, eons ago, I had a kitty. She was my best friend! She knew all my secrets and I knew all of hers 🙂 She was very loyal to me. Not long after I moved out of my parents house after high school, Arielle developed cancer. My mother had her put down and then a week later told me what had happened. I think of Arielle a lot, and miss her like crazy!

    Cats are beautiful creatures!!

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