I originally posted a longer version of this on another blog.
Arwen’s mother, an obviously pregnant tabby, showed up at my folk’s house a little over 12 years ago. START RANT – Why do people drive out to a rural location and dump their unwanted animals? Do they think their pet will go feral and survive better in the country? Do they think people away from town have unlimited resources to care for the pet they no longer want? Do they just want to make sure that they don’t have to find the body when a car hits their pet? – END RANT
To everyone’s surprise, one of the kittens looked Siamese. At the time, we were without a cat for the first time in over a decade. My children wanted another cat. I wanted another cat. My husband likes cats, but did he want one? Not so much. Our girls spent a few days at my parents’ house. When we went back to get the four daughters, we also got a kitten. Here is a picture of Arwen and her litter mate at my parents’ house. Yes, Daughter #4 did learn how to hold cats.
Although she had been an outdoor kitten, Arwen adjusted right away to indoor life and was only outside for an extended period 2 times. Both times she wandered out when we had the door open to move furniture in. The first time she was gone for a couple of days, but we found her in the crawl space under the house. The second time she went missing, she was gone for almost 2 weeks. Our children were devastated. There were many prayers for Arwen’s safety and quick return. We made posters. We checked with the neighbors. None of the neighbors had seen her. As the days stretched on and there was no sign of Arwen, I began to think that perhaps she had met misfortune. One evening after I had given up hope of ever finding her, daughter #3 noticed Arwen sitting on the deck. All our sadness turned to jubilation, and we thanked God for our cat’s safe return.
During my husband’s first deployment to Iraq, Arwen was diagnosed with diabetes. Our whole family learned how to give her insulin. Twice a day, she got a shot. We tried to give Arwen the shot at approximately the same time every day. We always fed Arwen and Olive (by this time we were a 2 cat family) after the shot. Although she didn’t seem to especially like the shots, she didn’t seem to mind them either. We didn’t have to hunt her to administer the shots, probably because she knew getting a shot meant getting food. The cats were almost as punctual as a clock. When it was time for Arwen, aka Kitty, to get her shot, she would come to the kitchen and wait on the step stool for her shot. As we added more cats to our household, they all learned the routine and would start hanging out in the kitchen just in case we forgot that we needed to give Arwen a shot. We were never able to teach them about Daylight Savings Time. For the first week or so after a time change, the cats will still show up on the previous schedule.
If you have cats in your household, you know that they usually lay claim to one family member. I always considered Arwen to be my cat. I think the feeling was mutual.
Over the last few months, Arwen grew increasingly feeble. We talked about taking her to the vet for euthanasia, but since Arwen got extremely carsick, no one wanted to make her final moments even more miserable. We decided to keep her home and make her as comfortable as possible. Tuesday she stopped eating. Wednesday evening she lay down by the window. An hour later she was gone.
Yes, I miss her. No, I do not want another cat. Although none of our other cats have claimed me as their person, Olive, Ootini, C3PO, Anakin, Puppy, and Houdini all love to be petted. If I want to pet a cat I have 6 to choose from.