Sunday, March 15, 2009


Old lady kitty has passed away at age 20. I just found her in the living room. She had a long and full life -- I'm going to miss her terribly. Poor kitty.

She was the last of the kitties my husband and I had as young married people. She was the daughter of Katie who was the daughter of Roll who was the daughter of Spike Marie. A long and distinguished line of faithful kitties. She began life as "Abraham" because I was convinced that all ginger tabby were male and she was the color of a freshly minted copper penny. She was the third born of that litter; Spike was first, then Mouse who got wedged in the birth canal. I had to help Katie deliver Mouse -- he was slightly oxygen deprived and had malformed hips and tail. Doodle was the last born; she was a very small kitten and I wondered if she was going to live.

Her name began as Abraham; she became Abagail after we realized she was indeed female (only 10 percent of ginger tabbies are female). She was very mischievous. After we watched "Driving Miss Daisy" and we heard Miss Daisy's son say to her "Mama, you're a doodle," her name became Doodle.

She was a tiny cat -- she got to be about 6 pounds at her peak. And she was quite persnickety -- we used to claim that her persnickety was concentrated in her small little body. She remained quite kitten like the majority of her life.

When the girls were born, she and my youngest would "fight" quite a bit; Peter, Muffin and Mouse just avoided the babies, but Doodle was intrigued by them and would play like they were kittens, too.

The vet loved my Doodle and during her final years, we saw a lot of the vet. Her kidneys started to fail about 5 years ago. At one point, she was on sub-q fluids daily. I hated having to do that to her, but she had to have them. She was on special food that she had trouble eating; her teeth were just so bad. Eventually, last year she had oral surgery to remove the broken teeth. At this point I started making "slurry" out of her canned food, adding water so that she could slurp it up.

Near Christmas, I had to start washing her off with a washcloth as grooming just became too difficult. I would hold her in my lap and with a warm damp cloth, I would clean her face and her paws. She didn't like that much; but the soft strokes down the length of her body would make her purr.

One of the first things I did for her was wipe off the birth material off her little body; the last thing I did for her was to hold her and groom her with a damp washcloth and listen to her purr.

She will be buried in the backyard next to Mouse, her littermate. She was proceeded in death by all the other cats of my early marriage; Peter, Muffin, Bagel, Katie, Spike and Mouse. They will be remember today as well and missed.

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