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September 2013



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Goodbye again--Miss Pooh

Goodbye again--Miss Pooh, originally uploaded by graphicartepsi.

I mentioned a week or so ago that Miss Pooh's tumor appeared to have returned; truthfully I just couldn't bear to write more about it, as I
watched her decline and tried to make her comfortable.

She came to me 14 years ago in the middle of an icy, tension-filled night when my late husband smelled a gas leak in our basement. I got home from an event to find the street blocked, the yard and street filled with police, fire trucks, and gas company trucks, the house cold, and men streaming in and out of my basement. So it remained, all night, as they brought in heavy machinery to dig up the yard beside the house.

Around 3 am, there was a knock on my door--of course I had stayed awake, keeping watch with the house, bundled in down-filled robe and polar fleece throws. One of the gas men was there, with a tiny black kitten dwarfed by his big hands.

"Is this your kitten, ma'am?"


"Well, would you take her in for the night? I'm afraid she'll be hurt with
the backhoe and all the action...she just won't stay away..."

So I took her. She crawled, purring, into my robe, with only her little
head sticking out the top...and for 14 years that was her favorite place to be, close to me.

She never got very big...it was almost like having a perpetual kitten.
Dainty and graceful, feisty and full of personality, she never hesitated to let me know what she wanted. The last few days, I think she wanted out...

I said goodbye to her Friday afternoon. The tumor had returned, as my vet was sure it would, and was cutting off her air passages and making it difficult to eat. Her breathing sounded like a snore, and sometime a gasp; much worse in the past four days. She'd paw at her neck and mouth. When I took her in I knew what my friend Pete would find..."it's huge. She might last a day, or maybe a week, but the decision isn't going to get any easier for you than it is right now."

At the last, she got scared...I had hoped it would be quiet and easy, as I held and stroked her, but it was not. She turned and bit at what was holding her there, and bit hard.

So...many tears later, my friends Keith and Jeri came to help me put her in the ground. I'd tried to dig the hole myself, but my hand hurt too much by then. Saturday morning I called the doctor and he asked about my tetanus shots...far overdue...and told me we had 48 hours. He asked what time had I been bitten; by the time his office opened on Monday, it would be well over that. Cat bites with those sharp little teeth actually inject bacteria in the tissues if the bite is deep, and it was. Without prompt, proper care, people end up in surgery and worse. He prescribed a heavy duty antibiotic...

He doesn't have Saturday office hours any more...so I got to spend time at our local emergency room getting the tetanus shot and being seen by a doctor. By then 3/4 of my hand was red and swollen, and everything I tried to do hurt...turning the ignition, opening a door, shifting to drive, brushing my hair, so I knew I didn't have much choice about the emergency services.

My temperature was taken, and all manner of questions asked and advice given. Epsom salts, ice, keep it elevated, keep it dry when not soaking in Epsom...funny how all this gives you something to think about besides missing that sweet and lovely little animal...

I couldn't write this sooner because typing was on the long list of things that hurt like hell...it's enough better after a couple of day's antibiotics that I can do it in short bursts, so I wanted to honor my little black cat, who went by many names.

Funny...I'm grateful to her for giving me something to think about besides missing her, something that keeps me busy.

And I guess I was lucky. My LJ friend http://lostandlikenit.livejournal.com/ has had a MUCH worse time of it when her cat bit her recently. Glad I called the doctor when I did...


Thank you, sweet girl. I understood absolutely why it happened, and neither my vet nor I expected it--she was being calm and quiet, but the sound of the electric razor scared her. I cried a lot that night, and have since...but much more for her than in pain. She was a very special little animal.

Kate, I'm so sorry.

You were such a good kitty mama. (((more hugs)))
Thank you, sweetie...I do try to do the best I can when it comes to taking care of these little creatures that rely on me. She was a little doll...
Thank you, Vicky...then you know exactly what it was like. That's what she had. She'd had one in her ear a little over a year ago and the vet told me it was a type that would come back. It did...I'd just hoped for a lot later...
Thank you, you sweet thing...
I'm sorry, sweets. *hugs*
Thank you, sweetie...and you've changed your name!
Sorry to hear about the loss of your cat and I have to admit there was a little bit of a smile with her leaving "gift", that and *hugs* and a hope that you get well soon.
Thank you--it DID seem sort of poetic justice, didn't it?! It's been a rough year or so for me and my furry family...

And oh, my, your icon is lovely.
i'm so sorry. you did right by her--you gave her extended life, and saw to it that she was released when she needed to be. i'm truly sorry she struck out at what held her--fright makes us forget, whether people or animals, that the very thing restraining us may be the thing that cherishes us most...

i hope your hand heals well, and that your spirit does, too...thinking of you...
Thank you, sweet girl. It's better--the hand--but it's being better is sort of allowing me to miss her more. SUCH a sweetheart...
Thanks, Jen...sometimes no words at all capture it well...


My Condolences

Dear Kate,
I read your blog everyday and have come to think of you as a 'special friend" here on the internet. I love your work but mostly I love the person who shines through in everything you paint and write. I am blessed when I spend time with 'you'. I can't begin to imagine how much it hurts to lose your beautiful little kitty, and I'll give my dog a longer hug this morning and send a prayer up for Miss Pooh.

Re: My Condolences

Your dog is just beautiful, Kim, and please hug her for me, too. Thank you so much for your kindness...


I'm so sorry abut your loss, Kate...and I hope you recover quickly from the bite. Casey

Thank you, Casey...the bite is much better, but the ache will be there for a while in my heart, I'm afraid. Funny, the last week or so she was all over the house, I think looking for some place she could be comfortable, places she'd never chosen before. Now, everywhere I look, I see her.
*hugs* Kate.
Thanks, Natalie...we sure do get fond of our moggies, don't we??


Oh, sweetie, I've missed your sorrow and loss and bitten hand in my frenzy to get the wedding to happen. This is just heartbreaking---poor little Pooh. I know you're relieved that her awful suffering is over, but how you'll miss her.
Wish I could give you a big hug and a miracle cure for your sore hand.
Take good care, my Kate.
Thank you, sweet Xoxa--I was so pleased to see how well everything went for you, and to see your beautiful watercolors again!

I will miss her, that's for sure...a creature of many moods, but oh, how she loved being with me. Anyone who says cats aren't loving has never known one like my Pooh.

The hand is better, though I'll be on the antibiotics for another 6 days. I think maybe that IS a miracle cure! It was better in 2.

XOXO to you, sweet.
Oh my! I read your reply to my journal and thought....What happened? Then I read this. I am so sorry you lost your kitty. They are our family.
I think the reason I had to end up with the surgery and the IV antibiotics etc. was I didn't get it seen in time. I am also allergic to penicillin so we had to go stronger. Doing better though. I have 7 more weeks of Physical therapy and I am really glad to hear that you took care of the bite right away. People ask me if I still have the cat? I reply, that he didn't attack me, I just had my hand in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I'll say a little prayer for your little furry friend. I know how much he will be missed. chris
I really thought about stopping by my doctor's on the way home from the vet, but I was crying, and had her body with me in a little box, and it was almost 5. Really should have, though...by the next morning I was pretty well infected, and I was lucky.

I'm glad to hear you were able to keep your kitty. Pooh just got scared at the last moment and wanted to be left alone...I don't blame her.

I can't believe yours was so bad, how awful!! How long did you wait to get treatment??