That’s what David started calling her early on – Callie-Cat. We also called her Baby Kitty, Cuteness, and Crazy Kitty. We got her 3 years ago when some friends were giving away their cat’s kittens. The moment I saw Callie’s face, I knew she was supposed to be ours. Even though I had recently sworn we would be a one-cat household from now on, and we loved our old black cat, Hershey, without thinking, I tweeted back to this friend’s post with Callie’s picture, and told her we wanted that one. When she responded and said she was ours, I freaked out. I did not need nor want another cat. I told her to let me sleep on it first, hoping either sanity would kick in or my husband would talk me out of it. By the next morning, neither of those things had happened. After all, how could you resist that face in this twitpic? http://twitpic.com/1uv8bf”
She quickly settled in as a member of our family. She was sweet, playful, snuggly, adventurous – the perfect cat. She took turns sleeping with each of the kids. She put up with them holding her, putting covers on her, and all the other things cats aren’t supposed to like. A year later, when my brother died, she was a bright spot for our family. In the last 3 years, Callie has been such a blessing to our family. I have loved all of our pets, but she’s the only one I’ve ever described as being a blessing.
On Tuesday night, she suddenly passed away. An indoor cat, she had been “missing” most of the afternoon and evening. When we found her, she was in really bad shape, breathing heavily, lethargic, and would not eat. Preston took her to the after-hours animal clinic, where they found she had fluid in and around her lungs, and even some in her abdomen. Her temp was 87 degreed F. I cat’s normal temp is around 101 degrees F, I believe. In spite of the doctor’s best efforts to save her (and with symptoms pointing to congestive heart-failure, which shouldn’t happen to a 3-year-old cat) she died less than 2 hours later. The doctor wasn’t sure what caused her sudden onset of symptoms and death. Today my veterinarian said it could be one of 2 things: hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or feline heartworms. Both can cause death in young cats. Our vet assured me there was nothing else we could have done. Getting her there sooner wouldn’t have made a difference. The condition would have still – most likely – been fatal. That helped me a lot.
Tomorrow – how am I supposed to grieve for a cat?