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Gotcha Day: the Autumn & Nicky years

I'm going to do a series of the events leading up to my Gotcha Day, which was January 29, 2006. Unfortunately, it usually works out that in order for a cat to have a Gotcha Day, another cat has to go Over the Rainbow Bridge and this story would be no different.

Ma and Pop moved into this "luxury" condo in 2003 with their 2 cats, Nicky and Autumn. Nicky had come up to Pop on the porch of their old house in 1997, looked him in the eye, meowed and rubbed on his leg. Ma shooed him because they were already feeding lots of strays and couldn't take another one. She also thought he had a furever home since he was so domesticated. He came back the next night and soon after, he would become a member of the family. This is Nicky in his early slim days when he was allowed to go outside. He grew to 22 1/2 lbs.

Autumn's life wasn't that cushy. She was found in the woods with a couple of newly-born kittens and an infected toe that had to be amputated. The peeps had gotten her from Companion Animal Placement (CAP) for Grandma, whose cat had just went OTRB. Grandpa had passed away the previous year also and they thought she needed company. Ma said she wanted Autumn from the moment she saw the sign on her cage that said she was one toe short of a full deck cos she didn't think anyone else would take her. Autumn was a real sweetie and Grandma and Autumn loved each other unconditionally.

Autumn in Pop's lap.

After Grandma had Autumn for about 8 years, Grandma became sick and when she passed, Autumn lay on the pillow next to her, refusing to leave her side. She got her closure. The peeps brought Autumn over to their place and introduced her to Nicky. They didn't get along from the get-go. Nicky wanted to smell Autie's rectum and she'd have none of it so Autie was sent to the basement to live. Her adventure there ended when a good-intentioned tenant let her out to play in the garden. She soon wound up a living flea infestation. The entire basement and house had to be bombed and she had to be dipped twice to remove the little pests. She then went to live in the peeps' den. Once they moved to the condo, she got complete control of Pop's room and things began looking up for her once again. She became happy and playful, a side of her the peeps hadn't ever seen.

La-di-da, things went on peachy keen until 2005 when Autumn started barfing and refused to eat. The vet said she had a tooth and gum infection and gave her antibiotics but she didn't get better. They took her to another vet, who discovered her cancer. A scan revealed it had spread to all parts of her body and the peeps tearfully decided to have her put down.

Can't we all just get along?

Since the two cats constantly fought, the peeps thought Nicky would be thrilled to be able to roam the house w/o closed doors; however, something was terribly wrong. He became withdrawn and just lay on his "Yankee" chair. They took him to the vet after he spent the night on the chair and his breathing seemed shallow. While at the vet, he began shaking and hyperventilating. He was having some sort of seizure. The Vet thought it might be a lung obstruction and sent him home with meds. When Ma came home from work that night, she knew that something was wrong. Even though he ate, he kept walking around in circles like he didn't know where he was. Around 8 that night, he started convulsing. Pop tried to keep him still and covered him while Ma frantically called every vet in the phone book who claimed to have emergency hours. None of them did. (Vets should not be allowed to lie about things like that!) She finally found one in another county, a hour's drive away. The hour seemed to last forever.

Nicky was in the carrying case screeching like a banshee; a sound the peeps didn't know a cat could make. He was shaking and panting. Ma was getting hysterical too. At the Oradel Animal Hospital, nurses met the car, grabbed the case and ran into the examining room. By the time the peeps came in, they had him in oxygen. It was like going to a people hospital trauma center. They, too, didn't know what was wrong with him. If he was an outside cat, they said he could've been poisoned. It could be an embollism, was their guess. They would keep him in oxygen all night and the peeps would come back the next morning for him. The price tag would be astronomical.

Ma and Pop debated. The thing that worried Ma was that he had obvious brain damage and would be like a vegetable and she didn't want that. A week and a half after Autumn went OTRB, Nicky joined her. Ma had no more tears left to cry that night after crying so hard for Autie less than 2 weeks ago. They were both numb. They decided no more cats for awhile.

Stay tuned for Part two.

Would you like to comment?

  1. What an amazing, but sad story, you are a beautiful writer and you have an amazing fambly.

  2. That made my eyes leaky when I readed bout Autumn staying by her gramma when she passed. Wot a loyal kitteh. So sad that both kittehs wented to the bridge but like you said, had it not been their times you would not has your gotcha day. Can't wait for part 2!

  3. Oh my gosh - dat is so very sad. Your poor mama & dad. How sad to lose 2 so very close together.

  4. what a wonderfully touching story about two little kitties.

  5. Cathy your poor poor folks.....they have had such sadness. I was crying so much reading this.
    Your Mum & Dad are brave & good people.
    That must have so hard for you to write......thank you

  6. CK...what a terrible thing for your pawrents. Mommy knows how it is though. xoxox


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