June 29, 2009

R.I.P. Tabitha

All of our pets come with their own stories to tell, and Tabitha was no exception. She was surrendered to a rescue group I co-founded almost 10 years ago, at the alleged age of eight. She had lived with a single guy for all of her eight years, I believe, and he was getting married to someone who was allergic, or didn't like cats, or some such crap, so he casually dropped her off at an adoption event one day and never looked back.

Tabitha had many quirks, such as hating other animals, not wanting to be touched, and eliminating outside of the litterbox. And, she most definitely exhibited what appeared to be a general disgust with men (probably because the only one she ever knew and loved abandoned her). Neal has never really met an animal that didn't like him, but dear old Tabitha proved to be quite the challenge. Even though she was declawed, she could throw a mean right hook at any person or animal that dared to cross her path. It was really comical to watch! The first few years after being surrendered to our group, Tabitha was adopted a few times and returned. Eventually, we ended up taking her into our home to foster her, and that is where she stayed for the last 6+ years.

Since she wasn't fond of other animals, especially other cats, she lived for many years in her own room, fully equipped with all the essentials a feline princess would need. Then one day, after we moved to Colorado, she abandoned her own room idea and ventured out into the rest of the house, even strolling out in the yard when it suited her fancy. If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you might remember this video I posted about her half-blind self chasing a squirrel in our yard. As the years went by, she started to mellow and would tolerate more loving, even letting Neal pick her up for brief periods without taking his arm off! Her absolute favorite place to sleep, even in 90-degree weather, was by a space heater in our dining room. When jumping up on the furniture proved too difficult for her, we put cat beds on the floor around the space heater and that was where she laid her claim.

Eventually, she succumbed to kidney disease, blindness and weakened extremities, thought to be caused by blood clots (among a myriad of other old kitty ailments). Our vet was continually amazed at Tabitha's will to live and her vim and vigor, or piss and vinegar as some might say! However, today proved to be the day that she decided to give up her zest for life, and I accepted her wishes. She was a tough old gal, and not the type of pet many people would put up with for so many years. But, amid all the frustrations and inconveniences, she brought us joy and laughter and a deeper appreciation for life. Our vet agreed when she saw her that it was apparent she was tired and ready to go. As the pain medicine given prior to euthanasia started to take effect, she and I shared our last tender moments and she nudged my fingers with her chin. In the end, the cat with a lion's attitude turned into the gentle, loving kitten I knew was there all along.

Rest in peace, my sweet baby Tab.

16 comments:

Damona said...

I am very sorry to hear about Tabitha. She definitely had a mind of her own. She was one lucky girl, however. She won the jackpot when it came to forever homes.

Lilla said...

Thanks, Damona. That spunky little gal will definitely be missed around here.

Kathie said...

I'm so sorry for loss.

Lilla said...

Thanks for the condolences, Kathie. And, thanks for visiting my blog!

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

So sorry to read about your loss. How wonderful that you took her in and gave her a safe, loving home.

basicliving@backtobasicliving.com said...

Oh Lilla - I'm so sorry. She was such a beautiful girl. And you gave her a wonderful home, filled with love. This broke my heart. ((((hugs))))

Penny

Lilla said...

Sweet Virginia and Penny, thanks for the comments and the kind thoughts. Yes, my Tabby was a beautiful cat, but she had the spunk and temperament of a Tom cat!!!

Stephanie Lester said...

Sorry to hear about Tabitha. I remember watching the video of her chasing the squirel. No matter how many you have, each one is very special in their own way.

Lilla said...

Hey Steph, thanks for the comment. Yes, letting them go never gets any easier, no matter how many you have. I know you understand that.

LiveWorkDream said...

Oh Lilla, I'm so sorry. It never gets easier does it? She was an awesome kitty though, and you are an awesome kitty Mom.

Lilla said...

Rene, thanks for the kind words!

Karen Smiley said...

OK, that one made me cry! So sorry but I know she had a happy life. And you forgot an important part of her story. That her lovely former owner had her tendons cut as opposed to declawing her. I'll never forget when we (probably you) figured out that she hadn't been declawed but that her nails were really long & growing into her paw pads. No wonder she hated men and was pissy!

frugalmom said...

Im so sorry for your loss. It sounds like after she came to be with you she had a very wonderful life filled with lots of love.

Lilla said...

Karen, yes, I left out that part of Tabitha's past, but not because I forgot. Nor did I forget how she bled all over the spare bedroom when we brought her home from the declaw surgery! It's a wonder she ever let her guard down and warmed up to anyone after what she'd been through. Thanks for loving her, too.

frugalmom, I would like to think that she had a good life with us and that she felt loved. We certainly tried to make her time with us pleasant and comfortable,as we do with all of our critters. Thanks for your comment.

jasperlilith said...

i am sorry to hear about your tabitha passing - she will obviously be missed.

Lilla said...

Thanks, Daune!