Toby came to me as a stray kitten the summer of '06. Our family already had a female Lhasa apso, Muki, and a Siamese mix, Pranci. Until Toby, I never thought of myself as a "cat person". I noticed immediately that this orange tabby was different. As a puppy, Muki would sometimes charge at the other cats and fur would fly. If Muki did that to Toby, he'd politely step away unoffended. He never once knocked over, ate or swatted at anything that wasn't his. I could say his name in a normal tone while he walked past and he'd immediately stop and look at me. I'd pat my thigh and he'd jump in my lap. November 2014, Muki had major surgery and was in and out of the hospital for two weeks. Toby rarely left my side. Before then he rarely came to me unbidden, deferring to Muki's geriatric and diabetic needs. He had already stolen my heart. It was then that we became soul mates. When I took a long bath to relieve leg spasms from my chronic pain, Toby would stand on the counter of the garden tub, put his nose to mine and stroke my face. He'd sit next to me on the couch and put out his paw to touch me so I'd scratch and rub him. A month ago, he had major surgery to reconstruct his urinary tract. The vet told me that he put his paw on her hand while she drew his blood and that she had to put alcohol on a cotton ball in front of his nose to get him to stop purring long enough to hear his heart. During surgery it was discovered that he had a lot of scarring to his bladder and severe narrowing of his urethra. Despite numerous attempts to catheterize him under sedation, he was never able to empty his bladder. He was also fighting an antibiotic resistant bacterial infection. On Wednesday, I had Toby at the vet right when they opened and by lunch had to take in Muki. Her glucose was so high it failed to register and she was going into kidney failure. I brought Toby home Thursday night while Muki stayed in the hospital. He spent nearly 7 hours laying on my chest, snoring, purring, nuzzling and 'making biscuits' Friday. I brought him in at closing when I picked up Muki. His bladder was already three times its normal size. I asked his vet to drain it enough to give me one more quality night with him. Although money was no object, going back for more surgery presented with more risk than benefit. As his vet said..."just because we can doesn't mean we should." Yesterday, my mom and I took him in at closing time. One of the vet techs (who was off that day) came, as did my ex-husband, his 'daddy' (who loved him despite what it did to his allergies!) We loved and rubbed on him and he on us. He climbed into his cat cave bed, made his 'nest' and curled up. I held his head in my hands, kissed him on his eyes and told him one last time the story about how when he was born to his homeless kitty momma, God sent him his sweet soul so he could be my kitty boy. Then I rubbed his cheeks with my thumbs as I whispered over and over, "It's time to go be God's kitty now, sweet boy." I never knew when he stopped purring because my breath against his chest felt and sounded like purring. His vet said she'd never seen such a peaceful, beautiful crossing over the Rainbow Bridge. A lifetime of forever wouldn't have been long enough. I only had him about 9 years. My heart feels broken and torn right now. I miss him terribly. In the last few weeks, he and Muki have both been in and out of the hospital and emergency room. Muki will be 14 in a couple of weeks on May 10th, God willing. I nearly lost her just three days before Toby and she's barely stable and needs me to be as strong as I can. My prayer has become a mantra of sorts...."Lord, give me strength."|
18MAY2015: Mommy's sweet kitty boy. So much has happened since I last held your face, stroked your eyes and kissed your head that day you crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I was so overwhelmed with grief that I had to be reminded that Muki still needed me and just 16 days later she was gone, too. I miss you so much. There are so many times when I still expect to see you. It's not the same soaking in the bath without you walking around it to touch your nose to mine. Couch time without Muki at my feet and you at my side is so painful that it's uncomfortable. The house is just too quiet. I miss you and love you so much. On June 1st, I'm going to get a rescue I've adopted. He's a male orange tabby, too. Not because I expect him to replace you. I just know how very sweet they are. If he's even half as wonderful as you, I'm hoping his warmth, purring and kitten silliness will help me to begin to heal. Please help Muki to get settled over there and introduce her to your friends. As soon as I get a good night's sleep, I'd just love it if the two of you would visit me in my dreams. I love you, kitty boy. Your love for me is irreplaceable. You changed me and left your mark on me and a place in my heart. When the time comes, I'll cuddle you and Muki closely and we'll never part again.
Please also visit Muki.