Boo came to live with us when she was a kitten. Born on our farm to our first “barn” cat. Our barn cats live outside but have access to indoor shelter with house built out of straw bales and old, warm blankets and regular vittles.
The spring Boo was born was the first year we had on our place. We spent most of the spring putting up fencing around the perimeter the farm. Hours and hours of work. At times I drove the tractor, at times I would help with the fencing. Boo’s mama was a curious girl and would follow us around. Soon her kittens were tottling along with us. One little black and white kitten was particularly curious and friendly.
I remember sitting in the tractor seat with this little fluff ball on my lap and playing “Soooo big!” and “Peek-a-boo” with her tiny paws. She would just lay there all relaxed on her back and love it up. What felt like miles of fence building was eased with the fun of playing with this little girl. I name her Boo.
Already having a dog and a cat in the house, we really didn’t want or need another house cat. While the summer wore on, the kitty stayed friendly and curious. As the leaves started to turned and nights got chilly something happened with the barn cat family. For some reason our little girl was rejected from the group and was no longer living in the barn. We found that she started staying in the trees up by our house. She was being picked on by the other cats. Why, I don’t know, I suppose it could be chalked up to nature’s way of only the strong survive…Or something like that.
In the chill of the evenings as I walked the dogs, I would hear the kitten meowing. Poor thing was lonesome and probably cold. We made sure she still got plenty of food and water. We tried to harden our hearts to her. “We’ve got enough pets, we don’t need another” Scottie and I told each other. She wasn’t going to get moved in. Nope. Not going to happen.
Then chilly nights turned to cold nights. Then cold and rainy nights. It didn’t look like she wasn’t either willing to move back to the barn to live or the cat family wasn’t willing to let her come in. Life in the trees was what she going to have. *sigh*
So on a cold night in early October (2000) our hearts finally melted and moved Boo in to the house. In the 13 years she’s lived with us she repaid the kindness a million times over by being the best kitty around.
Sit down to relax for the evening, you’d find a purring kitty on your lap in less than three minutes. Go to bed at night she’d snuggle right up for some pets and cuddles. Got cold feet? Warm kitty body to the rescue. Never demanding but always there.
In the mornings, as Scott would get up to go to work she would sit outside the bathroom door patiently waiting for him to get done. As soon as he was through that was her trigger to wake me up. Boo would bounce up to the bed to would walk up my legs to lie on my belly and greet me with loud purrs to wake up. Head butts with an occasional gentle touch with a paw if I didn’t wake up fast enough for her liking.
Yesterday I came home from the theatre to have Scott tell me something was wrong with Boo. She would walked aimlessly around the room for a while. Then she would sit and stare at nothing. With some additional symptoms, it was clear she was in some serious distress and an emergency trip to the vets was in order.
After an examination and some tests, the vet was unsure of the diagnosis. It could be one of two things: either she had either ingested something or she had a traumatic brain injury or illness. We went through all kinds of possibilities of ways she could’ve ingested something. It appeared unlikely. That left the brain injury or illness. Some IV fluids and medications and we were sent home with instructions to call back in the morning. Before I could call this morning…she had a massive seizure. She came out of it but it is clear that she won’t recover.
We are now faced with the decision that every pet owner must eventually consider. Do we let nature take its course or should we do the responsible pet owner thing? As Boo lays beside me wrapped in a fluffy pink blanket, I’m unable to make the decision yet. I believe that she senses I am here. While she doesn’t seem to see me, her ears perk when I talk to her. She stills when I pet her.
Writing about the situation seems to help. It’s therapeutic for me. I know in my heart of hearts what I need to do. I will do it. I will hate it. I will miss her terribly. But I will do it. Did I need to write about it and bring you down with me? No. I never intended for that to be the result…I just wanted to tell you about my kitty. That’s all. It’s about the greatest kitty ever.