Beatrice went to the Rainbow Bridge today...
Beatrice soaking up some sun in her new home.
This summer, I fostered Beatrice for a while for a local rescue organization, then my friends Sharron and David adopted her a few weeks ago, and gave her the most wonderful, loving home a cat could ever imagine. We all thought that this blind, geriatric feline would squeeze a few years out of life yet (her initial veterinary check-up went very well!) I was thrilled to think about her enjoying the kind of love and care she was clearly being denied when she was taken from her previous owners with her fur so matted, it clung to her like a turtle shell and hampered her movement.
Sharron came to visit Beatrice regularly while she was with me, then made me the happiest kitty-fosterer around when she said they were going to adopt this old gal. At her new home, Beatrice was given a comfy new bed in a patch of sunshine, walks in the grass, and so much more. Most of all, she was given love. I consider myself a poet, but I can't find the words to describe how touched I was by Sharron and David offering to adopt this cat. I could see what a beautiful, affectionate little soul she was, but not many people are going to be willing to take on a 16-year-old blind cat. But then, Sharron and David are special that way. They did not overlook this dear little cat.
Whispering in Beatrice's ear about the great things about to happen to her!
Sharron got to work figuring out how she would introduce Beatrice to their other two kitties, and how she would keep this blind cat safe as she wandered around her new home. Sharron took Beatrice for a "spa day" at the groomer's. We talked about how gorgeous her coat would be once it grew back in (when she was rescued, most of her fur was shaved to remove the mats.) I loved hearing Sharron tell me about how well Beatrice was settling into her new abode. She was quite fearless about jumping on and off the couch!
Then a few days ago, Beatrice started throwing up bile and began turning up her nose at food. Long story short, and after a lot of veterinary care, today they discovered a large tumour in her stomach that was spreading. She was having trouble eating and had lost a substantial amount of weight in a very short time, and the prognosis was poor. So my friends made the difficult decision to put Beatrice to sleep this afternoon.
So many hearts are broken tonight! Some people will never understand how a pet can become a beloved part of your family, but I certainly do, and I know how quickly Sharron and David became attached to this little beauty; she certainly charmed me in the time she was with us. They had planned to give her everything she had previously been denied, but in this case, life has been cruel. The one thing I can say is that, while I know this is so sad for my friends, and I wish I could spare them the pain of losing their kitty, and I question myself, (I wonder if I missed a sign? Should I just have kept her knowing how old she was?) part of me is just so glad they took her home. Because for a few weeks, she had it all, and she truly knew what it was to be cherished and loved by humans. I could not be more grateful to Sharron and David for that.
And that's why I keep doing this rescue work, even though it can be heart-breaking, emotionally and financially draining, and painful. I do it because I believe every animal deserves love, respect and decent care. And Beatrice finally got that! I just wish with all my heart that she had been able to stick around to enjoy it a bit longer.
I love animals and I always will, but they sure do smash your heart into pieces sometimes. Please send kind thoughts to Sharron and David, who are grieving tis sweet cat.
I hope she is chasing butterflies through fields of catnip now, eyesight completely restored.
Beatrice, you were loved.