Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Cat Who Lived


I have to admit I have not felt much like blogging for a while. A few weeks ago our cat Cleo passed away. She was The Cat Who Lived. Cleo came from a shelter in 1992. She was the last of six cats we adopted through this shelter. She had been in an abusive situation before coming to live with us. We fell in love with her immediately, but she had a hard time feeling safe. Within a week she had stopped eating and the whites of her eyes were yellow with jaundice. When I took her to the vet I was told she had fatty liver disorder and was not likely to survive. I called for a second opinion from the shelter's hospital. They took her in for a week and her appetite returned. Once home she started to have problems again. I was talking to my sister-in-law about Cleo and she mentioned that she had lost a cat recently to the same disorder. She gave me a powdered vitamin supplement and told me to mix it in a blender with canned cat food and a bit of water. I put the mixture in a squeeze bottle and feed her until she regained her appetite. It took 3 weeks of this feeding ritual before she started to eat dry food on her own. She soon started acting like a normal healthy cat, however she never cared much for moist food after that.

She was a sweet and affectionate cat. She was the only cat I've ever owned that liked her belly rubbed. She loved to climb on my paperwork and stare at me during my workday until I would pick her up and put her on my lap. In her later years I set up a sleeping place under a lamp for Cleo. I liked to think of it as the best retirement home I could provide. Cleo was 20 years old when she passed away. We will miss her.

15 comments:

sweetmango said...

i take in rescue cats too. I really feel for the loss of Cleo, I really, really understand how that feels. My username is sweetmango is actually after my cat Mango. She really was the sweetest little girl ever, she was hit and killed by a car when she was only 3 years old, it took me over two years to really stop getting upset over the hole she left behind. So i really do understand how you are feeling. I love the photo of her curled up under the lamp, she is beyond cute! You were both so very lucky to have found each other and given each other so much love.
xxsm

Cosmo DK said...

Chris - Cleo was very lucky to spend so much of her life with you.
As a cat foster, I trust that those who adopt our cats will be treating them as well as you treated Cleo.
Take some time to miss her. She was a member of your family for a long time.
I still occasionally expect to see our huge ole boy cat, Kirk, come around a corner. He's been gone for a couple years now.
Saw your mom today - she was doing OK, not fabulous perhaps, but OK, and I was glad to see her getting to LOATH.

EMBELLISHER said...

What a beautiful cat Cleo was, a bit of a gymnast too. I've never seen a cat in quite that sort of sleeping position before.
You must have a number of happy memories of Cleo to make the 'missing' more bearable.

The Artist Within Us said...

I can feel your loss, having had a cat who came to my apartment out from nowhere and stayed for about three months when he died of Leukemia on Thanksgiving Day.

I was actually thinking about it today because I have had plans to write about my current cat and companion Painted Lady and post some pictures and a how much she matters to me.

She is getting on in age, being 14-15 years, a stray that came to us by the hands of a child who found a litter of kittens.

I know you hold Cleo close your heart and nothing will ever replace her, even when you have undergone the process of grieving.

It may be one year or a little less before you take in another cat. What ever you do, the memory of Cleo lives on as I have not forgotten Caesar and his passing has been more than thirty-five years.

My condolences for your loss
Egmont

Heidi said...

My sympathies. We have three of our own and I don't know what I would do if I lost one of them. Cleo was such a beautiful cat and that sleeping position is a riot.

Melissa said...

I am sure you already know this, but you gave Cleo a really good life. Good for you and my sympathies for your loss.

Susan Buret said...

So sorry Chris. Cleo was obviously very well cared for to live 20yrs.

Lynn said...

Dear Chris,
No wonder you haven't felt like blogging you are grieving. So sad. But what a life you gave Cleo and she was so lucky to have you find her. I love that last photo. It looks like she is holding some sort of cat yoga pose! ;-)
Hugs to you and the family and I am sorry for your loss.

Plays with Needles said...

So sorry about Cleo Chris. I understand why you haven't felt like blogging and that's OK. A bit of a rough couple of months for you, I think. Sending you lots of love, Susan

Jackie said...

So sorry you lost your sweet cat. Its very hard to lose such a companionable pet and you had her for a lot of years.You did a good job with her and she must have been very happy with you.

AnnieO said...

20 years--what a good, long, and happy life she had with you! It's wonderful how you nursed her in the beginning and gave her so much time and love. I still miss Denis, my orange and white, king of the neighborhood, follow me everywhere cat, who died at age 15 with a urinary tract blockage a few years ago. I treasure the few pictures I have of him. Thanks for sharing Cleo's story, I know you'll miss her always.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Chris, I am so sorry about the loss of your dear friend.. She will be very sadly missed... but all the wonderful things about her you will always remember.. you were blessed to have shared your life with her...


ps.When I was a teenager I had a Tonkenese named Cleo... She was the most intelligent cat I ever had.. I still think about her and how special she was..

ArtPropelled said...

Chris, sorry to hear about your dear old Cleo. You will probably feel her presence every now and then. I'm convinced my Aggie still follows me about the house.

Candied Fabrics said...

Oh Dear, I'm so sorry to hear this. I know how much a part of our lives our pets can become, and I know what a hole they leave...my condolences.

bindu said...

I've missed a lot of your posts, Chris, so reading and catching up ... so sorry about your cat Cleo! We have two cats and I dread the day they will pass on. So I can imagine how sad it must be.