Sunday, March 6, 2016

Sweetie—landmarks of her life.

Born 17 April 2003 in New Delhi, India—Cookie, a stray I used to feed came inside and had four kitties on a suitcase under my bed.
I kept a window open, and Cookie took care of them.
When they could walk and run I put them on the terrace, but they still came in at times.
In March 2004, Sweetie was missing for some days. I found her on the road trying to crawl back home. Her back legs were paralysed. On the same day her brother Snowy disappeared. They were good friends
I brought her upstairs and she became an indoor cat. I closed the window, and made her a small makeshift terrace enclosure. She was happy inside and slowly recovered.Before that she lost two premature kittens. She had hanging skin below her stomach, and a slight limp, otherwise could walk and soon could jump as before.
Minty joined us as an indoor cat on 10 September 2011—a kitten I just had to rescue. Despite my best efforts Sweetie never liked her, so I made sure Minty did not trouble her. Sweetie remained my constant companion, Minty in another room.
During these years we made frequent trips to Dehradun to visit my mother. We went by taxi, and though not a long distance, it took 7 or more hours because of the traffic. Sweetie was a very good girl on all these trips, uncomplainingly staying in one room with me on our visits there. With Minty as a second cat it was a problem, Minty had to stay in the bathroom. Of course, both did have a run around the house at times. In 2012 we made nine trips there. After my mother passed away, we moved to Dehradun.
Sweetie was depressed so I got a beautiful terrace enclosure made for her 10th birthday. It was attached to my bedroom, she could go in and out as she liked, and she loved it.[There are pictures of it in the post below]
Even in her final days, she sat there all day in the sun, with me sitting near her. She had stopped eating, but started again, then once again declined, though she ate a little bit even on the last day. She was weak but could still walk and jump on the chair or bed by herself
She usually slept in my bed, with her head on my shoulder and her paw on my arm, but for a few days she hadn’t been doing that. On 2nd night she went to sleep at the foot of the bed. Around 2 am she came up and put her head on my shoulder and paw on my arm. I held her close. At 4.30 am she gave two or three small coughs and then she was gone to the other world.
A small grave was dug for her in the back garden. My neighbour came and said some prayers, and read from the Guru Granth Sahib for twenty minutes. A deeply spiritual man, he said that a cat’s soul is no different from that of a human.
It was 3 March 2016.