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In memoriam of my first shaded silver Persian cat

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This is written for my most wonderful shaded silver Persian cat, Flutter, who passed away at 10:45 pm,  New Year's Eve, December 31, 2007.


I remember wanting a chinchilla Persian from the time I was 4....but it would not be until some 25 years later that you walked into my life. And even then, it was a lucky accident because I wasn't even searching for a cat like you. I wanted a brown tabby Maine Coon, Norwegian forest, or another that looked like the 12 year-old cat who had just passed.


I found you at a cat show, playing with your brother and sister. You were all 6 months old and so energetic--and I stood there mesmerized. Before I knew it, I had made arrangements for your purchase and adoption. I was to bring you home the next day. 


I was initially unhappy--because you were. When I brought you home on Sunday, you hid under the radiator. You wouldn't come out at all. On Wednesday, when I brought you to the vet for your first visit, there was progress of sorts as you actually came out of hiding at 6 pm and ate! You even played until I went to bed. And so it was like this for the next few weeks when you would hide behind the sofa for much of the day, only to emerge at dinner....I joked that I should have named you Casper the friendly ghost because you only ever appeared when it was dark outside.


You began to snuggle with me at night....so much that I wound up with a nasty rash for weeks that made me wonder if I didn't have a cat allergy. I was even beginning to think that I might have to bring you back to the breeder who was understanding enough to say yes.


But I also began to love you so much that I knew I just couldn't do that--not when we had started to bond. And just like that Disney hit that appeared at this very time, we were beauty and the beast....you, of course, were the beauty with your big green eyeliner eyes, pink nose, fluffy white fur--and I, the beast.


"Tale as old as time
True as it can be
Barely even friends
Then somebody bends

Just a little change
Small, to say the least
Both a little scared
Neither one prepared
Beauty and the Beast"


You became attached to me. You seemed to know my daily schedule. You'd sleep under the dining table as I worked, grading essays online. Then at 4, when I was done, you would join me at the sofa, sitting in my lap for a few minutes before taking your place by my side. You, unlike my other cats, enjoyed "people" food too: you would clamour for yogurt, ice cream, pizza, steak, and lamb. And you would be there until it was time for bed: and you always knew when I was going, even when I went very early. You didn't like the dark; if I put my head under the blankets you would meow until I petted you just like you would wait for me by the door when I returned at night.  


You always seemed to know hen I was sick: you'd sleep by me, and look as though you were taking my temperature when you put your paw on my forehead.  You also knew when I was going away even though I'd try to hide it. I can still remember that day when you walked me down the hall when I was leaving to see a friend. And when I returned, you were overjoyed, following me everywhere.  


Years went by....in early 2006, you began to have problems, even though you had always been healthy. It started with your unwillingness to eat. I remember how you bit into your food and yowled such that I immediately knew you must have had problems with your teeth, but the idiot vet insisted that all your issues were intestinal and/or psychological! That summer, you had a feeding tube inserted.  It wasn't until I brought you to a veterinary dentist that I realized I was right all along when she discovered that you had a mass in your right jaw....but that it would have be seen by a radiologist. 


That was one of the worst and best days of my life. I still remember how mom and I were told by the radiologist that it was cancer and that it was probably inoperable. We were almost ready to put you to sleep....until the surgeon told us that it could be done. So you were there for the operation and two additional days.


And then nearly, a week later it seemed like a miracle when you started eating by yourself--and playing too! Not only that, but the pathologist discovered that you did not have cancer after all, but some sort of fibrosis.       


In September 2007, we moved to CT....a decision which I still wonder about even as I'd always wanted to return to the East Coast. By then you were functioning quite well without your feeding tube and you looked well. But things began to change in October, You began to lose your appetite again. Although you seemed to do well after a visit to the vet in November, you deteriorated rapidly, requiring hospitalization. In December, you were back on a feeding tube. We kept waiting for you to improve, just like last time--even though you were missing the litterbox which you had never done before.  Perhaps the fortune in a cookie was not inaccurate after all--"You may try to change the fates but sometimes you can't."


I remember that last weekend in December. You were suddenly more active on Friday, walking about the house. We were excited. Maybe you were improving? Saturday and Sunday passed uneventfully....you spent much of those 2 days sitting on the bed, looking very tired.


Then came Monday, December 31st. I was working that day, grading essays at the computer. When I finished at 4 and walked to your room, you jumped onto my lap as always, resting there for about 10 minutes. Not much changed....Then around 10:30 when mom was with you, you threw up violently. I went to the computer to find an emergency vet.  By the time we got there, you were pronounced dead. 


I remember how I terrible I felt when you were zipped into a black bag. My poor baby who didn't like the dark....who didn't like to be alone. I had an autopsy done even though I knew it was useless....I wanted to know what killed him. It turned out to be lung and liver cancer. 


God only knows the agony I felt for months, at least until I had to teach the new term which started in March; I cried night after night, feeling so guilty...I felt as if I had killed you, moving to CT. Maybe if we remained in IL, you would still be alive?


Our entire family loved you dearly too. You had left a definitive pawprint on their hearts such that neither wanted anything more than another shaded silver Persian; I wanted one that would be related to you. And so we did: in August, we purchased two kittens descended from your dad. 


I love them dearly and can sometimes trace out the resemblance between the three of you. But as charming as they are, I know they can never efface or replace you--ever so affectionate, ever so loving.  


You will forever be my beauty. 


[deleted pics because my entire photobucket was on display!] 

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Well, little Flutter was actually a he, Eve--and his full name was Sir Fopling Flutter (named after a character in a Restoration drama). He lived for nearly 16 and a half years. My friends used to joke that our relationship lasted longer than some marriages. :lol: (Some celeb marriages don't even last 16 days!)


Btw, everyone else referred to him as a "she"--including the vets--so you are by no means alone! 


One thing that really sucked about him dying on New Year's Eve was that I could not really call anyone up. The last thing one wants to do is bawl on New Year's Day to one's friends. Thank God my mom was around then. 


I did end up posting on a cat forum: today, some of those people are still my friends. 


Eve, did your mom like cats too? 

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Bless you and your mom for being cat persons, Eve:) For some reason, I have always preferred cats...my first book was a cat book. My mom, on the other hand, started as a dog person--prolly because her dad had 9 German shepherds. Although she herself had more of a liking for tiny dogs like Yorkshire terriers. 


Tabbies are adorable! They are actually my favorite pattern--and esp. when they're longhaired, WOW!  I enjoy cat shows and I'm always tempted to get one of those Maine Coon/Norwegian Forest/ Domestic longhaired tabbies, esp. gray. They are so majestic! 


My first cat was a longhaired torbie--tabby w/ a tortoiseshell overlay. She was a very feisty and aggressive cat--no hiding for her! Alas, she died at the age of 12 from from breast cancer because we did not spay her. We had her tumor removed but after a year and a half, but then the cancer resurfaced.


They say that when cats know they are dying, they hide themselves....that may be what happened to Tattered.


Well, your mom certainly took good care of her cats: 18 years is like the human equivalent of 90!

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It's been exactly 9 years to the minute since I lost you, my darling boy, on December 31, 2007. How proud I was to show you off, with your masses of long, silky white fur tipped with black. You looked like a shimmering little cloud as you walked. And everyone praised your big, beautiful green eyes. How stunning and majestic you looked as you sat in the armchair and on the middle of the bed. You were my dream cat...the kind of cat I had wanted since I was 4.

I can still remember when you expired in mom's arms that night. Neither of us wanted to believe you were already gone--even though we knew you would suffer no longer. You had been through so much. You started having appetite problems in late 2004. They started again in 2006 until the day they found masses in your jaw. We almost had you put to sleep until the vet decided he could remove them. Miraculously, you seemed to thrive again.

Alas, you did not survive for long after we moved to CT. Decline came rapidly after we moved in September. You spent more and more days in the blanket and sleeping before gradually losing your appetite. We put you on a feeding tube again but to no avail.

Not a day goes by when I don't think of you in some way, even though I now have 2 lovely shaded silvers descended from your dad. I remember how you followed me whenever I was home. You always seemed to know my schedule--and were always ready to sit by me or on my lap.  You always knew when I was sick. And you were always there to comfort me. How I still remember your warm little body nestled next to mine at night on my duvet. You always meowed whenever I went under the covers so I would hold your little furry tufted paw to let you know I was still there.

You were my everything....I long for the day when we will be united with Mom.  

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I'm sorry for your loss.  We do remember them, no matter how much time goes by.

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