“I Will Always Remember You”

October 30, 2016. Pause.

Summer of 2015 I walked through Room T of the Toronto Humane Society. Looking around the room. Ashley followed my steps as much as she could in her cage. A friend told me how I can tell when a cat likes me. I knew Ashley did. She walked back and forth as I was doing. And just so that it wasn’t a fluke or the trick of my mind I walked towards the door and then towards her. No coincidence. She really liked me.

I took her home the same day. Needed to buy stuff for her–minus the vet approved food. I didn’t care that she was a senior kitty at 12 years or that she had behavioural issues–pooping outside the litter box, vomiting. This would soon become an issue of quality of life.

First night she hid. The next morning I freaked out. Thought she escaped somehow. But she hid in the bookcase in my bedroom. I know what you’re thinking. But my mind was on the worst case scenario. She was okay. All was fine. A week later she escaped home and I found her on the roof! Needed a roommate to hold my legs so that I don’t fall face first while picking up Ashley. Gave her lots of kisses this day. And many days since.

Three months. November 2015 she was diagnosed with small cell lymphoma of the small intestines. The meds worked for several months. Every three months she got a blood count check. From here and several months later, pictures of her, videos of me singing

“Ashley is mama’s good little girl
Ashley is mama’s good little girl
Ashley…you will forever be mama’s good little girl.”

Each day was a day of love, me holding her, playing with her. Her nick name was Bingy. No regrets. Just wish I had more Earth time with her. 14 months was pretty good. And glad I had her. Else I would never have loved another. Never truly loved for me.

It’s a Russian Blue thing. Once they find that one person they love them forever. That’s the greatest gift anyone can ever get!

October 30, 2016 . The week leading to this day Ashley was getting sick. No appetite. Hepatic Lipidosis. Feeding via tibe was no quality of life.

October 30, 2016. 3pm. I did the most compassionate thing even though personally this choice is still nightmarish for me.

Ashley, mama hasn’t forgotten you. I have another cat. One day you’ll meet him in Heaven with God then when I leave here I’ll be coming for you and Banjo.

 

 

 

The last video is my fave of all ones I have of Ashley. This is the part no human has ever seen of her. Too bad! Soft voice and patience helped. She usually talks like a human baby when he/she “gagas”. I think it’s cute. And she may not be friendly to most people and I understand why. She’s been with one human for 12 years. Dumped at the Toronto Humane Society. Someone tried to adopt her. Didn’t work out. I made it work. Gentle. And I’m not known to be gentle. And I didn’t have the capacity to love until Ashley. Room T. Lucky Ashley. Mostly lucky mama (me).
October 30, 2017 marks the one year anniversary of Ashley’s D-Day. I think I’m still in the grieving stage but I’m still able to go on living.
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My Babies Forever

Life lesson(s): for those that love me, and I love, I work hard, pass my mental limitations to give them a quality of life they didn’t have BM (before me) and pretty much Heaven AM (after me).

Ashley deserved a life extended so that she receives love from me and her BFF Angel. Banjo deserves a better life than he’s gotten. He deserves someone who will give him 100% attention. Pets depend on their humans for their entire life! Money is always the issue but I’m working now and don’t expect to develop a life altering illness for the next few years. Menopause is around the corner.

 

 

My Family Forever

 

Both were adopted from the Toronto Humane Society. Had Ashley (right) from August 2015 until her death on October 30, 2016. Then adopted Banjo (left) towards the end of January 2017 and hope to have him until his last days.

I’ll never forget Ashley. She, as is typical of a Russian Blue cat, chose me as the person she’ll love for the end of her days. I loved and cared for her–more than anyone has ever cared for her–from the moment I brought her home until her last moments.

It’s still Family Day in Ontario. This post is dedicated to my family: Ashley and Banjo.

Because of You

Because of you…

  • I like cats
  • I have become more than I was before you
  • my mornings have been easy
  • my life has been 100% wonderful
  • I have dedicated many posts here and on Facebook about your days with me
  • I smiled and laughed more often when around others–though most of my smiles and laughter was when I was with you

And just look at how cute you are:

Asley23
From wanting to be close to me, looking at me.

 

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I became a mother: a mother who loved you every second that you were mine, a mother who made a song in your name:

A mother who soothed you, a mother that gave you 14 months of love, so much love that …as I said to you once…that you’d have too much love that you’d get sick of me. Well, looks like you wanted that much love! A mother who socialized you with another cat who became your BFF, a mother that let you in the backyard. You were happy sitting around flowers while I sat a distance away watching you watching a cat approach you. I laughed every time you hissed at another cat.

Just one more…a video of Ashley next to me….she is so cute!

 

Because of you, I have many positive and loving memories of a cat that followed me in its cage, rubbing the cage. I knew then that you liked me. And despite other people’s difficulty with you, you were not difficult for me. Everything was easy because I loved you.

14 months of love that we gave each other. Your last days (the 14 months) have been loved.

 

Remembering Loved Ones

ashley-october-30

This day – October 30 was the last day of her life. She went from having lymphoma of the small intestines to loss of appetite–despite meds to stimulate appetite and meds for nausea–she didn’t eat and she was at stage 1 of liver disease. She’s jaundiced and it’s noticeable with the change in the colour of the inner ear where it’s usually a lavender colour.

It was okay for me to give her meds for the cancer and spend approximately $350 every three months for blood work and Chlorambucil (cancer med).

She means a lot to me. At Room T, I think it was, at the Toronto Humane Society she saw me, followed me as much as she was able to in the cage. Following me as much as she could. I chose her. I wanted her to have the most happiest and the most loved life until the end of her days. I know I did that–and not because of paying for the cancer meds. It’s the everyday stuff I’m talking about. Giving her kisses, speaking to her gently, playing with her, enriching her life by socializing her with other pets in the apartment (more on this later).

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Angel and Ashley BFFs

She’s a Russian Blue. Looking it up I understand why she’s very sensitive. Many people don’t understand her, my roommates say that she’s doing nothing for them and to that I responded, “She’s not here for you, she’s here for herself.” My goodness, some people just have no compassion for a sick and senior cat! Shame! Shame! Shame!

Many moments where she’s curled up next to me as I play Pet Rescue Saga. I will post this pic soon! There was a moment where as we’re both sleeping on my bed (really her bed! LOL!) my hand and one of her legs touched during the nap. Awe-some (not a misspelling) moment that I couldn’t take a pic of–I don’t even have a video in my room for 24/7 taping of moments I’d miss when I’m in my old age and memory is gone. Darn it!

I come home after being out for hours and Ashley waits for me in the kitchen, near the storage area. She looked sad. A roommate told me that she had been coming into the kitchen whenever someone opened the door. Not the first time Ashley misses me.

I miss her a lot when I’m not home. My mornings are better. Because of her I’m happier in the mornings. Because of her coming home is a happy thing because she’s there.

Mohammed gave me one advice that I think would work for anyone wanting to have a pet cat. He said that I’ll know if a cat likes me when he or she come to me. Of course, it helps to have compassion for animals. It also helps to be a responsible human. Having a pet is expensive–especially a sick pet. I don’t care about the money I spent (not wasted!) because she gave me more, many more just her personality.

She does hiss a lot but she’s being territorial and she’s also letting other pets and people know that she wants to be left alone. That’s a reasonable request, I think!

I get it now…about euthanasia for pets. I wouldn’t do it when she was diagnosed with Lymphoma of the small intestines but now her health has gotten worse: cancer, her body eating the fat, liver problems (stage 1). She doesn’t need to suffer anymore. I’ll miss her for a long time. But I guess many years will pass before she’s in my memory and whatever my mind chooses to remember about her.

Being there during the last 30 seconds was awful but I wanted to give her more kisses and I didn’t want her to be alone. Cats are okay to be alone but she’s my baby and on Day 1 I told her that I’m her mother.

 

Turns in My Journey

Before Ashley life since February 2013 was all fun and independence. I was in heaven.

Then my roommate’s cat had a litter of four. Imagine four tabbies running around the house, imagine one of them stepping on the keyboard of my laptop. Imagine them sitting around you on the sofa while you’re watching TV or doing your homework while watching TV. Now imagine one dog and two kittens standing side by side at the foot of the door to my room, I open it they invite themselves in. It was in interacting with one of the tabbies that I got to thinking about getting my own cat.

No regrets. I’m not having as much fun but she’s a lot of fun to watch and playing with her I never know what I’ll be getting: the playful cat or a docile one.

I’m thinking about how to prepare myself for the day she does die from Lymphoma. I don’t want to be grieving for too long. Regrets and guilt isn’t going to happen because I treat her special every moment I’m with her. No guilt because I’ve never been mean to her and I can’t have any regrets because death will happen.

I will work on the concept of death. Death may not be the end of any living thing and I think the best way to think about death is in celebrating the great life she’s had while she was living with me.

And I don’t want to be Margaret Lawrence with a lifetime of regrets. When I’m 90 years old looking back at my life. I hope I don’t look back then! But if I do I hope I have physical evidence that my life from 2013 to my old age is one that states, “I am happy and feel that when my time comes to go I know that I’ve done my best to become the person I was meant to be.

My relationships with people can be stupid sometimes but the one relationship (other than my cat) that matters to me is the one I have with God.

 

Hope these videos bring a smile to your day.

The third video will make you think there will be a cat fight because they’re looking at each other after I ask for them to do a cat fight. In my head, they already had a fight.

 

 

 

By the way, I think the kitten that had stepped on the keyboard and the one that scratched me during her first two months of life is Angel. The same one you see here. The other tabbies have never interacted with me on this level–on she did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cats Fight, Cats Wrestling?

This is a new level of cat fighting for these two: Angel and Ashley.

Mornings are entertaining in my home with these two playing–and I’m so not a morning person. These two changed that for me.

No regrets leaving my birth family, permanently. I wouldn’t have happy mornings, ever! And probably later sometime even if I don’t have these pets five years from now, getting used to being happy in the mornings (that’s what these pets are doing for me) until then will have conditioned me to be happy in the mornings. Memories…