Sunday, January 11, 2015

our Tink

we said goodbye to my sweet Tink this past week.
at 18 years old she was with me almost half my life.
she was always tiny to begin with. almost as if she never grew to full size...hence the name Tinkerbell. she came from a pet store on a day that i had no intention whatsoever of leaving with nothing other than some cat food. however, I spied a cage with a few kittens in it and there she was.
so i asked the clerk if they could take her out so i could hold her. the only problem was that
she didn't want to be held. after only a few moments of having her, she jumped out of my arms, hit the floor and scurried behind a shelving unit loaded with canned food. aaand we couldn't get her out. they had to dismantle the entire display to extract her from behind which took a very long time. me, feeling quite guilty, didn't want to leave until i knew she was safe. and feeling even more guilty when they pulled her out all dusty and dirty i simply said "i'll take her!" so i ended up leaving with a new kitten.
{ this pic above was at about a year old}
she was always pretty skittish, but quite the sweetheart. at about the age of 2 however, she stopped eating. the vet really didn't have anything conclusive to say about it but attached a feeding tube and showed us how to inject warm watered down food directly into her stomach...a procedure we had to do several times a day, and a vet bill that was over a thousand dollars. over 6 mos. pregnant with our second and having just bought our first house this was not money we had to spend, and prior to them suiting her up with her nifty feeding tube we had to make the decision of whether to move on. so,we put it on a credit card and took her home.
 it was worth every penny.
she just started eating on her own one day, we lost the feeding tube and she lived on another 16 years.
 through 4 houses, 4 kids, 3 dogs, many more cats and a 1200 miles car trip to relocate, she has been through it all and never complained once! in the last few years she enjoyed crawling up on your back to get warm,
 hanging out at the front window to watch the birds and leaves fly by
 and sleeping...lots and lots of sleeping. i found myself glancing at her stomach just to make sure she was still breathing. i started that a few years ago, but she just kept on. she got tinier and tinier but i found that even though she wasn't one to eat anything other than her normal cat food she discovered that she really enjoyed a pinch of an American cheese slice. eventually in the mornings we went from one pinch to several. and then we went from morning cheese, to after school cheese to dinner cheese. i think she consumed almost a slice every two days and i'm convinced that's what kept her going:)
 about a year ago we noticed she wasn't responding to any sounds. we couldn't quite tell if we were imagining it, so one day i snuck up behind her on the couch with the vacuum cleaner hose while she was sleeping and turned it on. she never flinched and never woke up so at that point we knew our Tink had lost her hearing. i felt bad she could never hear my voice again, but i noticed that if i made eye contact and i said her name she could read my lips and she would meow.
 anything jackets or backpacks you left laying around she would find and curl up on them. the kids learned not to leave them laying on the table in the mornings because it took so long to get her off of them and they'd be late going out the door!
 this was her spot every morning (pic below) when i came down the stairs. right on the corner of the table, waiting for her Tinker cheese. she would eat her cheese, then head to her water bowl where she would dip her feet in to drink! she would dip her foot in the bowl and then lick the water off her toes...her feet were always wet and sparkling clean!!
 last Christmas of 2013 i said it would be her last, but she sailed right on through Christmas 2014 with no trouble at all and was there first thing in the morning to see if Santa had eaten his cookies as she did the year before as her favorite spot.
Christmas 2014
Christmas 2013
about a week and a half later one evening after dinner i watched her come around the corner barely able to walk. and just like that she told me it was time. the next day when we took her in, the vet listened to her heart and said she had a pretty significant heart murmur. something we knew nothing about. she said that with the murmur, cats can have many blood cots at her age and she speculated that the reason her back legs weren't working was due to the clots. so we made the decision to let her go.
 18 years she gave us though and they were awesome:) Love and Miss You Tink:)

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