To those of you who left comments and sent me emails about the loss of Elfius and Scroungy:
A joy shared is always magnified; a sorrow is lessened.
It’s hard to put into words what Thursday was like for me. We had worked so hard to save Elfius. I swear there were times when I was holding him that I tried to WILL him to live. We all asked him to stay. We tried everything the vets could offer us. But it was not to be. I can’t imagine why a tiny baby has to suffer like that. He is, however, no longer suffering. We only hope to see another set of elf ears like that someday (smile).
As far as losing Scroungy . . . . He has been one of the "ancients" for some time now. And since Christmas, he seemed to have aged even more rapidly than over the past couple of years. My family knew my connection to him, and they have said many times over the months - How will you ever get along without Scroungy? I always said things like - Well, it’ll be tough. But he’s lived a great life. I know he is at the end of that journey, but I’m preparing myself. When he quit eating exactly one week before, I started bracing for the end. There were moments when a certain quiet panic would slip in. I always told myself the same thing - I didn’t want him to suffer and I was ready to let him go. Well. I was not ready. I thought I was prepared, but I simply was not. There is a gaping hole where he used to be.
The weekend was a very busy one. Older Daughter graduated from her Vet Tech college program on Saturday. We have discussed numerous times that there are few people more suited to their chosen profession. The day was full of family and friends, gifts and congratulations, good food and good company. When the director of the program hugged her during the ceremony, she whispered in her ear - I’m so proud of you. We are so proud of her, too. I wish I had in writing the words of the oath that the class recited as a group during the ceremony. It was beautiful and important. Among other things, they vowed to give professional, compassionate care to the animals they would come in contact with. They would continuously strive to meet the highest standards while practicing this chosen profession. They would spend a lifetime continuing to learn and grow, using that knowledge to educate the public and provide consummate care to the animals. We snapped about a billion pictures throughout the day. I plan to get them into a Graduation photo album for Older Daughter at some point. It was a beautiful day.
My sister and brother-in-law came for the graduation. They visited the cat house on Friday. They had been here in the winter to pick out a kitty to adopt. At that time, they had just lost one of their two cats, and decided to get the remaining kitty a friend. They ended up falling in love with Alice. This was such a wonderful thing because Alice has been in the cathouse for such a very long time. I regularly told Alice that her new family was indeed coming back for her. I told her to just hold on - May would be here soon. What happened in this new family’s home, however, was not expected. The second cat fell ill very soon after the loss of the first cat. It is very possible that grief was at least one factor. These two cats had been together FOR YEARS. And now they would be together again. The second cat followed the first to The Bridge.
Through their grief, my sister and brother-in-law made the decision to adopt TWO kitties from us. Alice was already a definite. In an email, my sister asked me about Handsome. She said she read that he was quite the lovebug. I told her that indeed he was a lovebug, but that Handsome did not get along with Alice. She was the cat that he would spat at whenever we would enter the cathouse. This was COMPLETELY true at the time I told her this. But within days of my report to my sister, I caught Alice and Handsome sleeping together. Two days in a row, the two of them jumped to the fleece window shelf and rubbed against each other as they begged for my attention. I was dumbfounded. I know better than to try to predict cat behavior, but this was unbelievable. I can’t help but consider that Handsome knew he had been asked about, and that he decided he better make friends with this already-chosen Alice. I have to wonder if he didn’t read our minds and decide to show us that he and Alice could be a pair.
My sister said it sounded like it was all set then - Alice and Handsome it would be. And then came the email I REALLY wasn’t expecting. Their two previous cats had been so co-dependent. Maybe three was a better dynamic than two. I thought I would faint. She said she couldn’t be sure, but she and her husband were discussing it. I held my breath and hoped. I knew the life their cats had led. This wasn’t just the good life, it was the REALLY good life - a cat paradise of sorts. I was already ecstatic that two would go to them. But three?!? Really?
After reading about the various cathouse kitties, and asking some questions here and there, they sort of narrowed it down to between Glitter and Possum. And the winner is . . . . (drumroll) . . . Possum!! Possum is SO shy when someone new comes into the cathouse. But he completely showed off for them. He played with my brother-in-law for the longest time in the tunnel toy in Winnie’s Room. It was decided. On Sunday morning, Sister and Brother-in-Law left my parents’ home and stopped off here before heading north. They loaded up their THREE and started them on their journey towards their new forever home! What a blessing.
About an hour after Sister and Husband left with their new family, Older Daughter loaded up the six little flood victim kittens and the coma kitten Gabriel and took them with her to work. (Remember, she is now employed at the shelter.) We are about to head out of town, so these babies must now leave our care and begin their new journey. They must return to the shelter where our greatest hope is that they will end up in PERFECT forever homes. All are healthy now. They play and bounce and sleep in a pile. So long, little angels.
Life goes on. Losing Scroungy is such a deep ache. But placing THREE kitties into a wonderful home is pure joy. Losing a baby is tragically difficult. But saving seven babies and sending them into the hope of their own forever homes is uplifting. Having a daughter reach such a milestone as college graduation is bittersweet for a mother. But knowing that daughter is headed into a profession she is ideally suited for is glorious.
We leave tomorrow. The people staying in our home will take care of the kitties. The dogs will all move to the kennel where they will be cared for by a very trusted individual who not only knows our animals but also loves them. We are going to spend a couple of days in St. Louis and then head south to Florida. In Florida, I will sit on the deck at our cottage and drink my coffee in the mornings while staring at the palm trees. (I love palm trees . . . and coffee!) I will think about Scroungy and I will miss him. But I will remind myself of the years and years of joy he brought to me. With the big load of puppies throughout the Winter, and a Spring full of cats, kittens, and cathouse building, I am excited to be able to rest a little - physically and emotionally.
When I return, we’ll get down to business. There are bricks to talk about. I have received a sample brick and I am very happy with it. I’ll share a picture with you.
Your heartfelt condolences have been SO appreciated. They are like a warm embrace. Thank you, my friends, for your love and support. Thank you, Virginia (Poupounette Gang), for your donation "in memory of Scroungy and Elfius, and for all those still to be saved."
See you in June.