I deliberated over whether it was a good idea to share some of my personal loss on the blog, but in the spirit of sharing what it’s like to live the life of animal rescue, it seemed appropriate to share more than just the actual Indigo Rescue work.
The following is an obituary of sorts. I wrote it as part of my own healing and to help me find closure:
I lost my 20 year old kitty, Schautzie on Saturday night/Sunday morning.
Schautzie was my first rescue following moving to Oregon. He and an identical sibling who another neighbor adopted, were abandoned in the apartment complex I was living in. We estimated they were six months old.
He was such a good natured kitty. He never hissed or grumbled at any of the other cats, just did his own thing and sorta rolled with the punches…and there were a lot of those. After all, the cats who live with me see a lot of canine and feline traffic, and that can be really hard on a cat.
When I bought my first home, Schautzie was in heaven because he could go outside. I installed Cat fencing to keep everyone in my backyard and safe, but Schautzie enjoyed his independence and wanted to be out in front of my house in his own kingdom, and he never did wander past my driveway, so I allowed it. He was the only one I allowed to go out the front door, rather than the back.
Over the past few years, the only age related issue Schautzie developed was some arthritis in his rear legs. He would limp a little, but never, ever missed a meal. He loved to eat! I had started having his long hair shaved for the summer, because he didn’t do much grooming any longer and his hair would get mattes.
On Saturday, when I returned from our tag sale, Schautzie was hiding in a cat house (like a dogloo) and cried out for me. I found him and he was already failing to the point where I knew he was in grave condition. He had been fine and wandering around the yard two days before, so the failing part happened really quickly.
I warmed him up with heat lamps and a heating pad, gave him sub q fluids (under the skin), gave him some water with colloidal silver (anti-viral) orally to wet his throat, gave him pain meds, Rescue Remedy and antibiotics, and hoped for the best.
I could tell he was feeling better as he warmed up because he was stretching his arms out and responsive to all of the things I did for him, but he was so weak, I knew he just needed to rest. I asked him not to purr (which he did constantly) because it took too much energy.
I spoke with Dr Mark and we agreed there was nothing more I could do for him. I checked on him every hour so I could monitor his temperature and at 1:45am when I checked on him, he seemed restless and was moving around, but I quickly realized he was dying. I sat with him and reassured him and he died quietly within the next two minutes. He did not appear to be suffering at all.
The first picture is Schautzie from about 1998. The second was taken in 2007 (Schautzie loved to sunbathe). The last picture is from August of this year. You can’t miss those beautiful eyes. Schautzie was with me for 19.5 years of my life. It’s a long, long time. The entire time I have lived in Oregon. My life has changed a lot over those years and Schautzie was a constant. I will miss his sweet face and bright green eyes, but mostly, his sweet demeanor…