Tuesday, January 28, 2014

In Every Cloud

Clouds in Alaska, 2008
there is a silver lining. Or so the saying goes.

I lost my cat, Xena, this past week. My ex and I acquired her and her sister, Gabrielle, June 1, 1997. They both took to our existing 10 year old cat, Maynard, though in different ways. Xena wanted to push her weight around and somewhat intimidated Maynard, while Gabrielle did just the opposite and showed submission at every opportunity. Either way, Maynard wanted nothing to do with these two kittens. Over time the three just seemed to get along.

Xena, showing love, ca. 2013
Xena was always distant and aloof, while Maynard and Gabrielle were very social and loving and would often sit on the sofa next to me or in my lap while I was reading or watching television. Xena would be in another room, and would appear for feeding and wander back to where she came from. Maynard and Gabrielle would sleep on the bed with us, often directly on me, though one at a time, thank goodness! Xena would appear toward morning alerting me her food bowl was empty. Both Maynard and Gabrielle were generous with their kisses, and frequently I'd have to physically stop Gabrielle from kissing me so much and so rough. Xena would kiss me once very tenderly, and that was all. Yet, that one kiss from her meant a lot to me as they were very rare.

We lost Maynard in 2004 and Gabrielle in 2008. It was only at this time, Xena's temperament began to change and she became more social, and loving. Yet, I had not formed the same deep bond with Xena as I had with the other two cats, but it began developing as she began to be more loving.

Maynard, ca. 1999
Gabrielle (l), Xena (r), ca. 1999
Xena, ca. 1999

Xena was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism just after my ex left in 2010. She was on medication for a few years, and then for some reason her thyroid levels were so out of control, it was if she wasn't on any meds at all. I changed her food to a thyroid-control formula which brought her levels back into range, but recently she began losing weight again. One morning, I came down to find her lying in the middle of the dining room carpet instead of in one of her two usual places. I panicked, and seeing she was still breathing, went to check on her. She had difficulty standing, urinated immediately, refused food, so I knew her time had come. She was reunited with her sister later that afternoon. Even though our bond was not as strong as it was with the other cats, we did have some good times together after losing my dog, only seven months prior. I do miss her and will always recall those tender kisses, especially that she gave them one at a time.

I've been sensing a change coming in my life and while I don't think Xena's passing was the specific change I sensed, it does indeed play a part.

Since she was the last connection to my ex, her passing closes a chapter in my life which means another will begin.

And perhaps this is the change that is coming- the new chapter, the silver lining.

RIP, Xena. Thank you for the kisses.


  1. So.. do you prefer cats to dogs?

    1. Magno, I appreciate the differences and beauty of both. I can appreciate the loyalty of the dog and the independence of the cat. Thanks for commenting!!

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you very much. I appreciate your taking the time to comment.