Category Archives: Over the rainbow bridge

Of the ones who have passed on

Farewell, Socks. RIP.

Dear former first cat, Socks of the Clintons, late of the Curries, has passed on, aged 20. And it seems the Clintons aren’t the monsters they were made out to be for his ending his days with Betty Currie. Only the people directly involved knows the truth, so let sleeping kitties lie.

Rest in peace, Socks.

(with thanks to this blog)

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Farewell, Remy

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Yesterday, around noon, Remy the one-eyed old boy, aka Toby, breathed his last, with his parents, Shirlena and Gary, by his side.

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Gently to sleep

Remy’s health had been slowly declining since the middle of last year. This was probably due to FIV, which he tested positive for in a second test his parents ordered.

His downward spiral started with oral health problems, which resulted in extraction of most of his worn-out grinders. Since then, he had been on soft food, usually home-cooked meat dishes. His favourite, and later the only thing he would eat without prompting, was peeled boiled prawns, which he had also favoured in foster care. Then his kidneys also started deteriorating.

During the past year, the old boy’s health slowly gave way. He had been boarded at the vet for some days now, severely emaciated, on drip and with very high cretin readings, when on Thursday night, he vomitted blood. The vet had said there was nothing else that can be done for him.

Ultimately, it was the quality of life that mattered. So yesterday Shirlena and Gary made the difficult decision and sent Remy on his way because to keep him lingering on would be no kindness to him.

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Remy, hale and healthy

It seemed like it was only yesterday when Shirlena and Gary fetched Remy home to join their brood of 4, renamed Toby.

When we heard the first good news that he was settling in, after a year or so of problems, we shouted for joy.

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It had been a long long road to a new home for the poor old boy, his parents and his family. But it still feels like he has barely begun to live again before he bade his final goodnight.

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Remy took his time to settle down and has given his parents more than their fair share of headaches.

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Still, we know Shirlena and Gary will remember him with fondness, even though he started life with them on the wrong paw, and at the beginning seemed determined to test (and break) the limits of their patience and forbearance.

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At the beginning, Remy shuffled stubbornly to his own old beat, but he was lucky that Shirlena and Gary were such patient parents, able to see beyond his monstrous antics, quite unlike many people who won’t see past the physical.

Settled in and comfy, the old boy enjoyed his home life as he deserved and should have had for a few more years, in our opinion. But at least he did get a second chance, thanks to Shirlena and Gary.

We were glad on his behalf, and still are, for Shirlena and Gary’s kindness in opening their home and hearts to this old boy.

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Memories, Sep 2007: btmao giving the polite one the headscritches he loved so much

It’s the end of the road, and there is really not much else to say but “Farewell” to Remy, and to tell Shirlena and Gary: We are sad that Toby is gone so soon. You have done your best for him. Thank you and please take care.

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Take care, and have a safe journey

Foster Mum’s homeseekers update, Sat 29 Nov 2008

This is an overdue update:

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Lovely Beverly has passed over the rainbow bridge in Sep/Oct. She will, of course, be longer homeseeking.
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Bonnie, whom Foster Mum calls Yo Yo, will become a permanent resident at the cattery. This is because, with time, her character shows her to be in need of a garden to roam in.

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She also does not bond easily with people, though she is very attached to Foster Mum and her helpers. She is one cat who will definitely need extra time and attention to adapt. So Foster Mum has decided to keep her.

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Angel has passed on

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Angel (1 Oct)

Even before our last update, Angel’s health has been on a little roller coaster ride, sometimes good, sometimes not. But on the whole, she was doing well for a cat with FiV. These two photos on 1 Oct, though not the best, are her last “good times” pictures.

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Angel (1 Oct)

We don’t update on her often, mostly because it is hard to update when it is bad news and there are no dignified photos of her to show. Every time she falls sick, it gets a bit harder for her to recover, and she looks that bit more worn even when she is in the pink.

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A good “bad times” photo of Angel, already on the mend.

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Curled up.

Sometimes she just didn’t want company, and we respect that feeling under the weather as she must have been, she might be trying to work out why she got into these health swings. At such times, we leave her alone as she would have wanted to be.

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btmao giving scritches to a scruffy-looking Angel

But sometimes, it’s just because she’s too tired to ask for attention. So we do try a tentative uninvited head scritch. If she doesn’t reject our advances, we know it is an invitation to continue.

We are always carefully optimistic when Angel goes on her health swing. We hope she recovers, but we know there’ll always be that one where she won’t come back from. Her health swings are a downward spiral to the end and it does get difficult, knowing the scruffy one before us used to look like this.

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Now she seem to shrink every time it happened, but her alert and bright eyes, her purring and her quiet, calm, dignified demeanor seem to be her way of reassuring us that she has made it back. The last time she made it back almost fully was a year ago, in October 2007. Since then, she just seemed to lose a bit more of her vitality despite recovering each time. Though she ended up giving a little bit more ground every time, Angel remained a fighter, taking every defeat in her stride.

Still we always hope when that final one came, it would be a short one so that she wouldn’t have to endure prolonged discomfort and pain.

Over the past days, Angel started on that final spiral. Yesterday morning, Foster Mum called to inform us that Angel would be leaving soon. We could not visit yesterday but rushed over early this morning.

Angel looked to be in a sorry state, shrunken to half her already shrunken size. Her tired body was really just skin stretched over bones, and there were huge swathes of bald patches over her body. There were large sores over her back, and her wet paws seemed to be oozing pus. She was drooling, her nose was runny, and she was wheezing loudly through the mucus blocking her air passage way. The cage she was in was covered with highly absorbent clinical-grade materials, to soak up the discharges oozing from her body and ensure she stayed dry and comfortable. Foster Mum said that the materials had been replaced 4 times in the last hour alone. Angel’s body was truly breaking down.

Despite the state her body was in, it was her eyes that really broke our hearts. Though covered by a wet yellow discharge, she opened them when we called and touched her. In those eyes we can see that same clear alertness that told us she was still here. The alertness in her somewhat rheumy eyes was in total contradiction to the reality of her physical body. We spoke quietly to her in turn, and told her it was all right to let go if she was ready, that she didn’t have to fight it this time if she felt too tired.

She was facing the wall when we first went in to look at her. But later, when we were outside the cattery, we looked in and saw that she had adjusted herself to face the window we were peeking in from. She seemed to have anticipated us and was looking at us expectantly. Looking at her then, I couldn’t help but feel even more starkly: what a wonderful companion she would have made someone, despite the brevity of her life. My only regret is that she had not the chance to be in a home situation, though the cattery is not a bad home for a cat by any stretch of the imagination.

The only one of her sponsors to have visited her also came by to say good bye in the early afternoon.

At 4.56pm today, Foster Mum called to inform us that Angel has passed on.

Frankly, Angel has always been the retiring type, more calm and reserved than outgoing though she enjoyed head scritches. Though we do not see her all the time, we do get the sense that she knew us. This was even more apparent today. Foster Mum and her helpers have said their goodbyes of course. But she seemed to have been waiting for us, minions and her visiting sponsor, to bide goodbye too.

Now we can only take comfort in the fact that her final journey was short and a relatively uneventful one.

Rest In Peace, dear Angel.

(Out of respect for Angel and to preserve her dignity in death, we did not take any photos of her today.)

Happy the old papillon – rest in peace

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This morning, Foster Mum called me. Her 17-year-old papillon has passed away in her arms sometime after 4am this morning. He died in the best way possible – a sudden very rapid decline which means he did not suffer in pain for long, plus he took his last breath in her arms.

It seems so sudden: on Sunday, he bounded out with his usual energy and enthusiasm to greet us when we reached the cattery. But Foster Mum has been prepared for months now. He’s a grand old thing with a history of chronic respiratory issues, especially asthma – typical of the papillon apparently. And in the last year his eyes has grown cataracts which, due to his age, were not operated on. His tongue is always lolling because he has lost the left canine long ago (We’ve always known him like this). Like an old soldier, bits of him had been lost or damaged by time, but like any veteran he has soldiered on, always more cat than dog, to the extent that he’s more cat than some cats in the cattery, with his preference for fish and kitty kibbles (which is of course not an advisable diet for a canine), and his empathy and protectiveness over kittens and other needy cats.

Together with Sunshine, his only dog housemate
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Hanging out with Sunshine and Porkribs
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The old gentleman shall be dearly missed.

Corrie has gone on

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Corrie has completely faded away. She passed on sometime before 12 noon today. I have also notified friends who know her, and am heartened to learn that there were some visitors who always greeted her and gave her some affection when they visit the cattery.

We will miss her.

Joe left… before we saw him

Yesterday, I had thought we were going to see Joe sooner. But as it turned out, Joe could not wait for us.

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We’re never seeing him again in this life

btmao and I had a suspenseful, apprehensive wait outside the clinic. As soon as the doors opened at 2pm, we asked to see him, and was told he had just passed away.

He was taken out to one of the consult rooms for us to see. He had been so sick that even his nose and pawpads were white. There was no colour in his gums either. His jaws and eyes were slightly open, and he looked to be grimacing in terrible pain. But his body was simply prone, not arched or stretched, which indicated he simply slipped away. He must have been so tired.

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Joe, in healthier times, just 1 month ago: pink nose and pawpads.

The very nice vet tech who had been caring for him told us he was still breathing when she checked on him before 1pm. Judging by his still pliant body, she estimated that he had passed away somewhere between 1 and 2pm. While we regret not seeing him one last time, we’re glad that he’s no longer suffering.

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May peace be with you, dear Joe.

The vet tech also said it was such a pity, Joe was a really really nice boy. But she also said cancer, especially this type, doesn’t usually manifest until the late stages, and that it was fortunate for him that it was a short battle. The verdict remains: neoplasia (or cancer: part 1, Part 2) of the blood.

To think that this huge strapping boy, this large teddy bear of a cat, who had absolutely no fear of other cats or people, was brought down by such a tiny thing, the enemy within.

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Good-bye, Joe. This is how we’ll remember you.