Regular readers will remember that we lost Eric to poisoning back in May. I blogged about the whole sorry situation here. Erica arrived soon after, an adorable little bundle of fluff. Funnily enough we also found Erica on Facebook. A friend posted that she needed a home, and after a brief discussion with hubbie, it was agreed that getting another kitten was just the right thing to do, to bring some closure and healing to the whole family after Eric. I blogged about it here and you can tell how excited we all were. Tj in particular adored little Erica and vice versa...
But it was not meant to be for long. The night of 25th August, she had her dinner and then promptly went off to play. We were watching telly a little while later and we could hear a cat being sick in the girl's room. We assumed it was Sookie with a hairball or something, nut nope it was Erica. She was sick several more times and we assumed she must have eaten something that didn't quite agree with her, but it just didn't click, because her symptoms were so different to Eric. She looked bedraggled, as though she'd been in a fight, so we put her strange behaviour down to that. She acted really frightened, cowering and going backwards and I started to get concerned, but hubbie just said, "she'll be fine, she just got the sh&* kicked out of her. Let's see how she is in the morning."
I do wish I had listened to that little voice in my head that thought "No, this isn't right." The look she gave me, when I stroked her, will stay with me forever. It was def a pure,"Help me, mum."
I got up late in the morning, due to a bad night with baby Markus and one of the first things I did was check on Erica. She appeared to be sleeping, so we left her be. A few hours later I found her on the floor in the girls room and the minute I picked her up, I knew something was seriously wrong with her. She was such a little live wire normally and she just lay there, barely responding. We rushed her off to the vets straight away, but I knew deep down that she wouldn't make it. She was in a worse state than Eric had been in and if a cat so much bigger than her couldn't fight it, then how could she?
The vets confirmed our worst suspicions that this was another poisoning and that she was in a very bad way. They couldn't even get blood out of her to check what she had ingested, as her system was shutting down so she was put under a heat lamp and on a drip.
Hubbie came home without her and we prepared for the worst. The phone call when it came was devastating. She was brain dead, had to be assisted to breathe and whilst her heart was still beating and she came round very briefly, she lost all brain function soon after. So, we gave our permission to have her put down immediately, as she wouldn't have lasted until hubbie could get there.
I bawled my eyes out. holding baby Markus, whilst my poor husband had to go and collect our dead kitten, fielding questions from the kids, who were playing out the front. "Why is mummy crying? Why can't we come with you? What is wrong with Erica?"
You get the picture.
By the time we got her back home, all we could do was stroke her in her carrier, because rigor mortis was setting in and it would have been far too upsetting for everyone.
Sookie came to investigate and it was a horrible sense of deja vu. Kiyo, our German Shepherd cross was besides himself, whining and needing lots of reassurance for days. Just like Eric had been, Erica and Kiyo had become firm friends. Some of my fondest memories are of big Kiyo and teeny Erica curled up together in his cage. Her pouncing on his ears and him, being the daft dog that he is, just letting her bite said ears!
And little Tj, he just doesn't understand. We buried Erica in our garden that same day and to this day Tj asks why Erica went to sleep and why she doesn't wake up. It breaks my heart all over again, when he does and his little face falls when I have to explain that she is never coming back.
The inevitable next question is.
"When are we getting a new kitten?"
It will come as no surprise that we will not be getting another kitten. I simply couldn't put myself and the family through any more heartache. To have lost one cat to poisoning is bad enough, to have lost two is just agony. I have no idea what is going on. Clearly, someone, somewhere is putting something poisonous down, be that by accident or heaven forbid design, I cannot even begin to contemplate. The street we live in has lots of cats and we have lived here over twenty years and always had cats with never a problem, so for this to happen in such a sort time frame is beyond belief.
The worst thing about it all is the speed of it. One day you have a perfectly healthy cat, the next a dead one. :-( And knowing how much both of them must have suffered doesn't bear thinking about. It is such a horrible, horrible way to die. Eric had fits, Erica had hallucinations - that was her acting frightened etc. It is no consolation to know, that even if we had managed to get both of them to the vets earlier, the end outcome would have been the same. Neither one stood a chance from the minute they ingested that poison and whatever it is, is lethal and extremely fast acting.
Like I said above, I still cannot believe it happened and we are all very raw still.
Erica helped us heal after Eric, but there is no closure this time other than the passage of time. I still expect her to pounce on me in the morning, meoawing at me until I tickled her to her satisfaction.
The loo roll is once again safe from attack, as are our feet, and anything else that happened to find itself on the floor and easily pounced on. I have never known a kitten to have as much fun as Erica with a bit of chocolate wrapper for instance. Hours of entertainment for all of us. Sookie too is once again safe from being chased around the house and Kiyo's ears do not bear claw or bite marks anymore.
And Tj has lost his sleeping companion.
She went from this tiny little thing
to this - about to attack the loo roll
to this - which is the last picture I took of her
I take some small comfort in the fact that she was loved and had a great time in our nutty house, but you know I miss her!
I miss her silly little antics, the way she used to greet you with loud miaows and stalk you round the house until you made a big fuss of her, the way she used to pounce on you when least expected, the way she used to attack the TV when Hubbie watched Formula one racing or the boys watched football...
The way she'd curl up next to me and Markus, determined to get her cuddles on my lap, baby or no baby. Waking up in the middle of the night, listening to her crunch Sookie's food on my window ledge, seeing her darting up and down the garden like a demented fluffy missile, the shouts of watch the dinners, as she'd try to eat off the kid's plates...
She was a little character and she should have lived a long, healthy life, but it wasn't meant to be.
Please, if you are reading this, next time you use something in your garden, check to make sure it's safe for cats and other animals and perhaps warn your neighbours too. Even if you don't like cats - and heaven knows it can be annoying having other people's cats in your garden - spare a thought to the fact that they are someone's pet.
And losing a pet *really* hurts!