Yesterday, Allie made her final meow and headed off to the Rainbow Bridge. A few days ago, she took to staying hidden under her blanket, occasionally eating or drinking a little if I took it to her, and seldom using her litter box. I suspected she had slipped into the fourth and final stage of the kidney disease with which she was diagnosed well over a year ago.
Our mobile vet, who has looked after all my animals for most of my time on the island, sedated my Wild Child in order to examine her, and determined that her kidneys had atrophied to the size of peas and, of great significance, her temperature was well below normal. The conclusion was that her organs were shutting down and at most she had a few more days. As she was already sedated, I chose to have the vet help her pass right then. She slipped away without stirring.
I adopted Allie from the Abbotsford SPCA back in 2001. She wasn't much more than a kitten at that time - perhaps five or six months old - but she soon let the dogs know who was boss. Her favourite trick throughout her lifetime (and the lifetimes of at least a dozen or more adopted and fostered dogs with whom she shared our house) was to hide behind a piece of furniture or crouch on the arm of the sofa and wait for a dog to nonchalantly saunter past, then - whooop - swat said dog right on the rump with her not-so-gentle paws!
|We all know who's the boss around here!|
When we first adopted her, we lived on acreage where field mice occasionally found there way into the house. Allie liked mice - she liked to play with them, swatting them this way and that. But she never killed them. It would be up to me to try to get them away from Allie and banish them from our residence. One time, she chased a mouse up onto the washer, then swatted it down to my dog Charley who was standing below. Charley promptly plopped her furry collie cross body down right on top of the terrified mouse and held it there while I reached under to grab it. Great tag team those two made!
Caleb, my pitty cross, almost got the better of Allie, as his strong prey drive and her rather slight size were not a good match. Adding a door to the foot of the stairs, and a cat door in the people door, allowed Allie to race up to the attic where she had a huge area to run and play and a chair to scratch and toys to toss. Caleb sometimes stuck his head in the cat door, looking miserably up the stairs, and willing her to walk right into his mouth. It took three months of constant management before the two could safely be in the same room without Caleb being off leash or out of his crate. A few sharp swats of Allie's claws on Caleb's butt or face, and he eventually learned to give her space. They were never left together when I wasn't right there with them, but they did learn to have a healthy respect for each other.
|Respect me, or else!|
Allie could never be described as a 'sweet' cat - she was a petite and pretty torti with a lovely peach patch under her chin which she liked me to stroke (on her own terms, of course), but she was not a warm-and-fuzzy lapcat by any means. Fifteen minutes of lap time in the morning, possibly a bit more at night and that was quite enough for her thank you. Oh....except for when I was at my computer. Then she was on my lap constantly - blocking my view, stepping on keys, 'helping' compose blogs.
|Hey mom, let's write about how stoopid dogs are!|
An inside-only cat all her life, she didn't seem to mind at all. She had lots of interactive toys, interesting birds to watch through the window, and, of course, dogs to torment. One of the very few times she slipped out - shortly after we moved to the island - she hopped over the fence and right into the yard of a neighbour's three barking, cat-chasing dachshunds. Never have I seen a cat fly back over a five foot fence and in through the patio door so quickly! I think that cured her of any wanderlust.
|Oh, look, a birdie!|
She had a big personality, a powerful self-confidence, an unpredictable response to those who might try to befriend her - or to examine her. She drew blood from more than one veterinarian or vet tech. The critters at the Rainbow Bridge won't know what hit them!
|As long as they don't try to dress me up in silly costumes - and remember that cats rule -|
we'll get along fine!
But perhaps the Bridge will mellow her. I hope she is, as a friend wrote on my facebook page, "in sunlit meadows of catnip, with dancing butterflies to caper after."
Run free, Allie. You kept me on my toes for nigh on 18 years. My home won't be the same without you.
|Aren't I sweet?|