Gabi was the only kitten I’ve ever seriously considered strangling. She was a tiny ball of calico when I adopted her and brought her home – adorable, sweet. I put her into my craft room that first night to prevent her meeting my other cat until I could get her checked at the vet, but by the morning she’d broken out of the room. She showed her true colors from the first day with me…can’t accuse her of false advertising. Like so many calicos, she was gorgeous, but she was a devil kitten as well.
For years she drove me wild. She would pick one activity for the day – say, pulling a plug out of a particular outlet, or climbing on my desk and dumping everything there on the floor – and even if you gave her an hour’s time out somewhere, she never forgot the day’s chosen task. I was a slow learner and it took me a long time to realize she was getting attention this way. One day, as she turned on my computer printer and scattered everything on my desk in the loft, I sat tight and didn’t go running up. She finally looked over the edge of the loft with a “what the heck?” look. I shrugged. She got the message and it was the beginning of the end of those annoying daily behaviors. I have to credit my tin can filled with pennies too. When she’d go after outlets and plugs and ignoring her wasn’t an option (safety issues) shaking that tin can sent her flying. So thankful for the vet who recommended that to me!
Suddenly, when Gabi was five everything changed. I adopted some kittens – the three greys, Thomas, Lily, and Stripe – and overnight Gabi went from devil cat to Mother Superior, tending to the little ones non-stop and with a huge heart. (A friend of mine commented that the line between Devil and Mother Superior isn’t all that great, but that’s a post for another day.) Gabi she remained a sweet, centered, gentle cat all the rest of her days. She never had a problem drawing a line with a rowdy newcomer or young one, but she forgot transgressions quickly, and went on with her day.
We let her go today (Monday). She was 18 years old plus, and had stopped eating. She’s been fading the last few months, but she went downhill very quickly the last two days. Last Monday we weren’t sure if it was time, but by Friday it was clear. I made the appointment for her last vet visit. By Sunday she had completely tanked, was staring into space, no longer eating or drinking, and not really “there” anymore. We weren’t even sure she was going to make it for her last vet visit, and it would have been okay with us if she’s just stopped breathing. There was little left of her when we took her in today, but you have to give her credit: there was no second guessing that it was time. We were glad to see her released from her suffering even though we will miss her.
Rest in peace, sweet Gabi. Run free again and with abandon in the land over the rainbow bridge. Say hi to Thomas and Codi for us, and Butterscotch and Paris if you don’t mind sending our greetings to the dogs too.