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Friday, July 22, 2016

Q&A - Nimitz. Mother's Day 2014.


Have you ever had the rotten experience of having to put a pet down?
I had never had a pet before... not until I was in my late twenties. My brother was allergic to most animals so the only pet we ever had were goldfish and that wasn't for very long.

Throughout my life, I'd always played with/petted/cuddled with my friend's animals which ranged from mice and hamsters to cats and dogs to even horses.

When I got Nimmy, she was about 2 years old. I was living with my friend Kim M at the time, and she had adopted her friend's cat Manny. We felt bad when we were both away from home that Manny was home alone, and I was feeling a little lonely so I decided I'd get a cat.

I had wanted a cat that was a Russian Blue since I always thought they were pretty, and a friend of mine had one, and we were cuddle buddies. When Kim and I went to PetSmart one weekend during a Furry Friends Rescue event. There was a room with giant 'cages' like looked like huge pet carriers. As instructed, I doused my hands with Purell before going in.

Eye level there was this small grey cat that was sitting with her back to everyone. The sign in front said "Pixie." I said "Hello" and this adorable little face with big green eyes turned to me, looking over her shoulder as if to say "Yes?" I opened the gate and stuck my hand out and down. When my hand stopped before her, she leaned over and started licking my hand.
I immediatley fell in love.

I filled out all the paperwork, got all the info, her records, bought supplies and a carrier to bring her home in... and we were set.

I renamed her Nimitz after the two-foot long empathic six-limbed treecat from the Honorverse written by David Weber. (I am a huge fan of the books and LOVE Niimtz - "Laughs Brightly" in his tribe's native tongue). In all the artwork done of Nimitz in the books, I thought the name was not only cool but perfect for my little girl since she was mostly grey with some white in her fur... and her eyes were also green.

Getting her and Manny acclimated to each other was not as difficult as I thought it would be. He was the stereotypical sloppy male to her OCD female cleaning up after him at times.

I loved that she was OCD just like her mommy. ^_^

The first couple of weeks she was very shy and hid in every nook and cranny of the house. She was small - a little less than 9lbs. The rescue people told me she was undernourished and gave me some vitamin stuff to mix into her food... which she didn't eat. So I stopped giving it to her, and she ate her food. I remember when I saw her have a little stomach and was so happy since she was thinner than I woud have liked, but she was starting to get 'fluffy' and I was so happy.

The only time she ever peed on anything of mine was when she started getting used to the house. I had brought her into my room, and I remember climbing into bed and touching something damp with my foot. When I had realized she peed on my bed, I looked at her, and she had this look on her face like "Mine" so I gave her that one time since she apparently was just marking her territory... like "This is my Mommy, my room, my bed. Mine."
She used to sleep on me in the beginning... on my chest or stomach. Eventually she moved to be like my own private guard always being at my side. When I made my bed, I'd place all my turtle dolls on the bed with the pillows, and I'd come back to her sitting amongst them - my little diluted tortoise kitty - as if she were the mommy and protecting them.

She loved boxes obviously - she was a cat - but she also like laying on a comforter I had folded up and laid on the floor when I was changing out my bedding. She just sat there, smack dab in the center, and groomed and napped and surveyed (all the light touches?). ^_^

And she licked EVERYTHING!!! The wall... the carpet... the comforter... and when she licked you? Oh we used to joke that she'd lick your skin off to the bone.

My bed was near my window, and I cracked it a bit when I slept for air and to keep my room cool. Over the window was a shade that jutted out and down about fifteen-degrees from the top of my window and was fixed to the wall with metal bars. I remember waking up one morning with Nimmy sitting at the foot of the bed staring out the window - as she was wont to do - and I didn't think anything of it at first. Then I noticed it was raining. And then I noticed perched on the little metal bar of the window covering were several small birds trying to stay dry but occasioanlly a drop would fall on them, and they'd flutter in hopes of getting dry. They fit just barely but they were so fidgety that it was like watching them act out the shuffling of a shell game. And all the while, there was Nimmy staring at this oddity. She just watched. She showed no signs of dislike or whatever but more like in fascination. It was so cute.

She had this ability to know when I was sick and cuddle me when I wasn't feeling well. She helped me sleep better during those times... whether my off days were due to illness or sadness or just having a really bad day.

There was a time where she stared Manny down. It was wonderful and quite humorous. Kim and I were sitting around chatting about something or another, and Manny was sitting in the doorway of the laundry room. Nimmy walked from my room past him to the kitchen to have some water and kibble and then started to head back to my room. Manny hunkered down getting ready to pounce on her as soon as she passed him. As she did, she stopped and snapped her head at him as he rose up a bit, and he froze. She had just turned her head, and he froze... and then slowly lowered his posture until he was flat to the ground - all the while their eyes locked on each others'. When he was back on the ground, she turned to start back to my room, and we saw him start to slowly creep up again. In mid-step, she turned back and with just a look, he was back on the ground. I was impressed since she was way younger than him and much smaller.

She was also my little huntress. Like a little assassin, she'd see a bug and track it and would not take her eyes off it. Once when my friend Chris C was over, he was in the kitchen and she was nearby. He saw a spider on the ground - he hates spiders - but he was wearing shoes so I told him to step on it. He called my attention to Nimmy staring at the spider - which was small - and I watched as she tracked it, her head turning as it neared her, and as it passed, one paw shot out and smashed it. Chris flinched at the action, and then saw Nimmy lift up her paw and stare at it. I heard him say "Don't do it, don't do it, don't do it..." and then I saw Nimmy bring her paw to her mouth, and he screamed, "Noooooo! She ate it!"

Everyone thought she was adorable and when a lot of people were over, they'd all want to pet her. She'd freak out at all of the attention and run and hide. It wasn't until I lived with Anna WC and Jamie H that it was discovered that Nimmy's tail was shorter than usual. I just thought it was her tail and had no frame of reference. But her tail was SO expressive. You could tell what mood she was in just by her tail's behaviour.
She's moved with me a few times after that, but it wasn't until the last place I lived where she started showing signs that something wasn't right. I noticed her food and water dishes looked barely touched, and she was always hiding when I came home. This was maybe for a few days. Then I noticed she wasn't jumping up or down from my bed as swiftly as she used to... and when she'd land on the ground, her back end would falter. I had called Jessie F, and she told me to take Nimmy to the vet. At the time I was afraid I wouldn't be able to afford the bill, but I'd just have to deal with it.

I made an appointment for her, the next available one being on Mother's Day of all days. I took her in, and it was all bad news. Freaking out, I called Jessie when I was waiting for the results to come back. She was wobbly, mewling, disoriented, and all I could do was cuddle her and tell her I loved her. Jessie and Dawn S met me at the vet, and I was in an exam room for some privacy.

The sad thing is the three of us were there for Jessie when she had to put her cat Taz (Nimmy's boyfriend) down. The fact that we would all be at the same place again for the same thing... it was just so sad.

We went to the recovery room... or whatever that room is called when the doctor and nurse came in with the shot. I thought I would hold her while they gave her the shot, but I was too much of a mess so I chose just to be next to her and pet her.

To see her... just laying there... not moving. I remember when she'd nap sometimes I couldn't tell if she was breathing so I'd have to get up real close and then I'd see the slight rise and fall of her body and feel better. This was obviously different, but even as wrong it was to see her motionless, she did seem peaceful.

I had Nimmy cremated. She will be my first and last animal. I miss her terribly but take heart and comfort in the fact that she is no longer in pain and reunited with her boyfriend.
Later my lovelies,

Have Goodness!
Rae

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