Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Pickle the Adventure Cat, Part One / Big Move Phase One

Phase One of our Big Move to Australia was initiated on January 6th (yesterday) morning when a representative from the pet moving company came to collect Pickle.

Pickle was unaware of what was going on as we laid all her travel documents, towel and a small container of treats on the table. To be honest I didn't look forward to Pickle's pick-up to arrive; I had just said goodbye to Fluffy in November and this parting hit a raw nerve. (Furthermore I hadn't had breakfast and was getting hangry.)

Ever so abruptly, Helen from the pet moving company entered our house, swiftly put Pickle into a crate, was handed over original copies of Pickle's documents and the "comfort" items I wanted Pickle to have, turned around, and left. I didn't get to say goodbye to Pickle and suffered what I believe you would classify as a bad separation anxiety. (My poor baby girl!)

Good thing is having a rational brain otherwise known as The Hubs alongside, or I would have gone hysterical. (How I became such a possessive and crazy cat person, I do not know...)

Having requested for some information on Pickle's updates, I tracked her flight, giving my wild mind some peace. Pickle made it across the United States! Part One of her big adventure is now complete; three more parts to go.

I say Pickle deserves the Brave 'N Adventurous Kitty Award. Don't mind me if I start a count down to keep me sane... It is 35 more days to February 10th!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fluffy's First Morning

Fluffy surveyed his new home the following morning (14.Oct.2007). He cautiously sniffed at things and rubbed his cheek at doors, finally taking a rest at the bathroom door, as we watched him in silence. Fluffy was a big cat!

Later on in the day, Hubs and I worked in the office. I held my breath as I saw Fluffy enter the room. He stared at me with intent and I offered him my hand to sniff. He did not let us pet him, but I could rustle his fluffy forehead. Satisfied with what he came to investigate, he laid down beside me at the desk. And purred. Such deep and loud purring...

But his comfort didn't last long; any sound from the outside would startle him and send him right back to his hiding space in the kitchen! And that happened very often.

(I am so thankful we had a digital camera -- could have been our first -- to document Fluffy's time with us.)

Monday, December 2, 2013

13.Oct.2007 - Bringing Home Fluffy

13.Oct.2007 -- At PetsMart, the volunteer had asked for 2 references to speak to before they could let me take home this cat. First reference was old friend, Jasmin. The other, the mum of kids I babysat, Sara.

It felt very serious -- I was worried about what could have been said about me... When the volunteer got off the phone, she returned to us and relayed that one of my references said: "This cat is going to be the luckiest cat in the world."

Fluffy was brought home in a brand new cage, that afternoon. He made a few meows on the ride home. What a lovely sound. We were feeling so happy to be finally bringing home a cat. OUR CAT!

When he got home, Fluffy immediately sought out a hiding place: the heater in the kitchen; or with the shoes (how dirty). It was then that I realised: This cat has gorgeous blue eyes, like the Ragdoll he is...

We finally dragged him out of the shoes and placed him on the sofa. Smart-thinking husband created a "cushion cave". Fluffy remained so still on the sofa under this cushion protection.

We turned on the radio, made sure Fluffy was comfortable, and left the house to buy food and toys for our brand new cat.

What a birthday treat.

How I Met Fluffy

Fluffy, the fluff meister
Fluffy's cage tag - Oct.2007

We adopted Fluffy in October 2007 from SAVE Animal Rescue via Petsmart. It was purely by accident that we brought home a cat. At that time, we were out for a "digestive walk" in Petsmart after a heavy lunch. It was something we did often, since we were cat-less while living in student housing, and I always enjoyed feline company. (Inviting neighbours' cats in, for example...)

While at the store, there were about 6 cats "set up" by a table for adoption. I was particularly drawn to the very still and large white cat at the bottom cage. Obviously, I related to its introversion.

The defining moment was when I learned that this cat is a Ragdoll. Always wanted one.

Fluffy had spent 3 months at the animal shelter by the time we adopted him on my birthday. We took home the cage tag as a reminder. See the bite makes on the top left corner? Poor Fluffy. "He was completely miserable," I remember these words from the SAVE volunteer well.

Earlier this year, I was told that SAVE names their rescues alphabetically. That now explains why I was told there was a 'Madam Fluff' in the girls room, if I wanted another long-haired cat, back then... Now I wonder what Fluffy's "real" name might have been -- in line with using adjectives as names, Fluffy could have been Grouchy or Grumpy or Greedy, but most definitely Handsome.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

You are Missed, Fluffy

I lit a candle for you, last night, Fluffy, and placed it at your eating spot. The glow from the kitchen lets my heart know that you're there.

I woke up this morning hoping to see and hear you, Fluffy. I opened the photo album to look for you. I miss you, handsome, and I cried for you in my pillow with Pickle in my arms. We miss you, Fluffy.

I spent hours looking through your photos because, don't go Fluffy, I want to see you just that one more time. Just a bit more, please. I don't need to do anything else.

I replay your short videos over and over again because I can hear you again and feel you next to me. Sometimes they make me cry; sometimes they make me happy. There are not enough videos of you, Fluffy. You're so handsome.

I walked through the house along your paths. I laid my head on your favourite sofa spots and bed to sob. I saw what you saw. I remember your cutest voice every time you saw me. You are my sweetest boy.

I crouched at your eating spot with Pickle at mealtimes today, Fluffy. You always rushed to come eat. And how you loved water... You had a special way of drinking, my special boy.

I ran my hands through your cave to feel the dents on the foam. I feel you, Fluffy.

I gathered all your favourite toys from under the sofa, Fluffy, and remembered how you played with them. Only certain ones. You fussy boy.

I held your dirty collar and put it close to my nose to sniff, and remember your smell, my dirty boy. It's not your fault it's smelly. The tinkling bell makes me smile. I hear you walking. You have heavy footsteps.

I loved squishing your thick mane and smooching your broad flat forehead, Fluffy. And those special, small round ears... There are never enough forehead kisses for you.

I see the cheek smear patch you made on the edge of the bathroom door, Fluffy. You are so tall. And big.

I checked out the wall corner that you scratched. Not noticeable, Fluffy. Nobody can tell.

I saw the patch of white hairs on the bed-skirt. I know you've crawled through to your favourite hideout, Fluffy. You like to hide. But I don't see you.

I let you go too soon, Fluffy. I am so sorry.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Just Rest and Sleep, Fluffy

On Sunday afternoon, 3 days ago on November 10th, I watched Fluffy slip into Forever-sleep in the Carnegie Cat Clinic at 13:00hr. My last kiss on his still forehead.

Fluffy's diabetes got the better of him, last Friday, and was hospitalized on Friday night. On Saturday, I received updates from his vet, Dr. McCann, in the morning and late afternoon. I heard the words 'very, very concerned', 'uphill battle' (many times), 'aggressive treatment', and 'little improvement'. The Hubs had been away to Asia, and it was a struggle getting in touch. But our minds knew: Fluffy was suffering.

That fateful Sunday morning, it was a long drive to see Fluffy; I missed the turn to the cat clinic. I arrived there at 09:30 and spoke to the attending vet. I also saw the frail and unrecognizable Fluffy. A small part of me was hoping to hear of a remarkable recovery in the last 24 hours. But Dr. Ross showed me otherwise. Fluffy's vision was gone; he was severely dehydrated; his muscles had gone weak; and she told me sincerely, "I have dealt with diabetic cats and Fluffy is the sickest kitty I have ever seen."

He would not make it to Australia.

I had a few phone calls with The Hubs that morning, as the clinic gave us time to make a decision. We held on and thought: Maybe my sister, or someone, would be able to take care of him. But no one, not even animal shelters, would think twice about taking in a kitty with a lifelong disease that needs regular and expensive monitoring. Healthy, young cats have problems finding forever homes, as it is. What about: I take him home to treat him, to alleviate the cost of hospitalization. Dr. Ross said that she could teach me everything I needed to know, however, Fluffy was not in any condition to be discharged. She also advised: Had it been her pet, despite all her means to take care of a sick kitty at home, it would be unfair on Fluffy to be put through the agony. Unfair.

And the question was: How do we ensure that Fluffy will be well in the month's stay at quarantine?

Dr. Ross may have been right -- Fluffy was probably aware of our upcoming move to Australia. His body could have decided to stop fighting.

It was well past 12 noon when I finally told the clinic of our decision.

That Sunday ripped a huge and irreparable hole in my stone-cold heart.

I miss him. So much.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

9.Dec.11 cat keyboard Part 2

Pickle was on the hunt for those mysterious cats.