A week we didn't expect

IMG_4422Last Saturday I wrote a post about my new helper. Duchess came to our home in a foster capacity at the beginning of March. We expected to foster her for a month and decide during that time whether she was a good fit for Tiger and our family. I have to tell you, she was a small little girl, and the sweetest kitty. She was quickly wrapping her little white paws around my heart. She was far more curious than any other cat we had owned, but we figured in time she would learn what we didn't want her to do - not that cats listen very well...In the meantime, we planned to just make sure drawers and closets and the basement door remained closed. (Didn't want her lost in that cavern down there!)

I never expected that we would only have her a little over a week. One night she was playing so well with Tiger that I told Randy "I think she's a keeper." But the next night she grew suddenly lethargic and hissed at Tiger when he tried to coax her to play. All she wanted to do was sleep.

IMG_4446She felt warm to my touch, so we carted her off to the vet, never expecting to hear that she had multiple things going on, one of which, if she proved to have it, was fatal 100% of the time. The literature about this virus/disease was confusing as to whether or not she could pass it to Tiger, and after nine years of loving that boy, we just couldn't take that risk.

Saying goodbye was so hard. I still miss her. I can see her sleeping on my bed and feel her lying on my chest as she slept. Poor baby girl just was too sick for only two years old, and she had seen way too much trauma.

Sometimes it is comforting to look for another cat when you lose one you love or were beginning to love, but our hearts are too raw to seriously look yet. Maybe someday. We saw the cutest gray tabby - five months old at a local pet store - and it broke my heart to read that he was found when people moved out of a house and just left him! Who does that? At least take him to a caring shelter.

IMG_1638But we can't adopt every stray that breaks my heart or every pet that draws me close with its tiny paws. Still, I wish Tiger could speak English because communicating with him doesn't get me very far. One minute it seems like he wants a friend, the next he seems perfectly happy to have us all to himself. He tried so hard to get Duchess to chase him, and he loved watching her play and playing with her. But he seems more relaxed without her here, less on guard. Maybe in time he would have adjusted as Shadow did to him back in the day.

If God has another cat out there for us, we'll find him or her someday. (I've got a specific wish list, so we'll see if He answers.) I'm content either way.

But I'm back to only one helper, and Tiger is on my lap at this moment, quite content to have me to himself. And I'm very grateful to still have him!