I have always wanted a calico cat, and exactly two and a half years ago, my wish finally came true when my friend gave me Ruby.
|Four weeks old. This picture was sent|
to me by my friend Debbie to try to entice
me to take her. It worked.
She moved into our house and took over, much to the regret of my other two cats, big ol' boys named Pete and Fletcher. Pete hated her, Fletcher tolerated her, and Ruby established herself as the princess of the household.
|First day at our house, snuggled in|
|Sleepy baby in my lap on her first|
night away from her mama.
She was beautiful, without a doubt, but she was also funny and playful and loving and snuggly. She followed me everywhere I went in the house, met me at the door when I came home, and spent hours in my lap, helping me blog.
It started as a cough (odd enough in a cat that never goes outside) at the beginning of March. The vet could only guess that she had may developed some allergies and gave her a steroid shot. The cough persisted, then worsened. An x-ray showed a mass was pushing against her windpipe and diaphragm and obscuring the view of her heart and lungs. There was fluid in her chest cavity. The vet drew some of it off and sent it to a lab, all the time telling me it was not going to be good, but she was otherwise acting fairly normal, although she was sleeping or resting and not playing, not bugging her brothers as little sisters are usually wont to do.
The lab results stated there were atypical cells in the fluid sample. Our vet recommended we take her to a specialist in Kansas City. My husband (who had never been around a cat in his life before we met and never planned to change that status) and I drove over two hours to take Ruby to the specialty vet clinic, because the most special kitty in the world deserves a specialist. He conducted an ultrasound on her and diagnosed her with cancer that had already metastasized in her chest. There was nothing we could do for her except keep her comfortable and happy.
|Chasing moths at night.|
Ruby's decline was rapid. We had taken her to the specialty clinic on Friday. By Tuesday, her breathing was labored and noisy. She wanted to be with me, but she wanted to be by herself more. Her discomfort was obvious. As much as we wanted to keep her with us, we knew it was time for her to go.
|Taking a siesta with Kyle at the lake house.|
Wednesday at noon, we took her to our vet and told her to sleep sweetly. I held her the entire time, and my husband and I both sobbed over the unfairness of such a sweet, funny cat being stricken at such a young age by something so rare.
I know she was "just a cat" and not a person. Not my parents. Or my husband. Or one of my children. But she was just a cat who did nothing but love me and make me laugh. Who asked for nothing except for a lap to lie in and to be loved back.
There has been a great outpouring of love and sympathy from so many friends. I can't begin to express what that has meant to me.
|A special gift from my artist friend Nicole.|
It's only two inches high.
|The ever thoughtful Ivy sent me this.|
It is a treasure.
I'm going to miss that funny, beautiful girl. I'll miss her following me everywhere, even to the bathroom, where she would throw the door open (old house, doors don't always close all the way) and even jump up in my lap and curl up if I was *ahem* unavoidably delayed. I'll miss her digging in the small trash can in my room for "treasures" like wads of paper and candy wrappers. I'll miss the twist ties all over the house that she liked to play with, and I'll miss our games of fetch with a bent up pipe cleaner or other found treasure. I'll miss her trotting ahead of me when I walked and flopping down periodically for a belly rub. I'll miss finding her sitting on the fireplace mantel, looking at herself in the mirror. I'll miss her knocking my stuff off the table next to me when I'm on my laptop, and I'll miss her lying on my lap while I write, reaching her paws under the laptop to get my attention. I'll miss watching her chase snowflakes through the window in the winter and moths and bugs in the summer. I'll miss her running up the stairs ahead of me and stopping at the top to grab me from around the newel post. I'll miss her drinking out of our water glasses in the evening when we weren't looking and even her knocking them over in the night and spilling water everywhere.
|Grabbing at me on my way up the stairs.|
I'll miss her cuddling up next to me in the bed every morning, which she did up until her very last day on earth.
|Our last morning together.|
I love you, sweet Ruby. I know that someday, God will reunite us. Until then, have fun chasing butterflies in Heaven.
|Caught in the act of looking through one|
of Emma's open dresser drawers.
I miss you, sweet girl.