Monday, May 23, 2016

And Then There Was One

For a while there we had six cats.  There was Rolaren who I had from a long while back.  Then there were Bra'Tac and Freya who we adopted one day when we went to buy patio furniture.  After that there were Petra and Bean who we literally rescued off the street.  And rounding out the pack was Tivel, my mother's cat that we took off my father's hands.  We never intended to have that many cats.  I don't think anyone really ever intends to have that many cats.  It just happens.  One day you have a cat and then some day you look up and you've become cat people.

When the boy was imminent we decided we needed to thin the herd some.  It didn't seem responsible to begin that project with all that chaos.

Tivel was the first to depart.  He had to go to the shelter.  Tivel was mean.  I decided he wasn't going to be able to stay with us when it became glaringly clear he was never going to make friends with the rest of the group.  He had been an outdoor cat in Chicago and never adjusted to being an indoor cat here with us.  Plus he had been on his own for more than a decade.  I don't think it was in his plan to become one of six.

Next to go was Rolaren.  I don't think Ro liked being part of a big family either.  She was twitchy right from her adoption and in hindsight it seems like maybe she was better off in a one cat household.  One of my former students took her on and it seems like she's very happy there.  I see pictures of her occasionally on Facebook.

Next was Petra.  We tired really hard to find someone to take Petra and Bean together but had no luck.  It didn't help much that we couldn't really give a rousing recommendation for her: "she only bit me once..."  As the clock ran out on the project we had to take Petra to the shelter.  We did find a new home for Bean.  He went to the family of a co-worker.  We were talking about him just the other day and like Rolaren, Bean is having a fine time of it in his new home.

That left us with Bra'Tac and Freya.  Two cats seemed reasonable for a house with a new child.

Last Friday Freya passed away.  She seemed fine at the top of the week.  I didn't notice anything amiss the times I saw her.  And then Friday she was gone.  Mrs. TANBI saw her Friday afternoon and thought she looked mopey.  She thought it was strange that Freya had let the boy get close enough to pet her.  I figured I'd give her a look over when I saw her.  After we got home Freya didn't present herself, so after a little while I went looking for her.  She was in the basement on the first step just hanging out.  I brought her upstairs thinking maybe she needed some water.  She didn't eat or drink, just sat on my lap.  Her breathing sounded labored so I put her down and searched that online on my phone.  While I was looking she walked into the living room and laid down.

She didn't get up again.

I got her carrier and found a 24 hour animal ER but we never made it to the car.  She'd stopped breathing and I couldn't hear a pulse.  I put her nose in my ear to see if I could hear breathing but there was nothing.  Just like that she was gone.

We're sad.  I'm taking solace from the thought that she got to say goodbye and that it happened quickly and at least apparently without pain.  The whole family is going to miss Freya.  She was a great cat.

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