Sunday was like any other day. Ivy crawled up on the bed to wake us up, squawking away as usual. She ate well and asked for seconds. Later that morning I went to lay on the bed to read and she sprawled out on my tummy like she always does. I had my hand on her body and felt her heart beating way too fast. She seemed agitated and got down off the bed and then I heard her scream. When I looked down on her, she was dragging her hind leg and trying to walk, screaming.
Within minutes I had her in a carrier and out the door to the vet. One the ride over her breathing became labored, her mouth open, gasping. At the emergency vets they put her in oxygen right away but she had thrown a clot - what I suspected. I knew it was time to let her go. I was able to spend a little time with her but she was in distress so I had them give her a sedative and then bring her to me for the final dose, I cradled her in my arms, swaddled in a blue towel with only her head and front paws showing. I told her how much I loved her, that Lily was waiting for her, and that everything will be OK. She was struggling to breathe even with the sedative, so I told the vet to let her go. It was peaceful and she went easily - she just stopped breathing.
She lived a long life for a cat with Chronic Renal Failure and FIV. I feel blessed to have known Ivy for all 17 years of her amazing life. (Read her life story here) She spent the first seven living in the feral colony behind our house. Tiny then as now, she held her own with the others. So many times I worried about her safety. She had UTIs and refused to eat the food I put her meds in, never mind let me catch her. All I could do was send her Reiki healing light from the back bedroom. She survived all her illness outside and even lived through hurricanes, blizzards and bone chilling winter temperatures.
She loved to hunt and would drop her prize at the feet of the head feral cat Big Guy. She was one of the oldest cats in the group. In 2005 she was the last of this feral colony living outside. I hesitated to bring her in. She was so wild and untamed, that I felt she would not adjust to life indoors. I left her out one last summer and then lured her into a dog crate and brought her inside. She surprised us totally and became the lap cat of all lap cats.
She had a huge personality for as small as she was at six pounds. As she lost her hearing in later years she vocalized more - in her duck like quacking, gurgles and chirps. In her raspy voice she told us when to wake up, when to feed her and if she couldn't find us, she would roam the house squawking until we found her.
|Butter on her nose|
She loved butter and would come beg for some when I had my breakfast. She loved to lick it off my finger and usually got it all over her nose too. Her favorite place to nap was on the TV receiver on the shelf in the console where it was warm and cozy. A restless sleeper she would often unplug the TV and we would wonder why we didn't get TV reception. She was not a toy player but if we left a catnip banana on the floor she would roll on that until she was in ecstasy.
|Napping under the TV|
At night I read on the bed before I fall asleep. That was Ivy's time with me. She would crawl on my tunny and spread her tiny body out to nap. If she felt a little frisky she would run across the bed and squawk - her signal to play. I would throw rolled up socks up into the air over her and she would jump to catch them. She loved to chase ribbons as I pulled them across the bed as well. She was so quick - still the hunter.
If you can't see this go here.
She is buried next to the others on a shady hillside on our land, wrapped in a pink blanket with a sunflower from our garden and catnip sprinkled over her. Our lives will be so much quieter now without her. No one to wake us or to tell us to feed the cats. She totally charmed us with her antics and voice, making us smile and laugh everyday. She was our sunshine, our light and I am devastated that it has gone out forever. Sweet dreams dear Ivy.