Monday, June 20, 2011

Sad, sad news. Auntie Stinkie being helped to the Bridge tonight.


Dearest friends,

Auntie Stinkie has fallen gravely ill. She is in complete and irreversible renal failure. We have made the decision that she counts on us to do and she will be helped to the Bridge tonight at 5:30 p.m. The vet will come to the house and help our dearest girl to join other legendary cats that have come before. Our hearts are breaking, but as I write this, Auntie Stinkie is thanking us for being brave enough to let her go. She is very tired and very weak.

I wanted to tell you the story of how she came to live with us, before I can’t muster any more thoughts. Some of you may have read a little bit about this before in an older post, but it helps me to focus on the incredible miracles of animal and human interaction:

In 2003, I visited my husband-to-be at his home in Oregon. He and I sat in the summer night watching the stars. Suddenly a raspy “Waah! Waah!” sounded from the dark. A very petite shadow of a cat was visible. I could see large patches of fur were missing and she was extremely thin. She looked like a stray alley cat.

My fiance said, “That’s the neighbor’s cat Stinkie. I call her my mailbox friend because she walks down to the end of the road with me while I open up the mail.” We petted her and talked with her a bit and that’s all I saw of her for a couple of months.

After I moved in, Stinkie began to visit us. She would typically run up to greet me when I got home from work with a “Waah! Waah!” She had a LOT to say. There was a dog who made her life miserable; her owners fed her food she was allergic to; no one paid her any attention. How did I know she was allergic to her food? Stinkie threw up undigested food on my car almost every day... she was communicating the only way she knew how. And she sat on the rail of the front porch, chattering nonstop. “Waah! A thousand times waah!”

That first Oregon winter was a tough one. It snowed almost 8” and Stinkie’s owners did not bring her in from the cold. Not wanting to encourage her to stay with us, we did not feed her but felt the cold was too harsh for such a short-haired kitty. We compromised by putting an electric blanket on the front deck and she gratefully curled up.

The next summer, with our doors wide open, Stinkie began her “observations.” She would walk right in our front door, climb on top of my husband’s turntable cover, and watch us. She watched us eat dinner. She watched us interact with the other cats. She watched us watch movies. The entire time, it was as if she was making up her mind to do a very big thing.

Finally, after a few months of not being able to keep her out of the house, we let her stay. Stinkie had just turned 11. She befriended my husband’s elderly cat Trixie and kept Trixie company when the two boys Dr Tweety and Maxie were unruly. When Trixie went into renal failure at 16, Stinkie sat beside her day after day. After Trixie passed, Stinkie disappeared for three days. When she returned, she was depressed. It was the only time in my life I have ever heard a cat cry. She made low moaning noises and kept close, burrowing in my lap.

Several months later, we adopted Iris and Delilah. With the household now in a state of kitty flux, “Auntie” Stinkie took charge! She assumed alpha cat position and slapped the new kitten Delilah around. She let everyone know, including Maxie and Dr Tweety, that this was her home and she was the matron in charge of all things cat.

She demanded her eggs soupy and her chicken warm. “Waah! Waah!” But her nervous chattered subsided as the year passed. She no longer felt the need to be heard. Her home was with us and no one, even her former owner, contradicted that.

Auntie Stinkie was a survivor extraordinaire. She made it through skin cancer surgery, high blood pressure, total blindness, and lived well beyond what the vets thought three years ago. She adapted to her sightless state (even though I had a much more difficult time with it because I missed her looking straight at me and asking for her eggs!). She learned to use pet stairs next to the bed. She learned to feel her way around the garden and find that sweet sunny spot on the front deck. She found renewed vigor in her love for food and actually developed a bit of a pot belly by the time she was 16.

So here we are today. One month after her 19th birthday. I didn’t want to admit it, but I noticed the decline in her health a little before that landmark birthday. Her famous appetite wasn’t what it used to be and she was losing weight. Her iconic “Waah, waah had all but disappeared. But four days ago, she still managed to find her way to that sunny spot on the front porch.

Today, she can’t, nor can she walk more than a foot or two. Her muscles are too weak in the hind legs. It’s time to give her dignity.

We will miss her so much. She was my first Oregon friend and her dad’s first mailbox friend. We know how much all of you love your own dear furry friends and how the loss of each one touches another. We are one world within a complex universe that gives us both loss and love. Somehow, we weather the grief process together.

Dr Tweety will come back later in the summer, to let you know how we’re all doing. And we will visit you to see how you are all doing. Thank you so much for being our dear friends.

The photo you see above is from yesterday, when Iris kept Auntie Stinkie company on the bed.

58 comments:

Katnip Lounge said...

Godspeed, Auntie Stinky. We will meet again someday, and we'll look forward to hearing you "waah waah" at us and escort us around Heaven. We are sending warm soft purrs to your family and Mommy sends big {{hugs}} for all. We love you.

Eric and Flynn said...

We are sad to hear your sad news. We send you comforting purrs and wish Auntie Stinkie a peaceful journey to The Bridge.

Asta said...

Mommi and I awe so sad..we got hewe just at 5:30 and mommi stawted cwying when she wead that Auntie Stinkie is being helped to cwoss the bwidge just then.
I am happy that she got to be pawt of youw loving family and have such a long and happy life wif you I know she thanks you fow this last and most difficult show of youw love . helping hew when she can't go on anymowe.
She will be a healthy , bootful giwl again ovew the bwidge and be welcomed by so many of ouw dawling fuwwkids and fwiends.
I'm sending healing smoochies fow youw sad heawts. It's aways sad to say fawewell no mattew how wight the decision and how long and wondewful the life..it's nevew enuff
Mommi sends hugs and love
please come back and visit when you can
smoochie kisses
ASTA

OKcats said...

There is something so very special about the cat that picks you to be her family. That was a lovely story about how she came to be part of your family. You're doing such a loving thing for her, even though it's one of the hardest things a pet parent has to do. We send you purrs and hugs during this difficult time.

Your friends, Fuzzy, Zoe, and mom Jana

Daisy said...

I'm sorry to learn that it is Auntie Stinkie's time to go to the Bridge. What a character she is! I will never forget her. I am certain she will be able to eat her special eggs every day at the Bridge! Soft purrs to you during this sad time.

I wish Auntie Stinkie a gentle crossing. Rest in peace, sweet girl.

The Lee County Clowder said...

Sending comforting purrrrrrrsss and gentle headbutttss to Aunt Stinky and the whole family. May your journey be quick and painless. Until we meet again.

Fuzzy Tales said...

We're very sorry that it's Auntie Stinky's time to cross. We hope the journey was quick and peaceful.

Sending you all soft purrs of comfort, universal Light for healing, and wishing everyone Blessings and Peace.

-Nicki, Derry and mom Kim

Athena said...

I'm so very sorry. I hope you can find some peace in knowing that you gave her a wonderful life, full of love.

Cheysuli and gemini said...

Our thoughts to you and your family at this hard time. Purrs.

Amy and The House of Cats said...

Oh we are so sad that Auntie Stinkie has to leave, but we know you are making the best decision for her, even though it is hard for you. We hate that she had a crummy life to start but we are so glad that she had so many wonderful, loving, happy years with you before it was her time to leave. We know she will love you for that always and that she will always be with you in your heart. We are sending over lots of purrs and prayers of comfort for you and purrs and prayers for Auntie Stinkie to have a comfortable, safe journey.

The Island Cats said...

Oh we are so sorry to hear about Auntie Stinkie! We hope her journey to the Bridge was peaceful. We send you all comforting purrs and headbutts...

cwcwccw said...

We are so sorry to hear your sad news. We sending our purrs & prays to your family.

Emmylou said...

Purrs and prayers...we will miss her presence here on the catblog.

A few Good Cats said...

We are sending comforting vibes and purrayers for your loss. You helped Auntie Stinkie have the best years of her life, and you'll always have many good memories of her.

ABBY said...

God Bless Auntie Stinky.
Enjoy your trip to the Bridge and know all of your earthly furfriends are missing you.
We will see you again when it is our time to cross the Bridge, until then frolic, play and keep meowing that special meow so we will know it's you.

*******
Treat me kindly, my beloved friend for no heart in all this world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me.


Speak to me often, for your voice is the world's sweetest music, as you must know by the soft touch of my fur against your leg, when your footsteps fall upon my waiting ear.

Please take me inside when it is cold and wet for I am a domesticated animal, no longer accustomed to bitter elements.

I ask no greater glory than to have the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth.

Keep my pan filled with water for I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst.

Feed me clean food that I may stay well, to romp and play, to lay by your side, and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life, should your life be in danger.

And my friend, when I am old and no longer enjoy good health and sight, do not make heroic efforts to keep me going, I am not having fun.

Please see that my trusting life is taken gently.

I shall leave this earth knowing with the last breath I draw that my fate was always safest in your hands.

Author Unknown

****
And so it was ...safest in your hands.

purrin
Abby

Jan's Funny Farm said...

Oh, the sadness, even though we've been expecting it. We know how painful it is to say good-bye.

What a life Auntie Stinkie has had. No love until she was 11? That is terrible. So glad she adopted you and moved in to take charge of the kitties so her last years would be happy ones, despite her physical problems.

We are so sorry Auntie Stinkie's time has come. We are all teary. Hugs, purrs and wags.

Cory said...

Auntie Stinkie was an amazing character. There is something really special about a cat that carefully watches you and makes the active choice to join your family.

Sending our warmest and softest purrs. She will be greeted at The Bridge by all of guardian angels.

Purrs,

Cory and family

Angel Sweet Praline said...

I'm sure that Sweet Praline welcomed Auntie Stinky at the bridge today. I know the emotions that you are going through today and my thoughts and prayers are with you. It hasn't quite been 8 weeks since I helped Sweet Praline to the Bridge and I still miss her terribly.

Mom Paula

KEY WEST COLLIES said...

A most excellent story. Dog Dad and I both know and feel your sadness. Know that Auntie Stinkie loved you and you helped her so much. God Bless.

Essex & Dog Dad

JB's Big and Small Worlds said...

We are so very sad to hear this news. Big purrs and hugs from all of us. She was lucky to have found the love and care you gave her.
Purrs,
JB, Chester, CocoBean, Armani, Gaia, Charli and mom Deb

Forty Paws said...

We are so sorry to hear that Auntie Stinky had to cross over. We are glad that she had 8 loving years with you, and that you took great care of her through those 8 years. Many hugs, purrs and purrayers to you and the other cats.

Luf, Us

Furkidsmom said...

We're so sorry to hear that Auntie Stinkie has gone to the Bridge. We know Angel Sniffie was there to show her around and make her feel at home.

Purrs and prayers to you.
The Florida Furkids and Angel Sniffie

Clooney said...

We are so sorry for your loss. That is a very touching story of how Auntie Stinkie came to be with your family and the love you gave her for those years. How sad her early life was before you and how wonderful it was with you. Thanks for sharing her story. We send you and her the gentlest of purrs.

Be Well Sweet Auntie Stinkie

Chesney Cats said...

We are so very, very sorry for your loss.

Ikaika said...

We are so sorry that Auntie Stinkie had to leave you and we wish her safe journey. Sending you all gentle purrs and headbumps.

Run free at the Bridge, Auntie Stinkie ...

Mark's Mews said...

Our purrs to you at this loss. Aunt Stinkey was allus a heroine ta us...

Ayla, Iza, an Marley

Hannah and Lucy said...

We are so sorry to hear that Auntie Stinky has gone to the Bridge. We are sure she will be watching over you with love.
Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

Tillie and Georgia said...

We are so sorry to learn that dear Auntie Stinky has gone to the Bridge.It is wonderful that she lived a long life and her best years were with the Fab 5 family. We know this will leave a huge hole in your hearts and we send you comforting purrs.
We know our Mickey will be there to welcome her at the Bridge,along with so many of the fine kitties who have made that journey.
We send you purrs and hugs.
Purrs Tillie and Georgia, Tiger,Treasure, JoyJoy and mom Nancy

Carolyn said...

Such a poignant story. Auntie Stinkie's last years were obviously very happy thanks to you. And she obviously chose you because of your good hearts xx

MISS PEACH ~(^.^)~ said...

Oh my precious friends...has this painful time come at last to your happy home? How deeply sad I am to know this. Your final gift of love was the kindness Auntie Stinkie was waiting for...bless your hearts for loving her so tenderly all of these years. I will always remeber how wonderful our long friendship was...we were two old lady cats...enjoying our days together...how beautiful she looked on my wedding day. Now she is with my beloved Mickey in heaven...I am so happy knowing that one day they will be there to welcome me and we all will dance together once again like on that most beautiful day. Please know how much we care and are holding you close to our hearts...
your devoted friends from the cozy cottage

Parker said...

We are so very, very sorry. Godspeed to Auntie Stinkey.
(((hugs)))

Brian said...

I am so very sorry to hear about the sweetest Auntie Stinkie. I send you many, many purrs and hugs. Run free sweet one.

MoMo said...

We are so sad and sorry to hear this. We are sending soft purrs and kind thoughts to accompany Auntie Stinkie on her way to the Bridge and to the family. This is a temporary goodbye as we know we will all meet again one day.

Run free, Auntie Stinkie! We will miss you!

Hugs to you all!

Old Kitty said...

Me and my cat Charlie came over from Jan's Funny Farm. We are so sorry to hear about Auntie Stinky. We love her story here - how she knew you were good people and needed lots of help with the new kitties!! She came in with you both to help you! She was truly a wonderful amazing and very brave and strong character. We are so so sorry for your loss. Please take care
x

ArtemisiaFSS said...

We are very sads that Auntie Stinky's time with you is at an end, but know she will live forever in your hearts. Comforting purrs and much love.

KarenMcG said...

"The Boys" and I are sorry to learn about Auntie Stinkie. Thank you for your story of how she came to be with you. She certainly had a life full of challenges. We'll keep her and you in our thoughts and prayers.

The Taylor CatSSSSS said...

We are so sorry to hear that you have lost your beloved family member, Auntie Stinkie. She had such an interesting story and you told it beautifully. We know that she is at the Bridge and giving her trademark "waah waah" to all the others who have gone before. please accept our sincere sympathy.

Amber DaWeenie said...

We are all so sorry to hear of your loss. Auntie Stinkie will be forever safe in your heart.

Sabrina, Sam and Simon said...

We are so, so sorry to hear that Auntie Stinkie had to fly to the Bridge, but we know you did what was kindest for her, because once again she is healthy and happy. Your story of how she came in to your lives was so sweet, it brought tears to Momma's eyes as she read it. We are sending all of you our most heartfelt purrayers to help you through this sad time ...
Hugs, purrs and headbutts,
Sabrina, Sam, Simon and Mommma Jan

The Meezers or Billy said...

you were the best thing to ever happen to her - and it sounds like she knew it right away before she even moved in!!! We are so sad that she has gone to the Bridge but we know that she will never truly be away from you.

Auntie Stinkie - we cannot say good bye to our furriends so we will say "Until we meet at the Bridge" (and please say Hi to our Gramma Trixie and Grampa Norton)

Cheri said...

She is very lucky you took her and and she gave you so much in return. Fly free Auntie Stinkie. Sending lots of loving purrs.

Cats of Wildcat Woods

Milo and Alfie Marshall said...

What a beautiful heartwarming summary of Aunty Stinky's life. We can tell by the way you write, just how much you love her and will miss her. It is never easy saying goodbye, not matter what the age, or health of the cat ~ so we appreicate the kindness with which you let your beautiful old girl have dignity and let her go surrounded by love.
RIP sweet Aunty Stinky. Purrs.

Boots, Ozzie and Brenda said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in this sad time. Auntie Stinkie was well loved and taken care of in her last years and maybe that's the most we can hope for.

Boots, Ozzie & Brenda

The Crew said...

What a touching story. You gave Auntie Stinkie what she needed, love and care, and she repaid you in kind. We know you'll miss her terribly.

Purrs to you all.

The Crew & Crew's Mom

Marg said...

What a lovely thing that you did for Auntie Stinky. It sounds like she was a very happy cat once that she found you. We are so sad that it is time for her to go but at least she had a happy time the last part of her life. Big hugs during this hard time.

The Furry Kids said...

We are so so sorry to hear about Auntie Stinkie. We're sending our best purrs and gentle dawg hugs to all of you. Rest in peace, Auntie Stinkie. You are missed.

Love,
Titus, Tazo, EG, and The Mom and Dad

ML said...

Fanks fur sharing Auntie Stinkie's story wif us.
We's furry sad to hear that hers was helped to tha Bridge because we will miss her so much.
Love & Purrs,
KC
Missy Blue Eyes
Faith Boomerang
Sol
Smokey
Brutus Jr.
Mom ML

meowmeowmans said...

It's clear from your lovely recounting of Auntie Stinkie's life just how much you loved her. Thank you for loving her so much and so well, and for being brave enough to make the heart-wrenching decision to help her to the Bridge. Godspeed, Aunt Stinkie.

Love, hugs, purrs and prayers to you all.

Junior and Orion said...

Rest in Peace Auntie Stinkie. We are so very glad you found a good family to adopt, one who loved you and took proper care of you. We are also glad that now you are healthy and have found a great spot in the sun to nap over the bridge. We bet your voice is back in full strength now and we know you will use it when you see your family again.

Sending purrs to all of you in this time of sorrow.

Tom, Tama-Chan, Sei-Chan, Bibi-Chan, Vidock said...

We have never visited you before but read about your loss and wanted to stop by and pay our respects. Auntie Stinkie was certainly well loved!

Purrs,
The Chans
in France

Meowers from Missouri said...

we's purrin' softly an' mommer is purrrayin' through her tears. auntie stinkie sounds a great deal like our uncle eeker, who came in frum the cold to rule the household.

we sends you loves an' light, an' hopes yer time of sadness runs away furry fast.

**((blessin's & hugs from all of us at chez pierce to all of you))**

HotMBC aka The Hotties said...

Oh we will miss you down here Auntie Stinky! We will see you at the Bridge later though.
*blows paw kissies*
da Mini and the rest of the Hotties

We're bringing over noms and we'll sit and hold paws.
purrrrrrrrrrrs.

Angus Mhor said...

My dear friends, I'm so sorry to hear of Auntie Stinkie's passing over the Rainbow Bridge. She was a dignified ol' ladycat and I'm so proud of her survival skills after reading her story! What a gal! I send you my bestest purrs and hopes for peace in your hearts after her going.

Your friend,

Angus Mhor

Cat with a Garden said...

We wish Auntie Stinkie the very best for her ultimate journey. She had a long and happy life and but she knows it's her time to leave now. Many, many comfortimg purrs to her and all the family.

Zippy, Sadie and Speedy said...

Godspeedy Auntie Stinky, hope we meet at da Bridge someday. (((hugs))) to you all. Funny how Stinky kept Trixie company and then Iris kept Stinky company...we cats know.

Prancer Pie said...

Purrs fur Aunt Stinkie's family. Beautiful gotcha story. Special memories. Nosetaps.

Samantha, Clementine and Maverick said...

Oh no!! We are so sorry to hear about Auntie Stinkie going to the Rainbow Bridge!! We know she will be glad to see Bounce again!! We shall miss her lots!! Till we meet again Auntie Stinkie!!
Hugggggs and love to all of you during this time,
Samantha, Clementine, Maverick and Mom

Max said...

I am so, so sorry :(

Celly-bratin life in Orry-gone