Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Meet me on the other side

Almost eight years ago we adopted this oddball cat CeCe from some dear friends who had to give her up. If you looked up "standoffish" in the dictionary, her picture would likely have been there. She did not want to be touched and appeared to need zero human interaction. This is Cece in November 2000, just after we brought her home.

Part of her disdain for us might have had someting to do with the fact that I immediately began to wean her off of canned food and put her on a diet. She was so heavy that carrying her (yowling)through two airport literally had me in pain for two days. She'd often go to sleep in DH's recliner, especially while it was still warm, wedging her big self in tightly between the arms.


Eventually CeCe grew to tolerate us all and in the past 3-4 years she has become especially loving with me, probably because I'm not only chief feeder and litterbox cleaner but also because I've nursed her through several health crises. So I was mostly just stressed when she had what I thought was just a flare of her chronic illness about a week ago. I've done little but take care of her between classes and assignments and we've been to the vet so many times I've lost track.

This morning I thought she was finally turning the corner and was once again on the road to recovery but shortly after that she suddenly collapsed and was obviously in trouble. I rushed her to the vet but it was soon clear that she could not recover enough to have any quality of life. We couldn't tell how much of her crying was from the normal anxiety of respiratory distress and how much was due to pain but I knew she was beyond miserable when she no longer purred. As difficult as it was, I knew there was only one viable choice. She has been such a trouper these past few days that even the vet cried while administering her final injection. I was fortunate to be able to say my goodbyes and cuddle her to the very end. DH and DD were not so lucky and I dread delivering this news. We will miss you sorely, Cece Louisa!

This is my favorite photo, taken when we lived in rural California and let her outside occasionally (she was declawed when we got her). She was nonetheless a masterful hunter, regularly presenting us with gifts of assorted lizards, large bugs, birds and various furry creatures. Usually they were dead but occasionally we'd get a bonus surprise! Watching her skill and patience was astounding. This picture was on the first really warm day of spring, when I haul out the flowerpots and uncover the deck furniture. She was obviously happy to get outside and soak up some sun and I just love her smug look, no doubt anticipating many happy adventures in the coming months.


Ceece, I hope it's always warm and sunny for you now and you're able to stalk lizards and birds to your heart's content while we anticipate a possible reunion on the other side of the bridge. xoxox

4 comments:

lscisme said...

I'm so sorry to read of the loss of your cat friend. She was lucky to live with such a caring, loving you.

cherln said...

Marilyn,

It was a suprise to of recieved your message. You have some awsome pieces. Its really cool to find someone which could be a relative and a bonus to for them to be an artist also. It would be great to find out if there is any connection also. Feel free to contact me at cherln@satx.rr.com.

Do you live in San Antonio?

Best Wishes,
Cherln

TammyC said...

Oh Marilyn, I'm crying for you. My Merry can drive me nuts at times, but I don't know what I'd do without him here, especially when life gets tough and he crawls into my lap and gets all snuggly. {{{{You}}}}}

Tammy C
http://tammycardwell.net/cluttered_desk

Kelli said...

What a beautiful story and profound photographs of your wonderful CeCe. My daughter is crying right now, reading about your co-devotion. Thanks for sharing such a personal story. Kelli