Monday, December 2, 2013

Lightning

My kitty Lightning passed away on Thanksgiving weekend. She inexplicably started eating less about 2 1/2 weeks ago, and after several visits to the vet, which included a couple of biopsies of a mass in her abdomen, it was determined that she probably had a lympho-sarcoma. In the span of 2 1/2 weeks she lost more than 2 pounds, which given that she started at 7.3, is a lot of weight. The day after Thanksgiving, she downed only a tiny bit of tuna water, and then refused all food and water. I tried to keep her going with broth in an eye dropper, but she finally passed on Sunday morning, after spending two days almost exclusively either beside me on the couch, or on my lap.

That was a rough two days for all of us.

She was a very sweet kitty, who lived more than 16 years (roughly the equivalent of an 84-year old human, according to charts I found on the web.). When she was a tiny kitten, she used to curl up inside my slipper to sleep, and when she got older and would no longer fit inside, she would curl up on top of it.

When she was young, she acted a bit like a puppy, always following us from room to room and jumping up on anything near us to get closer to our faces.  She loved to lie on the back of whatever chair or couch we were sitting on.

She couldn't resist an open door. Like a typical curious cat, she always had to find out what was on the other side (except if she knew it led outside). The lower cabinet doors in our kitchen in Massachusetts had no catches, and she had figured out how to open them. I often came into the room to find every one standing ajar, and her nowhere to be seen. Whenever I opened a closet or pantry door in our house I had to make sure she hadn't snuck inside before I closed it again.

If your hair was wet from a recent shower, she would set up shop nearby and groom you.

Here she is with Catfael, another much-loved and much-missed kitty

Lightning on the back of the couch, leaning on Nigel's head

She would sit on the couch just behind Nigel when he was at the kitchen table eating, often peering over his shoulder to see what he was chowing down on.


Lying on warm laundry fresh out of the dryer was always a big draw

She also liked crawling into or under clothing or blankets. Here she had managed to crawl into an arm of Nigel's pyjamas

Like many cats she loved boxes

Especially empty plant trays


Her meow was so soft you could barely hear it. She knew when it was time for me to get up from the computer in the evening and feed her, and would pace back and forth in front of the monitor.

Here she is peering at me accusingly from behind the printer

She survived a stressful couple of years when we first came here from Massachusetts where she grew up, including a long airplane flight from Boston to Seattle, and a second move from our rental house in North Seattle to the one where we live now.

She never went outside in Massachusetts, but when we moved here and had a fenced-in back yard, I used to let her out to explore. She never went far.

She and her "sibling" Magellan (not technically her sister, but we adopted both of them at the same time and at the same age -- about 8 weeks old -- from a shelter in Massachusetts).

Sleeping

Sleeping

Sleeping

I am so dreadfully sad. I'll miss her. She had a good life, but I thought I'd have longer.

34 comments:

  1. I'm very sorry for you loss, Alison. It is SO hard to have to say goodbye...

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  2. Oh Alison, I am so sorry. She looks like she was a sweet kitty who loved to interact with you and Nigel. Our hearts break when we know there is something wrong with our pet and we can't help them nor make them comfortable. She was a well loved kitty, pretty markings too.

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  3. Hi Alison. It's a very sad news. They are a part of our life.

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  4. I'm so very sad for you and with you, Alison. What a beautiful girl Lightning was and even more blessed than she was beautiful, to have you as her human.

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  5. I'm so sorry Alison, I lost my old cat a few years ago. So difficult to see them suffer . I wished mine had passed away at home. I had to have her euthanized at the end …awful !

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  6. So sorry to hear that Alison. Pets are part of the family and not easy to lose them. Thoughts are with you.

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  7. I'm so sorry for you... I can't even imagine what a huge hole she left. Such a sweetie - I'm sending lots of healing thoughts and love your way.

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  8. Alison, I know exactly what you're feeling. It's SOOOO hard to lose a furry family member. We also lost a 16 year old cat last year and I still feel her spirit when I'm in the garden. It takes time to heal. Your tribute to her life is poignant and obviously heartfelt. What a beautiful girl Lightning was. She will be missed. She knows she was loved and you can take comfort in this. Sending hugs.

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  9. In a perfect world pets would never die, it's too awful to lose them. I'm so sorry.

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  10. Thank you for sharing LIghtning's story with us. It's a lovely tribute to a kitty from a shelter and to the Humans who adopted her and Magellan.

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  11. Oh, Alison...my heart is with you all the way. What a sweetheart you had in her....a lover indeed. A lovely tribute and I have tears now.

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  12. Oh Alison, I'm so sorry that you lost Lightning! Their lives are far too short but the love they give in that time is immeasurable. Here's to a sweet, soft, beautiful, loving, loyal, silly friend who was lucky to share her time with equally wonderful people. This site has helped me through some of my furry losses - http://www.petloss.com/

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  13. I'm saddened to hear of your loss. Your beautiful Lightning was clearly a much loved cat who had a wonderful, full life surrounded by humans and other felines who adored her. I know how hard it is to lose them - I send you my heartfelt sympathy and support.

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  14. Alison, my heart goes out to you on your loss. Lightning was a beautiful kitty. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to put this post together. I come across photos of our dear departed Screech kitty every now and then and shed fresh tears; our time with pets is far too short. I'm sending hugs to you and Nigel on your loss.

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  15. So sorry you lost your pretty cat Lightning. I enjoyed the lovely pictures of her and understand you feel so very sad. It is such a shame that our pets don't get older so that we always survive them.

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  16. Alison, I'm so sorry for you. Losing our fur-babies is so difficult. What a lovely life she had with you. It's apparent how much she was loved, as well as how much she will be missed. Thinking of you.

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  17. Oh Alison, that's heartbreaking. I'm so sorry.

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  18. Your wonderful photo essay makes me feel like I knew and will miss her too. You really captured her personality in words and pictures. Lots of warm feelings of regret coming your way from all of us who understand the bond.

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  19. As I read this I had to reach over and stroke the back of my own medically delicate 17-year old cat. I know she could go any day and I've been taking better care of her. She loves all the extra attention. My first cat died at my feet when I was in grade school. My mom had taken me out to dinner hoping she'd die while we were gone. I walked out to the deck as soon as we got home, she pulled herself up, fell on my feet, and died. It's still so touching for me to think about and it makes me cry. Your cat had a wonderful life and it shows in your tribute. Take care of yourself and know we understand.

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  20. Alison, just remember the wonderful life you gave her. It was a good, long life. What a loving tribute to all she gave you and your family, too. Peace.

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  21. She was absolutely adorable and beautiful too. The black blaze was very distinctive and unique.

    I'm sorry for your loss. We lost a cat last year and our two former kittens are now almost 16 and starting to have problems.

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  22. I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved kitty. Our pets are so much a part of our lives.
    You are the second blogger friend to have lost a kitty over thanksgiving, and our cat suffered a serious injury, a torn cruciate ligament in her knee. We've been pampering her and she's slowed down but limping around fairly well.

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  23. Hugs to you and Nigel Alison. We are a cat family , and have lost a few beloved friends over the last 30 years or so. I know there are non-cat folks out there who think felines are detached and independent--tell that to mine who literally follow me around the garden all day -picking sleeping spots (for they are cats right?) as close as possible to where I'm working, and moving when I do. And what is better on a cold winter night than a cat purring on your lap ?

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  24. Very sorry...the awful loss is the price we MUST pay for having them in our lives. Remember all the good times and happy memories, over and over. And remember over and over how lucky she was to have you and Nigel.

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  25. Oh, Alison, I am so very sorry. Lightening looks like the sweetest of kitties and it's clear she was dearly loved. I hope your warm memories and lovely pictures of her will ease your loss and help you remember all the good times. I just want to reach through the screen and give you a hug.

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  26. Gosh, so adorable, so cuddly, especially when snoozy.

    Lost my best feline boy, Dumbles, to some sort of seizure malady that came on suddenly when he was only 12. I still miss him. I have other cats, and have had other cats, but sometimes there is an extra special cat...

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  27. Lightning has such an expressive face, perhaps it's partly the black blaze, and the clear yellow eyes, that seem to glow. She had a lot of personable qualities. My cat also has a very quiet meow, barely audible, it's what I especially enjoy about her, my daughter's cat meows piteously when she wants something, like a baby crying. Lightning was a lucky cat to be so loved.

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  28. Alison, I'm so sorry. We've been through this a couple of times and it's so hard. Lightning was so pretty. I love the calicos. We have a stray that showed up here a few years ago that is a tortie calico - Tinkerbelle. They're the sweetest cats. I hope you'll feel some peace soon. I know you will always miss her.

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  29. I am sad :( Might not tell the kiddo just yet....

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  30. That was a very nice tribute to your kitty. You have some wonderful memories of her. Our Sally looked a lot like your Lightning.

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  31. I'm sorry for you loss, our furkids are so much a part of our lives, it leaves a hole in our heart when they depart this earthplane. ((hugs))

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  32. You have my sympathy. There is nothing worse than losing a pet.

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