When we got Maggie, in early 1994, I noticed a gorgeous black cat visiting. He came to our home to drink from the fountain out front. He never stayed long, but he was around often. I thought at the time that he was a Maine Coon. He had long sleek fur, very shiny.
As the years went by, he still came around. He was obviously intact. He was a fighter. To be honest, he was always a little mean looking, a cat you didn't dare mess with. He traveled the neighborhood as if he owned it, he was the king. He wasn't afraid of anything. The lady who helped with Lonee and OC said she saw him being attacked in the street once, by two dogs. She chased the dogs away and the cat limped off.
Because he always had some bald spots on his body, we thought he was owned. The spots looked like shaved areas. As if he had gone to the vet and had wounds attended to, and needed to be shaved because of them.
But recently, since taking in Ciara, I had started to take a little more notice of him. Back when Ciara was diagnosed with her URI, I got two prescriptions for Clavamox, thinking that it would be nice to have them on hand, should any of our other cats catch her cold. None did, since it wasn't a URI and I had noticed that Blackie didn't look well. So, I started grinding up a pill, mixing it into Fancy Feast and walking it out to the rock where Blackie like to lay in the afternoon, at the side of the yard. He ate it. Gradually, he would show up in the mornings and I gave him the pill then. He was getting comfortable enough with me, that I was able to pet him. And look him over. Those weren't shaved spots at all, he was extremely matted and he had been pulling the mats out by the root. Ouch.
This led me to believe that this guy didn't have owners, but he was dumped. Or maybe his owners moved and left him. Whatever the case, I felt so sorry for him. I brought this up to Brian. He was reluctant, saying "where will it end?". I reminded him that I no longer mention bringing OC here. I've finally realized that OC is happy being what he is. And Brian acknowledged that this was true. And he said "what about Ciara?" and I said that Ciara was a special case. He knew that I had always wanted a blue eyed kitty and that the only way I would ever get one was through rescue. And that's how we got her. Okay. He gave in. "But," he said, "no more".
I made the appointment for Blackie at the vet's office. To have him tested (if he was sick, then they need go no further, just euthanize him), bathe him, shave his mats off, neuter him, check his ears and his teeth. The appointment was made for the 9th of April, 1999, the day I trapped him. And he did fine. He's in the office with me, sleeping. The vet put his age between eight and ten years. He's a tough old boy and I hope he likes it here.
I told Brian months ago that all this guy needs is a good meal and a warm spot to sleep in. He's had a rough life and hopefully, it will be an easier life from here on out.
May 24, 1999....Today, Blackie died. I had noticed before that he seemed to be breathing a little more quickly than the other cats. This morning, he was breathing much heavier than the other cats. Scared, I called the vet and they said bring him in. X-Rays showed fluid in his lungs. The vet said that tapping the fluid would make him much more comfortable and that he would have the fluid sent out and tested. I left Blackie there. It was about 11:30. I was to call them after three to see how it went. The phone rang at 2:30. It was the vet. Blackie's heart stopped while on the table. He had been lightly sedated and the vet was drawing the fluid when Blackie went into cardiac arrest. The fluid was blood. The vet said that Blackie most likely had a tumor. There wasn't anything we could have done. I take comfort knowing that the last days of Blackie's life were days of comfort and love. His soul has left his diseased body and we'll meet again at the Rainbow Bridge.
Rest in peace, Blackie Cat.
An email correspondence as Blackie's last day progressed