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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

RequiesCat In Pace

Late last night, my darling, precious cat Shelley died. He was 19 years 4 months and 28 days old.

Shelley, a blue point Birman, was born on April 2nd 1991 and was named Adraylo Katya Kabanova. His first owners named him Phantom, and his brother, Magic.

When they were a year old, I adopted them when their owners were not able to keep them. They didn't answer to their names, so I called them after my favourite poets, Byron and Shelley.

The early days
Shelley plays in a box while Byron gives himself a manicure

The inseparable brothers curled up in the laundry basket
Shelley is as the top

Four years later, at the age of only 5, Byron dragged himself home with serious injuries one Saturday night. The emergency vet x-rayed him and found a shattered pelvis. I will never know how it happened. He could have found his way to the road and been run over, but he would never have been able to get back home again.

Shelley was the friendliest, most affectionate cat you could imagine. When visitors rang to doorbell, he would run to meet them when my other cats ran away and hid. He played with the window cleaner through the glass. He climbed into workmen's toolboxes, and most would have happily taken him away with them.

He used to visit other people in their homes, and unlike most cats, who flee from children, would play with their kids in the garden.

Shelley loved the garden when he was younger

He never lost his pleasure in stretching out somewhere comfortable

Snuggled in a plant pot was a great place to snooze

As he grew older, he became more frail. His back legs were weak, and when he got an infection 18 months ago, I thought the vet would be unable to save him. But medication, TLC, and a permanent berth on my bed all contributed to his recovery. He has lived on my bed for those 18 months, happy to snuggle down with me under the covers (especially on hot nights when I was having hot flushes) or to pat my face till I turned over to give him a hug.

Shelley on his 19th birthday on April 2nd this year

Over the past few weeks, Shelley has become weaker and weaker. His back legs were unable to carry him, and he often dragged himself to his litter tray. I knew the time was coming when he would have to leave me, but I was dreading having to take him to the vet's to have him put to sleep.
When he became severely constipated, he had to have an operation. He managed to survive the anaesthetic. A return visit the following week showed that he had made as good a recovery as could be hoped. Then he flagged once more. The usual vet was on holiday, and his partner "would put him down if he was mine, because he can't walk". But she said his temperature was low, and this signified that his systems were failing. I took this as a sign that I might be able to let him meet a natural end at home.
Over the long weekend Shelley became weaker still. Yesterday he did not eat at all. I thought I would have to take him to the vet's today to have him put to sleep.
But at 11pm last night he made himself as comfortable as he could, and within the hour his little heart had stopped.
He had another dawn than ours.
Goodbye, my darling boy. I will love you forever. Thank you for being my faithful companion. It was an honour to know you.


JoJo said...

*sniff* Val I am so, so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful life companion. He could not have asked for a better forever home and my heart breaks for you. Rest in peace sweet Shelley.


judith said...

I'm so sorry Val.x

Ruby said...

Val, it is always so hard to say good-bye. Please know that I am keeping you in my thoughts and sending hugs across the miles. You gave Shelley a wonderful life, and you will be reunited one day at the Rainbow Bridge. Bless you for giving him such a loving home.

potzina said...

I'm so sorry for you. I am wholeheartedly with you.

Anonymous said...

I think framing one of your pictures of him (like the one of him napping in the plant pot) and hanging on the wall would be a nice way of remembering him.

So sorry about your loss. From what I read here, I think he had a great life with you.

Eliza said...

Oh Val..I'm so sorry...

Your blog post is a wonderful memorial to such a special boy, thank you for sharing him with us

ann said...

what an amazing tribute and fantastic photos to keep his memory alive - i do feel your loss - one of my cats made it to 17 (the others nowhere near that) but you must be comforted knowing he had a good innings and was a happy and contented pet and you know you got it right - bless him

greeneyesbell1 said...

i am so so sorry val for your loss,he was a beautiful boy,reminds me of my siamese i lost so many years ago.thank you for sharing these beautiful photos.*hugs*

Miex said...

Oh Val, so sorry to read this. He was really beautiful *hugs*

Anonymous said...

I can hardly write something for the tears in my eyes...what a beautiful tribute. Having a cat for over 19 years is a nod to you taking such good care of him...and, I know that you gave him the best life he could have ever known. All my best wishes and heartfelt sympathies to you, Val.

Anonymous said...

Ohhhhh, Val. What a beautiful friend you had there. You have captured some wonderful memories in those photographs. Thank you for sharing your boy with us. So sorry that you had to let him go.

renee said...

Val, your kitty was such a part of your family lots of snuggling and loving and I am so sorry for your loss.You have got one of the biggest hearts I have every run across.

Keep on keeping on!

Tess said...

I'm So Sorry Val. It's the most difficult thing in the world, I know it wasn't planned, but I think Shelley found peace dying in the home he loved..

Music Wench said...

Oh my, I'm absolutely in tears for you. I know how it feels to lose such a faithful companion of so many years.

This was such a lovely tribute. Shelley looked like a wonderful cat.

Kimberly said...

He is a beautiful cat...I am so sorry. I am sure he had a wonderful, loving life. I know that probably doesn't help right now, but lease try to rmember that.

SnarkAngel said...

What a lovely tribute to your wonderful boy, Val. I am so very, very sorry for your loss, but know that you will take comfort in the fact that you gave him such a wonderful home and so much love for as long as possible. He lived a good, long life, thanks to your exceptional care. Bless you, my dear, for loving animals as much as I am sure they love you. XOXOXOXO

Frances said...

I'm so sorry Val, Shelly was such a beautiful boy.

My thoughts are with you in your loss.

jazzy said...

Dear Val, I know the big role Shelley played in your life, and I am very sorry that he is no longer with you. I'll be thinking of you as you grieve the loss of your beloved Shelley.

fuzzytweetie said...

I'm so val, but, he's in a better place and is waiting for you. You guys had a wonderful life together, filled with memories. I hope those memories will help you get through this sad time.

mauigirl said...

Ooooh, Val...I'm so sorry to hear about the passing of Shelley. You gave him and his brother a wonderful home for a very long time. The pix posted prove what great fun they had while in your loving care.

sixtwosue said...

I'm so sorry, Val. There are no words. But rest assured all of us here appreciate how losing an animal companion can be devastating. Not everyone gets it.

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