Erika Sanely (erika_sanely) wrote,
Erika Sanely

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Feeling Strangely Fine

Just got off the phone with Mum. It seems yesterday the family cat finally passed away. I got a bit teary when Mum told me, but other than that I"m okay. On one hand that bothers me, 'cause Bethany was my cat, and she was 18 years old. I've known her longer than most of my friends. On the other hand, it's almost a relief that she finally died. She was old, and what she had lived through was absolutely amazing. It's not often an "out-side cat" dies of old-age.

The poor old thing went through all nine lives (and may have borrowed a few others as well.) We should have realised her life would be full to say the least when we named her after a character on TV that had spent the first 16 years of her life in her parents tin garage. I have friends who, if Bethy was sitting on the front veranda, would refuse to come inside, for fear the cat would look at them. She was freaky.

Firstly, when she was about 6 months old she was shot in the stomach by brats with a bb-gun. Vets operated as best they could and said in their most confident voices "No need to worry about getting her desexed; she'll never be able to reproduce." Three litters later they were eating their words.

Later, she got into a fight with either another cat, or a barbed wire fence. Lost an eye. After talking to the vets, it was decided to leave the dead eye where it was. It wouldn't affect her leaving it in there, and getting rid of it could possibly cause more problems than it would fix. She was still a top-notch mouser as long as the damn thing didn't run past her blind side. And sure, every now and then the eye got pussy, but she'd clean it up, and the vet said that was okay, so we didn't bother her. If she was happy, we were happy.

Move forward 10 years, and she's lived longer than her daughter, her grand-daughter, her great-grand-daughter (although we think the daughter may have gone off to star in Pet Sematary. A horrible story involving a truck, a dark night, and my father hitting injured cat over head with shovel and burying it a kilometre away only for cat to come back two weeks later. With a slightly larger looking skull and a grudge against dad) She's also out-lived 2 dogs, and another 2 cats she was in no way related to.

Oh yeah, Bethy's a fighter.

One day about 3 years ago Bethy goes missing. There's a few sniffles, especailly when the next-door neighbours knocks on the door and says they think they saw her get hit by a car. But, a mere colliesion with a moving vecihle is not enough to stop our cat. Oh no, she comes back three days later dragging her left hind leg behind her. Mum and Dad grab her, and rush her to the vets. Turns out she's got a broken leg, and due to her age there were three options. 1) Set it, plaster it up, and hope that it doesn't freak her out so much it puts strain on her heart and kills her. 2) Put her down. 3) Amputate.

So they amputate. Which in fact turns out to be the best thing ever. It's like she had a personality transplant at the same time. After she lost her eye, she was a cow of a cat. No-one could get near her. After losing a leg, she was your best friend, which freaked out so many passing Jehovah Witness' it wasn't funny. Well, actually, it was. We're talking about a cat here.

But with only one eye (the left one), three legs (two right, one left), and half an ear (she lost that a few years before the leg) she was starting to look tatty. Started heaving trouble cleaning herself, but only becuase she couldn't get the balance thing worked out properly - one side of her was always immaculate. And she never ever went off her food. If anything, she was eating more now.

And then Mum and Dad got Molly. Molly is a pure-breed Boxer, and I'm not insulting her by telling you she's an idiot. She's never worked out that she's a big dog. I've seen her run from a Chiuauna in fright. And she wanted to be Bethany's new friend. Or use Bethy as a toy, we were never sure. So she goes bounding up to the cat - 35kgs of pure dog muscle - and tries to have a go. 5 seconds later the Molly is running for her life. Bethy lost a claw in the dog's nose, but there was never any question who was boss.

The last few months though she's gone down-hill. Had to put her on kitty food as her teeth were going, and she's been drinking an awful lot of water. She started to sway this week when she hopped, so Mum took half a day off work, and went to the vets. Turns out she was in kidney failure. And finally, it was time for her and the vets to admit defeat. Mum held her paw while they put her down, and Dad has buried her on a friend's farm.

18 years. She was such a great cat. Personality plus (mostly I think to make up for her lack of body parts)

In a weird way I'm kinda glad she's gone. I've been waiting for this phone call since I moved away from home. We were always worried that she was in pain, though she seemed happy. In fact, she had never been happier in the last few years. But it hurts to think that that era is over. Bethany was truly one of a kind.

RIP Bethany 1985 - 2003

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