Monday, February 23, 2009

Twilight's Gone

Sometime last night, Twilight passed away. We have no idea what may have been wrong; he was, after all, a feral cat, and it could have been almost anything.

Twilight had vanished a couple of days ago, not being there to greet us as he always did, and not touching his food. We were worried, but thought he might have decided to hole up in the shed at the end of our property, or maybe had just gone back to hunting full-time. It didn't seem right, though; he always seemed to be either on the side deck, or on or next to the front porch. And he liked his food. It's been so bitterly cold this winter for our area, and that food kept his warmth up. He always purred so loudly when we fed him, and seemed so grateful when we'd dump the ice out of his water bowl and give him fresh.

Then he was back. But acting off, still not eating well, not moving around as much. He'd still get up to herd the dogs, especially Jack, but when the dogs came in, he'd just plop down on the walkway instead of coming back up to his food bowl as usual. A couple of days ago I very foolishly cast caution to the wind and picked Twilight up. I didn't even have anything on my hands to protect them, and fully expected to be scratched to pieces for my trouble. Instead, he let me carry him up to his nesting area, giving him skritches and petting him, with him only squirming a bit to be put down when we got there. Honestly, I was stunned, and didn't know whether it was a breakthrough, or he was worse off than I thought.

But we couldn't see anything wrong. I did notice that he was favoring his left hind leg just a bit, yet he was able to walk on it. He was always a 'talker', but he got very vocal the last couple of days. I fretted that he was in pain somehow, but again, no sign of injury...and if I had hurt him picking him up, he showed no sign of it. For about a day and a half he apparently ate nothing, even when we tried to hand feed him. DH took out a piece of pork roast yesterday afternoon, and Twilight wouldn't touch that, so we put it in his bowl.

Then last night, the DH came back in after taking the dogs for their final potty break, and said a good amount of food was gone, including the pork. We were relieved. Twilight was out with the dogs, but the DH said he was suddenly very wobbly in the back paws. We checked on him later, and he was in that shelter he never used.

This morning, he was still there, and the DH told me he was gone. Now someone please tell me why I am grieving for a cat I never wanted, never saw before November, and never even had in my home? For cripesakes, I'm allergic to the creatures! So why did I cry all over the poor DH's shoulder? Dammit.

I'm a firm believer that people...and animals...come into our lives for a reason, to meet a need we have, or for us to meet one of theirs. I'm not sure what we might have done for him that he couldn't do for himself, but I know it made us happy to feel we had a bit of his trust.

In one of Nature's little ironies, I saw the first snowdrops of the season, such a lovely sign that Spring is around the corner. It usually makes me feel so happy.


Rowan Falar said...

You did what you could to provide a safe, comfortable place for a cat that was too wary to become a house cat.
Twilight allowed you you comfort him, feed him and he came back to die where you would find him.
Cats that feel their time is coming tend to hide away. Not come to people it's afraid of.
You did a wonderful thing in giving a feral animal food, water & shelter. You cared for him. You've earned the right to grieve.

Rosemarie Buchanan said...

Nearly two years ago, I went out to the front yard and found a cat so emaciated that he couldn't stand, but had crawled to the little pond for a drink. I called the vet, and took him in, and stood there and bawled like a baby when they said his organs were too far gone. He'd been neutered and tattooed, and abandoned. It still makes me cry when I think about how tragically his little feline life ended.
Twilight was lucky to have found you and Tony. He was cared for, and isn't that what we all want? You did the right thing by him. There are many reasons why I call you a friend. This is one of those reasons.

Pinko Knitter said...

Diana, I am sorry for your loss. It doesn't take long to form attachments with such magnificent creatures as dogs and cats.
You provided comfort and sustenance in Twilight's last days, you gave him a home, you gave him love, and you gave him a place to die where he felt comfortable and comforted. That's no little thing.

lorrwill said...

To answer your questions, I would say you cried and grieve the poor critter because you are a good woman with a heart full of love.