Thursday, April 3, 2008

Keyottee

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Keyotte was our little cat that we had to put to sleep this morning.

Keyotte came into my life when I was a teenager of 15, give or take a year. I cannot remember. Anyway...I am not a "cat person". I love animals, but cats were not a favorite. I never really *desired* a cat. I didn’t hate them. But I grew up with dogs. I also had fish, horses, chickens, and goats.

We got Keyotte as an "asset". We had horses, and we had a Rat problem. So we went to the pound to pick up a kitten that would be our "ratter" cat. I picked her out of 100’s of kittens because she seemed the feistiest of them all. She was climbing the walls of her cage, and biting her brother and sister’s tails, lol!

Her original name was Tabitha. We had to keep her inside until she had her rabies shots, which couldn’t happen until she was a certain age.

So guess who got to take most care of her? Yup, Me! I hope I don’t want to offend any cat lovers here, but she turned me from a cat "liker" into a cat "hater". I could understand why people didn’t like cats. For one, I would have her sleep with me at night, and she would pounce and attack my feet. So I decided, I would lay r-e-a-l-l-y still. If I so much as sniffled my nose, she would pounce and attack my face!

I would then put her in the bathroom at night, and she would meow and meow and meow.

Then Guess what happened? A stray showed up at our place. A sweet little cat, which my nephew named Robin. (He wanted to name her batman, but I told him she was a girl, so he decided on Robin) Robin, chased the mice and ate the rats. As Robin was doing this job nicely we found out that Robin’s little belly was getting a little bit bigger.

So it was decided that Tabitha become an inside cat. I wasn’t too thrilled with that idea, but, that is what we did.

She was one *crazy* cat. She would have spastic moments, and start bouncing and climbing off of the walls. Literally, lol! She would tantalize my mother’s dog on purpose and get the dog to chase her. Then she would round the bend, hind under the couch and as the dog came running towards her thinking she went in the other direction, she would sneak up behind her and bat the dog’s tail and disappear under the couch again! ;-)

She slept in the bathroom; otherwise I would had scares for life. Our good friend would come over and go to the bathroom, and she said Tabitha would attack her when she began to wipe!

Thankfully, our good friend has a good sense of humor and thought it was hilarious. It was our friend who began to call Tabitha, Keyotte. It was her version of the word Kitty.

A couple asked me to babysit their two girls everyday for a week for some reason or another. The little girls were five and seven years old. The five year old LOVED her. She held her ALL day, and wouldn’t let her go! She even took a nap with her. At first Keyotte was resistant to this type of affection. I, after all had not taken that much time with her. By the end of the week Keyotte was a tame little kitty who LOVED to sit in people’s laps. She still, attacked me in bed, but she also would settle down and sleep.

My mom also didn’t want our furniture clawed up, so we had her declawed. That improved things a TON when it came to going to sleep. She would still pounce, but at least I had time to react.

As time went on, I had to go off to college. Keyotte became Mom’s companion. Mom said that Keyotte would NEVER leave her alone when mom would wind down from the day. Keyotte, without fail would jump up in mom’s lap. Mom had a dog that wouldn’t leave her alone either. So mom had a cat on one side and a dog on the other.

After I got married, my mom and dad put their house up for sale to down size, and they wouldn’t have enough room for a dog and a cat. So I took her back. That was a few months after I had Tiny Boy.

Keyotte was really good for the children. She was smart enough to get away from them if they annoyed her too much, and the children have learned how to treat animals.

I am sad to say, that I had gone through some depression and I was in the thick of it when Keyotte came. Plus I was post partum and she began to *really* annoy me again. She would throw up on the carpet, and then she would want her attention at night after the kids went to bed. At that point, I didn’t want any more "touching" so I would shoo her off of my lap. Most of the time I would let her up there, but not ALL the time.

My husband, who is "NOT" at cat person at all; like in he always jokes about shooting cats, would ask me if he could "take care of her." I would get upset with him for saying stuff like that, but I didn’t chastise him over it.

It hasn’t been until the last six months that I had really begun to enjoy Keyotte again. My depression has lifted significantly, and she has actually been an aid to my healing.

When Daddy was out of town, she kept me company. She ALWAYS snuggled with you. She would get RIGHT on your chest and purr a mile a minute. Or if you were in bed, she would get in the crook of your arm, or leg. She was the sweetest little cat, with a fun personality all rolled up into one.

A few weeks ago, my husband bought a bag a cat food. The same brand we always had bought. She began to not eat. I posted on a message board about this problem, and someone suggested I wet the food. Which I did, and she ate again. But then she began to refuse even that. Then I gave her tuna fish, which she ate. I thought she was beginning to get picky over her food.

Well, the other day, when she was snuggling with me, and I was talking on the phone, I noticed that she had a yellow tint to her skin.

The next day, she looked extremely lethargic and very pitiful. Daddy noticed that the skin on her belly was also yellow.

I did a quick search on the internet and found that I should take her to the vet right away. I went to a walk in vet, and they did tests on her. We found out her treatment would cost around $3000 or more!

We don’t have that kind of money, and Keyotte was at this point 12 or so years old.

I called my mother in tears not knowing what to do. She said to take her to her vet, and get a second opinion. This vet was very compassionate and very upfront as to what was going on and why putting her to sleep was the best thing to do. There were three things that could be wrong with her. And the result was that her liver was shutting down, which was why her skin was yellowing.

The first problem might of been that she got overweight (which she was a tad bit) and for some reason stopped being able to assimilate the fat proteins. This caused her to stop eating.

Another reason was she could have had cancer or a tumor that was full of cancer.

Or she could of just had a bad liver, and it was now her time to go. Any number of reasons. :(

I began to cry again. I was so surprised at how upset I was, because I never was really a "cat person". But I realize that Keyotte wasn’t just any old cat. She was a special cat that worked her way into each of our hearts.

This was last night that I found out that we had to put her down. The vet suggested we go home with Keyotte one last night, and take time to process the information, and also get someone to be with me when they had to put her down.

When we got home, I frankly told the children that Keyotte was very sick and two different Doctor’s said that she wouldn’t live, and that Keyotte was most likely going to die the next day.

Poor Sweetie was devastated. She woke up at 12:00am last night crying about how Keyotte was going to die in the morning. She woke up crying this morning.

We explained to her at the Vet’s office that they were going to give her medicine that would help her fall asleep and not hurt when she died.

The vet was such a nice vet. She kind of cried too I think. When she announced that Keyotte was gone, Sweetie’s little lip quivered, and said, "You mean she is dead right now?" And the vet said yes, and Sweetie burst out into tears. The vet said that she was "sooo sorry." The Vet took Keyotte in the back to take the catheter out, and wrap her up in the special blanket that I had brought.

When she came back in she told Sweetie she was sorry she couldn’t fix her kitty, and gave both Sweetie and Bean a hug. I thought that was so nice of her to be so personal with us.

We went home and let both Sweetie and Bean hold Keyotte one last time while Daddy dug her grave. This really helped Sweetie a lot I think. I think it was finally sinking in that Keyotte was gone, and it was good for her to grieve this way.

The blanket that I had chosen to wrap Keyottee in was a receiving blanket when my children were babies. It wasn’t one of their "special" blankets. But it was soft, and smelled good. When I put Keyottee in Sweetie's lap for the last time, I noticed that the blanket had little pink kitty’s all over it. I thought that was a sweet detail that I didn’t notice before. It was as if the Lord let me grab that blanket. I just grabbed it on the way out of the door. My mom actually called and told me to bring one with me. It was on the top in Tiny Boy's blanket drawer in his room.

My husband finished digging the hole, and we sat and talked a little bit more. Sweetie was giggling by this time over some funny stuff we were talking about. I asked her if she was ready to bury Keyottee next to Baby Dog (the dog that she would tease). Sweetie said she was.

Sweetie handled the burial a lot better than her death. We buried her, and Sweetie went and played on her swing.

We decided to go out to lunch. While we eating My husband asked, "Why is that people always want to eat a nice meal after a funeral?" My mom said, I guess it had to do with people traveling long distances and needing to eat afterwards. Daddy said, "I think it is because it releases serotonin in your brain or something."

Daddy even said he was sad. I think he wasn’t expecting it to be as hard as it was.

After lunch Mom, our good friend, Me, and the children went to Target. I got some Starbucks, and let the kids pick out a new toy. I knew the house would seem empty when we got back. I thought maybe the toy would ease the loneliness. So far it seems to be working. But I know Sweetie is going to remember sooner or later.

She still grieves over my mom’s dog dying, which happened last summer. All in all, I am grateful for the experience.

Sweetie was having a hard time understanding why Jesus didn’t make Keyottee better when she prayed for Keyottee to live. I explained to her that God told Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit or they would die. They didn’t believe God, and because of that everything has to die. She said, "But Keyottee didn’t sin!" I said, "I know Sweetheart, but because Adam and Eve sinned, it caused the animals to die too. I also told her that since Keyottee didn’t sin, she would not go to the Devil when she died."

At breakfast, after this conversation, Sweetie asked me if Jesus was punished. I said, "Yes he was. He was punished instead of you so you don’t have to be punished." She looked relieved.

So one good thing about this, is she is coming to a better grasp of the reality of sin, and how important it is for Jesus to be *her* Saviour. For that I am grateful.

Keyottee’s death has also taught me not to take for granted each day with my loved ones. Honestly I am sooooo glad that it wasn’t my child or another loved one that was human, as sad as it was. But I did take for granted Keyotte’s presence. Especially when I was annoyed with her. I focused too much on the negative of owning a pet, instead of the positive. I have learned my lesson. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with the kids; as I have done with Keyotte. If I feel this bad now over how I treated Keyottee when I wasn’t in the best of moods, imagine how guilty I would feel if one of my human family members die. I need to be conscience of how I react to stupid things that don’t mean a hill of beans.

If my husband gets annoyed with me because I re-organized the medicine cabinet and he can't find what he is looking for. Who cares? In the long run, it won’t matter. It matters how I react to him.

If Sweetie breaks something that cost a lot of money, who cares? At least Sweetie isn’t broken. I am way too perfectionist over things. Hopefully Keyottee’s life and death has taught me to loosen up a bit.

Yes, she was just an animal. But I am glad God made animals and let us make pets of them. They teach us so much about life, don’t they? Even God used animals to teach us about salvation. Please be in prayer for Sweetie as she adjusts. We don’t know if we will be getting another pet soon or not. We had planned on getting dog in a year or so; after Tiny Boy was pottied trained. But we may have to make a change of plans. Bean is a little upset, but not as much as Sweetie. She understand's somewhat, but not completly I think. Here are some more pictures to look at:

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6 comments:

Lauren said...

awww... I think it's funny that your husband wanted to "take care of it." It's obvious by the pictures that he liked the cat.

Mary said...

I am so sorry that you kitty had to be put down. I am not a cat person either and always keep dogs. However, our pets become near and dear to our hearts and when they pass, we lose one of the family.

Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting on my post. Flooding of the nature I described from 1974 used to be a part of life along the Grand River.

Blessings,
Mary

A Romantic Porch said...

Ah, the cycle of life. Sometimes it's just all so hard. But it sounds like you gained some great wisdom from these experiences. Love,Rachel

Susan said...

Dear Heather,
I am so sorry to hear about your kitty! I am not a cat person, either, but I have a cat that I love very much and I have tears rolling down my face right now. It was the pictures of Daddy and Keyottee that really got to me. Praise the Lord for Sweetie's growing understanding of what our Precious Saviour has done for her and for all of us!
Love,
Susan

MrsMomma said...

Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss. Even when you don't want them, pets seem to have a way at working their way right into your heart.

-Heather

TJ said...

Awwww... It's always so hard to lose our pets.

I'm a cat person, but definitely have had cats that drive me crazy!

I'm glad that you had a good vet and the kids are coming to terms with the loss. Kaia still misses Dudley the ferret and Snowball the hedgehog, but I know when we lose Cinnamon she will be heartbroken.

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