On Friday, July 18, 2014 my worst fears came true. I had just pulled up to the house and got out of my car when I spotted Kitty. He had been gone for a week and I had been worried. There he was huddled under the red Jeep. I walked over. “OMG, sweety! Where have you been?” It was strange that he didn’t come right out to greet me. I crouched down and touched him. He was not moving and panic set in. I pulled him out and could see he had been injured by an animal or something. His poor jaw had been torn open and I could smell the wound. He was crying and I grabbed him and wrapped him in a blanket and got right in the car with him.
I called Mountain Top Animal Hospital letting them know I had an injured cat who was dying and asked if there was a vet on duty. The woman said yes and asked me to hold. We started driving and it felt like an eternity until she got back on the line. I was told they had too many animals having emergencies and that the vet had said they couldn’t see us. To say the least I was outraged. Now I had been going there for over 10 years with my own dogs as well as the rescue’s dogs. I could not believe they could be that in-compassionate and refuse to help. I was stunned. I was not believing what I was hearing. It was like the whole world fell away for a moment. I told the woman to give the vet a message from me and all the dogs in my rescue that he could go #$%^ himself and that they just lost my business. Now what.
There is another vet in Mountain Top. We rushed over there. They wouldn’t help me either and suggested I drive 45 minutes up to the emergency room. Kitty didn’t have that much time left. I walked out of there stunned as well. No one would help me. I was heart-broken. I put Kitty down on the hood of the Jeep still wrapped in the blanket and kissed him and stroked his soft fur for a minute. I then cradled him back in my arms and we got back in the car and drove back to the Sanctuary. Back to the one place he knew and loved and felt safe. He died in my arms and I cried like you do when no one is watching. My heart was broken. Just like that he was gone.
He was the neighbor’s cat. His “real name” was Stewie, but we always called him Kitty. A gift from his girlfriend I believe. One I don’t think he wanted or even cared about. I figured that when the girlfriend left, Kitty was pretty much on his own. He showed up here out of no where February 2009. It was late at night and it was snowing. He was all beat up and we brought him inside. He spent the rest of the winter in the Mureille’s Place office getting better. Those were the days of Mattie the Chocolate Lab and while he was here, she spent most of her time sniffing at him through the door and scratching the hell out of the door trying to dig her way in so she could get him. Even after I found out who is owner was and he went home, I left the marks on the door as a reminder….of him and sweet Mattie. They are still there today and I smile when I see them.
I like to think he crawled from wherever he had been hiding while trying to get better to get to me because he knew I loved him and that I would help him. Since that snowy night when he showed up I have been feeding him and caring for him and loving him. I patched him up on more than one occasion. He had his own couch outside to nap on and his food bowl was always full. He even had a heated cat condo for the winter. He would come up on the deck almost every night for a bowl of wet dog food and to sleep in a safe place when he wanted to. He was always around to greet anyone who stopped by. He would pop out of everywhere like he was our own personal watch cat. He escorted me down to the street on “garbage night” and kept my Nova free from mice when I was able to keep the windows open when we had the big tent up. He would sit and watch me shovel the driveway in the winter and pop into the Jeep when I had the doors open to unload groceries or anything. He would always come out and greet me when I came home from work.
He loved our volunteers but he especially loved Bill. He would always come running out when Bill came because Bill would bring him vanilla ice cream. Oh he loved that! Not a drop would be left in the bowl. LOL!
Kitty gave me and really everyone he met so much joy. I think we all have our favorite “Kitty story”. (Feel free to add yours in the comment section or email it to me) Kitty tried to befriend most of the dogs here but there were only a few that accepted his friendship. Bailey the Chihuahua/Doxi & Chaos the German Shepherd. Everyone else either barked at him or chased him off when he would sneak into the yard. Wes chased him every day until he could no longer see and even then he would smell him and perk up and try to figure out where he was. Kitty ran like the wind right past him and up the deck steps and into my arms. LOL! What a rebel. He would take the chance of meeting up with one of the dogs just to get up to see me.
On many a night you could find him curled up in my lap while I sat on the deck drinking coffee at the end of the day. He let me pull off the ticks and scratch him and love on him. He’d snuggle in and sleep in my lap until it was time for me to head to bed. I ended so many nights with Kitty that way.
I miss him so much. He was a fixture here. Always around. He was a “once in a lifetime” cat and he lived life on his own terms. His paw print like so many others is embedded on my heart and I am a better person for having known him. Run free at the Bridge Kitty. I will see you there one day but in the meantime, keep Chaos company, ok? I will love you forever, Kitty.