We lost one of our fur children last night.  It was about 8:30pm and I was sitting at the computer, when I heard a noise and looked over to see her lying on her side panting.  Cats don’t pant.  We called the after hours number but the nearest emergency clinic that was open was an hour away.  We quickly put on our shoes, put her in the carrier (which she still had the strength to resist) and started driving.

I could just barely hear her panting.  I kept talking to her.  Then we heard an angry meow and rattle of the cage.  I knew.  I just knew.  I still kept talking to her, praying she would be OK, but a part of me already knew she was gone.  We got to the clinic and went inside.  They took her back and examined her but we were right, she was gone.

We took her to our vet today.  He said that she probably had a heart attack.  Nothing we could have done to help her.  We said our goodbyes and left her with them.  They will cremate her and scatter her ashes at the Pet Cemetery where Luna is.  Maybe they can play together in the afterlife.

Now that I have told you about her death, let me tell you about her life.  Goldie was a fighter, a scrapper, and she didn’t give up easily.  She wasn’t demanding very often, but when she wanted to be petted, she wasn’t leaving until you petted her.  Tenacious to the the core.

We walked into a PetSmart one day and there was a lady standing near the door with a shopping cart full of kittens she was trying to give away.  She had found them in a plastic bag in a dumpster, taken them to a vet to get patched up, de-wormed, de-fleaed, etc.  She asked if we wanted a kitten and I said no.  But this little orange tabby had jumped out of the cart and run towards me.  She sat at my feet and meowed.  I told DH to pick her up and give her back.  I didn’t have time for a kitten in my life right now; I was working on my thesis.  But a little while later, the lady found us in the store and she was holding Goldie.  I always wanted a cat I could hold.  And so I held her – I was so done for.  The little brat knew that was how to get me too because I could never pick her up again.

We brought her home to meet Princess, DH’s cat.  They sniffed each other, Princess hissed then Goldie hissed back.  She could hold her own.  It would be OK.  They didn’t interact much together but they didn’t fight either.

Goldie would sleep on my lap while I was typing my thesis.  One time, she slipped off and used her claws to try to break her fall.  I was wearing shorts at the time. Ouch.

We also had hamsters.  One day, we went to clean out the hamster cage (a fish tank) and we turned around to find Goldie sitting in the fish tank looking for all the world like she was pretending to be a hamster.  Meanwhile, Sunshine the hamster was desperately trying to climb out of the tank, to escape ‘the thing that will eat me.’  But Goldie had no desire to touch the hamster.  She never attacked them when they got loose, she never hurt them, but she did like the fish tank: See! I’m a hamster too!

Goldie was also very territorial too, once we had her spayed.  Any cat that came near the sliding glass door was in for it.  She would growl and hiss and attack the door to try to shoo them off.  After we bought our first house, we thought briefly of letting her be an indoor/outdoor cat, but then we decided against it.  We weren’t afraid for her so much as we were afraid for the rest of the neighborhood.  Good thing too, because she would fly into these beserker rages when other cats came around.  If her attention was suddenly drawn into the the house, she would attack anything on sight – typically Princess.  One night, a neighbor cat (who liked to torment her by sitting outside the back door) had her so riled up that she turned on me.  She shredded a pair of jeans and my leg before I could get her shut into a room by herself.  Within a few minutes, she had calmed down and started meowing to be let out.  She stayed in there for a few hours.  I was pretty upset.

Goldie was not happy when we brought two more cats into the house, but she got used to them and eventually became friends with Luna.  They would play “chase the red bug” together.  They would sit on opposite sides of the room and when the red bug (laser pointer) came towards one of them, say Goldie, she would chase it, but when the bug went to the other part of the room, she would stop and wait for her turn while Luna chased it.  Now they are both gone but their ashes will be scattered in the same pet cemetery.  Perhaps they can play together once more.

Goldie was 14 years old. She lived a good life for a cat.  She was finicky, particular, and utterly devoted to me.  Part Maine Coon, she chose me when she jumped out of that shopping cart and bonded to me quite quickly.  She was always a happy cat, trotting around the house with her tail up.  She would give you the cold shoulder when she was mad, but it wouldn’t last long.  She had a loud purr, loved the sunshine, and even chased a ball in her youth.  She was a great companion and I will miss her dearly.

She fought illness in life and even fought death.  Her last meow was one of anger, not of fear.  As DH said, “Her last meow was a brave angry cry at death, and a warning to the afterlife that a fighting cat was coming.”

Sleep well, my furry angel, and play in the sun to your heart’s content.

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