Saturday, September 11, 2010

Slinky (Cat) X, January, 1991 -- September, 2010

Her full name was "The Slinker," from the way she used to walk, low to the ground, head up and alert, almost like a little weasel. It was a legacy of having spent the first six months of her life living outdoors, in a field frequently hunted by red-tailed hawks. Several years of indoor living eventually ended that habit, but she was never at ease under a moving ceiling fan. As a result, the fans here at Roseholme rarely ran.

Slinky was always a sweet (though mischievous) little cat, for whom the world was born anew with every corner she turned. She was tiny; in midlife, she'd bulked up to almost eight pounds, but generally she weighed between four and five pounds. With huge ears, great big eyes and being very fine-boned, she always looked like a nearly-grown kitten. She was so elfin that one of her nicknames (and yes, it's hopelessly twee) was "the Fairy Princess Cat." Like the Little People of legend, she wasn't unarmed: her upper cat-fangs were unusually long; smoothing, she'd "teeth" you just a little and when yawning or with her chin up, she looked like a tiny sabertooth or vampire kitty.

Over the past week, she began having more and more difficulty navigating and by last night, I was concerned she might have become nearly blind.

This morning, a little before 9:00, she had a seizure. She'd had them before, at long intervals, but this one seemed especially bad; she was meowing in distress and couldn't stand. I made her comfortable and stayed with her while Tam fetched a phone and dialed the vet. They advised taking her to the emergency clinic (Noah's Pet Hospital, where I've taken my cats before) but but the time I'd changed from robe and nightgown to jeans and a T-shirt (Tam stayed with Slinky), she'd stopped breathing and did not have a perceptible heartbeat.

My vet is half as far away as the pet hospital and a hasty call later, I was on my way to the vet's office. The vet did find slow heartbeat -- once every couple of minutes -- but it was too late and had probably been too late from the moment the seizure started.

I took awhile to say goodbye and to remind her to be a good kitty.

Last night, I'd thought about letting her sleep on me awhile, and passed it up. I wish I hadn't; there was nothing she liked better than to get comfy right on my chest, purring and kneading. She'd stay and nap for about an hour and then she'd have had enough, hop down and demand to be let out of my bedroom.

Slinky was a good cat. After 19 years, she was like a person to me (in fact, Corporal Slin- in one of my Starship stories is based on her; each of the three USSF reservists is based on one of the cats of Roseholme Cottage). I miss her.

(A little more about Slinky and her Daddy. Also here).

74 comments:

Joe Allen said...

Oh man, that sucks.

My condolences.

Michael said...

I lost my cat of 16 years this past Wednesday. I share your pain. Try to remember her as she was, the annoying, lovable, obnoxious, furry terror she was.

jetfxr69 said...

I'm sorry. She sounds like a good friend.

TJIC said...

My condolences. Losing a dear pet is the worst.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Poor kitty.

WV: 'shame'. Yes, googleblogger, it is a shame.

Ken said...

I'm very sorry.

Joseph said...

I'm sorry, Roberta.

JD said...

Sorry to hear the news. Remeber the good times.. . . . You will meet again someday.

Rustmeister said...

Sorry to hear that, you have our condolences.

George said...

For all of your life, Roberta, you will know that Slinky lived and died in your love. That's a pretty good epitaph, don't you think.

My condolences to you (and to Tam, probably) as well as from my two, Emmy and Lou.

Regards.

Frank W. James said...

Roberta: Sorry to hear it. A year ago last month we lost our daughter's Persian at age 16, 8 months and I still miss her. They truly ARE friends that make our lives better and easier.

All The Best,
Frank W. James

TheGraybeard said...

I am so sorry to hear this. We went through the same loss just a few months ago. It stays raw.

I know it sounds cliched, but think of the good times, and try to drop the memories of the last day.

Anonymous said...

Sympathy, and condolences, from the YF and myself. Cats give so much and demand so little, the pain of their loss is doubled.

Stranger

Lissa said...

Rest in peace, Slinky. I'm so sorry, Roberta.

LC Scotty said...

Sorry to hear this, Roberta

Justthisguy said...

Aww! RIP, kitteh, and I do send my most earnest condolences.

Rev. Paul said...

Sorry to hear this. Our condolences.

jbrock said...

So sorry; my condolences.

Midwest Chick said...

The loss of a furry companion is something that cuts deep into the heart. Our condolences to you on your loss.

Turk Turon said...

This is such very, very sad news. Bobbi, you took such good care of Slinky for 19 years. You did good. It sounds like she was not in any pain, and that's because of the excellent care she received.

R.I.P. Slinky

og said...

Sorry for your loss, hope the pain is soothed by good memories soonest.

Anonymous said...

As I read this, my eyes welled up a little bit, so I reached down to pet my Taffy girl, always by my side. I realized she has been gone for six months now. Maybe they never leave us.

CGHill said...

"...for whom the world was born anew with every corner she turned."

I love that phrase. Not everyone is so fortunate as to have had a friend like that.

wv: "loggl". The loggl be a lot different, now that poor Slinky has gone.

Divemedic said...

They become part of our family, and the world is made that much lonlier by their passing.

On a Wing and a Whim said...

My condolences. When they go, they leave a cat-shaped hole in your heart.

Ambulance Driver said...

My condolences, Roberta.

Farm.Dad said...

condolences from the entire farm fam to you .

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for your loss. Losing a furry child is hard. You are in our thoughts.

Kerry

Sarah said...

I'm sorry.

Mark Alger said...

Tearing up, here. "Be a good kitty." ::sniff:: Sounds like she was/will be.

M

Stingray said...

I'm so sorry. The whole world darkens just a little when a good cat moves on.

OldTexan said...

Cat or dog, is is always a real heart breaker to lose a furry member of your family.

Peter said...

They take a part of us with them when they go . . . but from wherever they are, they soon return it, so that we can share it with the cat they send to take their place. They're generous that way.

westofthewest said...

I recommend beer and Country Western.

"No more weepin' no more tears
I want a smile from you...
Say adios when the sun sets on the sage"
Commander Cody

danno said...

Uggg... I share your pain. A pain that nothing can ease.

Shermlock Shomes said...

Condolences!

Hat Trick said...

My condolences. It is hard to lose such a loved pet.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear this. You have my sincere condolences.


ThoreMo

Jeffro said...

Awwww, Roberta.....

One of my favorite wise men always used to tell me: "All you can do is the best you can do."

You did all that and more for Slinky. You have Rooster's and my condolences out here in flyover country.

Comrade E.B. Misfit said...

My condolences. My three are now geriatric cats and I dread that the day that will inevitably come for each one of them.

JC said...

My condolences on your loss. It hurts, losing a member of the family.

D.W. Drang said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend.

Crucis said...

Roberta, Mrs Crucis and I have gone through our share of cats. We remember each for the individuals they were---Morris (aka Tunacat), Chicory and Willow.

Pets give more love than they receive and are our helpers through life.

Our deepest condolences.

DJ said...

All cats are kittens at heart, and the stars dim a bit when a kitten leaves us.

My Pixie will be 18 in December. I am her human, and she is my sweetheart. She is amazingly well, a seven pound wonder, but the thought that one day I'll lose her gnaws at me.

Life goes on, and loving a kitten is one of the best parts of it. May you love again.

rickn8or said...

So sorry for your loss, Roberta.

No matter how long you have 'em around, it isn't long enough.

Jon said...

I'm so sorry. I lost my dog back in July, it's a hard thing to take.

Anonymous said...

Roberta, this registry of condolences reads like a who's who of the blogger and commenter world; that's a testament to what and who you are...and SX was a very lucky kitty for those 19(!) years. Al Terego

Carrie said...

Roberta, so sorry to hear about Slinky. 19 years means you did something right, and it also means you were so strongly bonded to each other. She's your angel now.

TD said...

I'm very, very sorry, Roberta.

Bubblehead Les. said...

She passed on in the arms of one who loved her. May we all be as Blessed when our time comes. Take care.

LabRat said...

I have owned many cats and dogs, and the day I lost each of those I have lost so far is etched very, very vividly in my memory.

It takes a good cat, and a good human, to see beyond the language and culture barrier of species into warm friendship. Each broken is an imprint.

Six said...

I am so sorry.

Michael said...

All the cats that ever loved you are waiting for you in heaven. . .

Hans said...

I'm terribly sorry.
Whatever the pain the end brings us, the time we have with our friends (or are they family?) is worth it. Reflect on good memories, and I hope the thoughts of those who care helps a little.

EgregiousCharles said...

I'm so sorry. I lost one of my dogs last November. It really tears you up.

John B said...

As you can tell from the amount of comments, the internet, all of us, are crying right alongside you.

Nathan said...

Sorry, Bobbi :(

It is never easy to lose a cat.

Scott McCray said...

Losing a furry family member is never easy - my condolences.

KurtP said...

I'm sorry to hear that.

My thoughts are with you and Tam, it's always hard loosing a pet no matter how you want to be prepared.

Roberta X said...

My profound thanks to everyone who has stopped by to leave good wishes. It truly is a comfort.

JPG said...

Sincere condolences to all of Slinky's family.
JPG

reflectoscope said...

I'm sorry, Roberta.

Jim

Mike said...

I'm very sorry for your loss.

Ric said...

Sorry about your feline friend, sucks, but it would appear she had a long and good life with you...

sam said...

My condolences, Roberta. I'm sure you will treasure Slinky's memory, as you immortalize her in your book.

Ancient Woodsman said...

Sincere condolences. Slinky is missed dearly by your extended web family, too. She brightened up far more homes & hearts than just yours over the years. Thanks for sharing her.

Something must be in the weather - I just got back from a funeral for a dear old friend and have another one tomorrow.

trebor1415 said...

My condolences.

Our two cats are 17 and both have health issues. We're going to both be basket cases when we lose them.

Our little Ford cat sleeps in my wife's arms every night.

Rob (trebor)

Scott said...

I'm sorry Bobby that sucks greatly. I've lost a couple cats and one dog and it hurts every single time. In my opinion life would be diminished and paler without a couple critters lying about sunning themselves and coming by for a good head scritch on occasion but for a couple days after a pet passes it almost seems worth it then I remember the joy that came with the little fur ball. It's been a year since our dog Maisie had to be put down and I still see her sometimes out of the corner of my eye. It's oddly reassuring though sad.
I'm not looking forward to the next couple years though as our other dogs are getting up there in years too.

Breda said...

I'm so sorry, Bobbi. I was glad to have met your lovely fairy princess cat. She was lucky to have you.

Nowayoutbutup said...

RX,
I am so sorry about Slinky.
Most people don't understand how many human traits cats have.
I to have lost a good friend in the past and my best goes out to you.
For a cat story that might cheer you up go here:http://nowayoutbutup.blogspot.com/2010/09/errant-children.html
All my best.

The Freeholder said...

I don't get by as often as I should, so I'm just now reading this. I'm sorry for your loss. Unsure of your beliefs, but I hope you get to meet again in another place.

Roberta X said...

My thanks -- once more -- to everyone who has offered words of comfort. I still get the occasional stab of loss.

Freeholder, you wrote, "Unsure of your beliefs," (Me, too) "but I hope you get to meet again in another place."
It's a happy thought. I always feel like I could have, should have done better by lost pets. A second chance would be nice.

TrueBlueSam said...

Sympathy and Condolences...I heard about your cat while on the road from another blogger, and being a cat (and dog) person, I know what you feel.

Dragon said...

Sympathies and condolences, Roberta and Tam...

I know what you went through...a few months ago (June 6th, actually) I had to put down my baby girl, an Eclectus parrot...although they can live well over 35 years, she wasn't even 3...

My wife and I still get emotional when we see pictures of her or talk about her.

Your pet wasn't so much like a person...more so like your baby.

Again, sorry for the loss. I'm sure that she'll be waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge.

Regards,

Dragon