Much sadness has hung over our house in the last couple of weeks as we have lost an adopted member of our family.
Stormy, or "Mamma Kitty" as we sometimes called her, passed away on September 24th. She was the mother of our much beloved litter of kittens born last spring.
With her kittens weaned, Stormy had once again gone into heat. We were confining her to the house, but at times she was determined to escape and seek some male companionship, if you get my drift.
Not wanting the responsibility of more kittens, we made an appointment with the vet to have her spayed.
She made it though the surgery perfectly. I was able to see her in the recovery room as she was coming out of the anesthesia. I left with the assurance that I could take her home the next day.
Instead, I got a call from the vet that following morning. Sometime during the night, Stormy passed away.
This was a blow to all of us since she had made it through surgery fine and was a relatively young cat--around five or six years old by the vet's estimate. Although the cause of death cannot be found accurately without a necropsy, the vet thinks it was one of two situations. She may have had a congenital heart defect, and her damaged heart could not handle the strain of the surgery and anesthesia. His second theory was a possible aneurysm or stroke--one of her pupils was completely dialated, which is usually a sign of brain trauma.
We all took it hard, but Sean took it the hardest. He had become very attached to this gentle little cat, and insisted we go to the vet's office to retrieve her. Athough it probably would have been less traumatic to let the vet take care of her, we buried her in the backyard and said a little prayer over her grave. This probably gave both kids the sense of closure that they needed.
I, of course, felt a tremendous sense of guilt at being the one to leave her at the vet's office to die alone. But I keep telling myself it was the responsible thing to do, and that she will be forever grateful for all we did for her. I hope that soon I will believe that.
Saying goodbye to an animal that has become part of your family is never easy. But we will try to remember all that Stormy was and all she brought to our family. We will remember her for her bravery as she faced the winter with only the shelter of our front porch after she was cruelly abandoned. We will always recall her unusual meow and her beautiful grey and cream-colored fur. We admire how devoted she was in caring for her tiny kittens. And we vow that they will all have loving, safe homes.