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Saying Goodbye

By Lisa Blanton


Lisa and Ginger Marie

Hi, my name is Lisa, and my kitty, Ginger Marie, was "Kitty of the Week, June 15-21, 2003". She and I both were delighted, and many people wrote and told us what an inspiration she has been for me. Well, unfortunately, things have gone downhill for both me, and mostly Miss Ginger Marie Kitty Blanton. She turned 17 just this month, but 2 days before Christmas in 2003 she got her first UTI. Her vet gave her the medicine Baytril (or enrofloxain which is the generic name). This drug is used widely normally without any problems, but has come under a bit of scrutiny lately. On 12/23/2003, Ginger Marie fell off the bed and I thought she had just had a seizure or a stroke. I found out she had become completely blind overnight!

I felt so responsible because, being in the medical field, I pride myself on checking out all of these medications as my fur baby is my real baby, and I just believe so much that this medicine was okay for her. After my vet called the feline ophthalmologist in Birmingham, Alabama, it was noted that some cats were showing up blind even at the lower dosages -- and they really didn't know why. Well, to me it didn't matter why.... It mattered because it happened. I wrote to the company (Bayer) and they responded nicely and said that "sometimes" the sight would return..... well, we have not been very fortunate with that happening.

Also, it was found that she had hyperthyroidism thus she had to take pills every day and I just hate making one of God's natural creatures take something.. It's like, all of us when we were growing up, we rode in the back of trucks, and played all day without being afraid someone would take us and do horrible things to us. So with all that said, I just wanted to let you know, I am so sad as Ginger Kitty has gone into complete system failure this week. She is barely eating and has not pee'd except once today in 3 days (even with fluids I'm I've giving her sent home with me from the vet). Her chem panel is so far off the charts they had to take another one just to make certain it was correct because her BUN and creatinine were higher than one of the machines could even read.

As far as my health, well, I'm stressing and not sleeping well due to the fact that she is just "sitting there", but then when I told the vet I did not like "playing God" he said that I wouldn't have to and that it would not be long now ... I'm feeling so alone. I am alone, but I am feeling more alone that I've ever felt -- normally, I don't feel like this, but I feel like someone is taking every little piece of my heart apart and pulling it out one little artery at a time, and with each pull, I lose so much blood that I'm just like feeling anemic (and no, I'm not because I just checked in with the doctor who said everything was mostly in order on my studies, in accordance with my own disease process).

At any rate, I'd like for every one to know that I am the proudest "parent" in the world because I have been totally blessed for 17 years with the most loving guardian angel that a person could ever wish for. And with sadness I say that I will not be selfish and hold on to her when she tells me it is time... I'm seeing and hearing her tell me that now.

By the way, when she first went blind, I thought I was going to have to let her go, but within a few weeks she had adjusted! She would even gallop a bit through the hall and run and jump up on the bed like she always did. But these last 3 months has seen such a deterioration -- she as lost from 10.5 pounds (August 2004) to 7 pounds (last week), and I truly think sometimes she is hanging on just for me!

Thank you for allowing me to share my final thoughts regarding my darling daughter who has given me 17 years of being my nurse, my friend, my VIP, my muse, my daughter, my confidante who has made my life complete -- I have truly been blessed with this angel, and she has protected, healed, sacrificed for me, and loved me like no other.

I thank God every day for the miracle that showed me what people feel when they are provided with unconditional love from another -- something I had not felt except through her, and I can't help but hope that she knows I gave all of me to her. If I could have, I would have given her my eyes to see with when she went blind -- that's just how much I have Ioved her.

Again, thank you for reading my long plea for support as my baby slowly passes away. I *hope* and *pray* she will come back to me in another spirit fur baby but I can tell you right now, it will be a long long time before, or maybe not ever, will I see a little personality like my Ginger Kitty. As we all know, each one is one of a kind and each one is unique. She certainly was and still is all those things. I've heard it said to me many times that people who came to visit who "didn't like cats" found that they really enjoyed her company. She is a "sweet and smooth operator." Sometimes I would call her "GKitty" because it was so *covert* the way she would take over your heart in a matter of minutes, she surely must have been trained by the government.

Normally, Ginger Marie only kisses me -- well.... until today. She kitty-kissed my mother as she was leaving to go to Boston to visit my sister, and it truly made me think, Ginger Marie is saying good-bye. Looking at her now, I know that's what she did and is doing. I truly know that I am not prepared for this... how do you prepare?


How can you prepare for this?

After writing the above yesterday... Today my little one went into complete renal/kidney failure and had to be put to sleep. I know she already is sorely missed and no, I could not have prepared for this, just one day later. I feel as if my heart strings are being pulled out one by one the size of a hair and bled out slowly. She and I depended upon each other, and we are all each other had. I hope healing will come quickly after grief but for now... I am totally numb. I pray that doesn't last long either, but I do feel she is "here". I keep thinking I "see" her shadow, or "hear" her needing me (since she was so sick). I just feel like there is a huge hole that I've fallen into.


Saying Goodbye