Tuesday, November 8, 2011

One Happy Ending, One Sad Ending

Gemelo, lived many years as a feral cat, and I imagine he lived his entire life in the abandoned property next door and in this house before I bought it.  This was the first photo he ever let me take of him in May, 2011. Gemelo - after several months of studying the life of the domestic cats in this commando - decided that he too would like to be able to count on meals, fresh water, some human love, and a warm place to sleep.  This photo was taken shortly after he had begun to let me pet him, flea drop him, brush and groom him in general, and he was accepted into the commado.  He is the father of who knows how many neighborhood cats, and of course some of my cats! Busmo for sure! I think the way cat heirarchy goes, he was still the king of the neighborhood because he wasn't neutered. He was so feral when I first moved here I couldn't capture him and he remained the only cat with balls in the commando.  And so he reigned as the macho of machos and the other cats let him get away with eating half their food.

Once he let me pet and groom him, and he started talking to me, I realized he was a very old cat. Cats age faster in the feral world, so I have no idea how many years old he was.  But I could feel his ribs, his fur was often dissheveled, and the coloring of his fur was another indicator.  I had the gut feeling that he knew his days were numbered and he wanted to live out his fantasy, to have all the cat comforts he'd never had.  I have seen this behavior before with a cat I had in Kona. 

Yesterday we found Gemelo hiding in the trough in the back of the patio. He looked terrible, was completely dissheveled, didn't smell great, and was not comfortable. I cleaned him up and gave him a nice comfy pillow and blanket in a corner of the closet, where it was quiet. I rocked him and gave him water in a syringe.  However, while thinking over the life of Gemelo, I remembered two nights ago he slept on the bed. He has never done that and I think he always wanted to.  The next night he slept on Buster's bed. That was ballsy.  Yesterday when I saw how shallow Gemelo's breathing was, and how cool his skin felt, I knew what was happening.  His time had come to go. We made him as comfortable as possible and he died during the night.  In many ways it was a happy ending for Gemelo who had lived a rough life out there fighting for himself.  But here, even though he was a pain in the ass at feeding time, we are saddened.  Gemelo died during the night of November 8, 2011.  I hope he rests in peace.  Losing a pet is difficult, and when your pets are such an integral part of our daily lives around here, it makes for one sad ending. 

Gemelo's favorite thing was to go outside after a rain and lick all the water off the leaves.  He did it as if it were his job to clean up all that sitting water.  He was a very sweet cat, once he felt at home here.

Onward to happier endings.  Remember this little angel?

The one someone threw into my carport?  She brought so much life to the two other kittens we are fostering. They'd been alone since birth, Mimi and Guera, and were quite afraid of the world in general.  This little darling obviously had a familiy for her first few weeks, because she was completely adjusted when I found her in the carport and thought it was Guera.  It was just raining cats that week. This kitten taught them to play, she trusted us immediately and that intrigued Mimi and Guera.  They came out to play. The three of them had a blast. But we could not keep the little kitten.  Our commando is closed, full to over the limit already. 

Mimi the animal rescuer (to differentiate from Mimi the kitten) took the little one to Planned Pethood and she was adopted within a couple days to a family excited about how fun and frisky she was.  We missed her a lot, and so did Mimi and Guera miss their playmate, but then they started playing together and things have just gotten better with them.  They both strut around with their tails riding high, meaning they are happy.  Guera has taken to the human lovin' thing and comes to ask for petting and 'acarísias' in Spanish.  This little kittie was the best thing that could have happened to the other two, other than of course their being rescued and cared for so well from the beginning of their little lives.  They learned how to play.  Thanks to our temporary visitor who we never even named, because she has already positively affected the lives of others at the age of just 5 weeks!  I hope her new family is good to her.  This unexpected surprise at the house turned out to be a happy ending for all involved.

The house has been quite cat active lately. Maybe it's in the air. Maybe it's the asteroide. Who knows?  I won't bore you with details of Lorenza's little seizure, or Weasel's two day jaundice.  I just wish I hada more knowledge and possibly a veterinary doctor's certificate.


Debi in Merida said...

Oh Lin and Pablo, So sorry to hear of Gemelo's passing. It is so hard to loose one of your troop. You did give him such a happy ending, good on ya!
keep up the good work.

Theresa in Mèrida said...

Gemelo was so lucky to have you. It's always sad when a pet dies but I don't want to imagine what his end would have been like with out your caring. Keep up the good work.


Linda Dorton said...

Thanks for your kind words and sympathy, Debi and Theresa. He turned out to be a pretty nice old boy. I hope we did make his last year his best. I feel I could have done more, but it is hard to singlehandedly save the world.I wish I could do as much for cats as Evolution and YAPA and the animal rescuers do for dogs (and cats, I know).........and I understand why they need help. I can certainly appreciate all the hard work they put in for the huge job they handle.

Merida Mikey said...

I was saddened to learn of Gemelo's passing, but I know what tender loving care he always received from you. I am truly sorry for your loss.

Carlos Q and Pat Q said...

I love your cat stories. Being a cat person myself, I found tears in my eyes at the passing of Gemelo.

Linda Dorton said...

Carlos and Pat Q,
Thanks for the nice comment. I was pretty strong during Gemelo's incident, but in rereading the post I too was again saddened to tears. It's funny how much we love our animals.

I haven't been posting much, but knowing just one person likes my cat stories, worry not, there will always be cat stories!