Monday, June 15, 2009

Saying goodbye to a dear old friend...

This has been a very hard week for us. On Thursday evening, we found ourselves in the waiting room at our local veterinarian hospital waiting to hear about Tori's blood work. When the doctor finally came back into the room, she told us that Tori had kitty diabetes and that her liver was shutting down. She made it very clear that even if she did somehow pull through a long stint in the hospital, Tori's life would never be the same. Between multiple daily injections of insulin and blood draws, she would be on a strict feeding regiment. All of this could only take place after they tried to salvage her liver, which would require a feeding tube into her throat and heavy sedatives for an undetermined length of time. The expense would be astronomical, not to mention the pain and uncertainty that would accompany those days. The vet never pushed us to make a decision, but it was clear she felt it was more humane to let Tori go. And so, at 6:30 pm Thursday evening, all three of us gathered around our precious feline and hugged her close as she purred her way into a gentle slumber. Afterwords, we knew she was gone, but we also knew she would never be forgotten.

Tori was our oldest kitty. She has been with James and I since we found her at the Austin Humane Society in 1995. That's nearly 15 years. She was a very tiny kitten. Her little features and intricate colors were what drew me to her. I remember James pointing to the vivacious little tom cat in her same cage while I stared at Tori who sat right up against the glass with her paw reaching out towards us. "Why do you want that one?" he'd asked in his best "you-must-be-crazy" voice. It was at that moment that Tori looked up at him, tilted her head just so, and gave us the tiniest most enchanting mew. James melted right along with me and said, "Yep, she's the one!". We found out later that Tori had never really learned how to meow because her kennel had been kept right next to the dogs kennel. Even after 15 years, her meow sounded more like the 'yip' of a puppy. It was quite funny. Of course, most of our friends and family believed Tori did nothing but growl and hiss. She wasn't the most tolerant of cats to outsiders, but she was ours.

I remember that Tori used to sleep on the top of James forehead at night. It was quite a sight to see this tiny puff ball balancing atop his head. We never could really figure out why she did this, it was just her thing. Of course, James was rather thankful she outgrew this tradition as she began to gain weight. She turned out to be quite a plump cat, which made her even more adorable. I just remember her walking across the room and dropping to the floor and nearly rolling over as her belly finally settled. I also remember taking her to the vet who, after cowering in fear at Tori's ferocious growl and hiss declared "ah, she's just fine!! Oh, and, don't feel it necessary to bring her into us again unless you notice any change in her behavior." Nice. My cat scared the vet! LOL! Any time we needed to take her after that we had to get sleeping pills before he would even tough her! Of course, the vet wasn't the only one Tori could scare. I still remember my 6'5" brother expressing his pure terror at trying to feed Tori while we were away on our honeymoon. "Your cat is crazy!" he exclaimed as James and I rolled with laughter. She was most certainly convincing!

There are little things that used to drive me nuts about Tori, which now I find myself missing all the time. For instance, Tori used to lay under my desk as I checked email throughout the day and would nuzzle my toes. Eventually, the drool would come - YUCK! I would shriek and cry, "Ewwww... Tori!!" Then I would hear James snicker from the next room. Of course, she had a tendency to drool on the back of his neck whenever she sat on the back of the couch and wanted loving. Hey, at least she was an equal opportunity drooler!

Tori never really bonded much with Kayla until the last few weeks of her life... Early on, whenever the tornado that is Kayla would come into the room, Tori would always look at James and I and give us this what-were-you-thinking look as she growled and hissed at her. Towards the end however, she seemed to love the added attention as Kayla showered her with kisses and hugs. You would find Kayla nuzzling up against Tori's head and then hear her very loud purr all the way across the room. It was quite precious. Of course, this extra bonding has made losing Tori a bit harder, but we are pulling together. We've cried together as a family, and Kayla has prayed that Jesus would take extra good care of her in heaven.... and I am confident He will.

1 comment:

Pedro Garcia Millan said...



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