Friday, March 8, 2013

My Ophelia

She was a cute little black ball of fur when I first saw her.  She was one of three sisters, all spunky and so delightful, born in the home of a dear friend.

Which one would be coming home with me?  Darla and Lucia seemed to always hang out together, but Ophelia, well she was a little more independant and so by mutual consent Ophelia's mom and dad kindly let me take her home with me.  That was 14 years ago.

I know there were tears that day, tears of joy for me, but for her human mom and dad tears of sadnness, because even though they knew she was getting a good home, they would miss her.

I was so happy!!!  She was adorable.  She had the most beautiful big, green eyes.  We were not sure how she would react to my two older cats, Penny and Kenya, and for that matter how they would react to her. 

Ophelia at first was a little apprehensive, but at the same time anxious to learn about her new surroundings and her new sisters.  So jumping in with all four feet, she ran to greet them.  They of course didn't appreciate her spontaneous outgoing personality and quickly let her know it with a loud hiss and a swat with their paws.  But in time they all became good friends, playing and sleeping together.

Ophelia was one of my most challenging cats.  Very different from the others.  She had the bad habit starting from a kitten, peeing in the most unusual places.  We could never put a welcoming mat by the door, it was an invitation for her to pee.  If we ever left clothes on the floor, even bookbags, more than a few times we would smell cat urine.  She trained us quickly not to leave anything on the floor.  Also, I remember when she was a a kitten bringing up a basket of fresh clean clothes from the dryer and putting the basket on the floor I started to fold them.  This cute little kitty jumped in the basket purring and kneading the warm clean clothes with her paws and as I am tellling Russell, "oh look how cute Ophelia is", I realize she was peeing on the clothes!!!  Yes, she was a challenge and I venture to say if anyone else had her she might not be with them them for long.

But, Ophelia was also a beautiful cat in her features and personality.  She was extremely affectionate to me.  She would always be on my lap licking my face and she loved jumping on my shoulders and wrapping herself like a shawl around my neck, purring so loud.  It was hard to stay mad at her.  I loved her dearly.

Almost a year ago, she showed signs of sickness.  She was diagnosed with thyroid and kidney disease.  We had a choice.  We could give her an infusion of Ringers lactate solution, by injecting it under her skin 100-130ml. everyday at first, and then everyother day. It is similar to a dialysis, flushing out poisons from the body, and she would also have received thyroid medication everyday for the rest of her life.  Some cats, the doctor said, have lived up to four years longer. Or we could put her to sleep as there is no cure. She seemed too lively to me to put her to sleep and so I decided with Russell's support and approval to try to help my little cutie pie. Knowing what I know now, I believe I would have put her to sleep. But, at the same time if I didn't do it this way, I may have always regretted not trying.

At first, I couldn't put the needle in her, it made me sick to my stomach.  Russell, fortunately was able to do it.  Ophelia didn't like it, she would rebel and I couldn't blame her.  Then one day after a long struggle of Russell and I trying to get this needle into her, and failing, I thought we can't do this anymore. I remember praying to Jehovah to help me have the courage to do this and not give up.  Then, honestly, it was like a miracle, Ophelia jumped on the bed with me, and gently I inserted the needle in her, no struggle, or running away, she was actually purring.  From that time on she and I were pals.  I could do this by myself, and she cooperated.  She knew I was trying to help her.  This continued for several months.

She was actually doing very well.  Eating, drinking, gaining weight.  We were both happy.  Our bond together was even greater than before.  No, we didn't enjoy the needles, we both would groan and cry a little each time the bag of fluid and needles came out, but it had to be done.  But after it was done, she would cuddle with me and we were good friends again.

Unfortunately this past week she took a dramatic change for the worse.  It was painful for me to see her wanting to eat, and not. able to.  The acids in her stomach causing her much discomfort and horrendous vomiting, and the poisons in her body were over taking her due to her kidneys failing. How could I let her go on like this.  Taking her to the Dr. I knew the inevitable.  On March 7th 2013 at 4:30 in the afternoon we agreed to let Ophelia die in dignity and in peace.  We gently stroked her, kissed her and told her what a good girl she was, and that we loved her. She went to sleep peacefully.  We took her home, and Russell and Jimmy buried her.

I know this account about Ophelia may make some feel sad, but I needed to get these. thoughts out of my head and heart.  I know Jehovah must also feel our pain.  He made us in his image.  He knows when a sparrow falls to the ground.  Yes, she may only be an animal, but she was my Ophelia, a creation of Jehovah, and my friend who loved me unconditionally.  It will never be the same without her.

The illustration that Nathan used with King David after his sin with Bathsheba proves the close loving relationship a shepard had with his little sheep. It would eat from his morsel, and from his cup it would drink, and in his bosom it would lie, and it came to be as a daughter to him. Those who love their pets can relate to this.  And when David learned that the little female sheep was killed, the only one the shepard had by the rich man who had many, David's love for sheep and justice came to the fore, and he said "that man deserves to die".  2Samuel 12:1-6.

Thank you for allowing me to express myself.  It helps me to heal getting it out rather than holding it in.  And please, weep with me.  Some how that helps too.  Romans 12:15

This is Raven as the crow flies.


  1. Please know that your loss is our loss too. It was a privilege to have Ophelia from birth until the day you took her to her new home. That curious little ball of black fur with big green eyes brought much joy to Keith and I. We will treasure our memories of her as she played with her sisters, her mom and us. Although our relationship changed after she went to live with you, she will always continue to have a very special place in our hearts.

  2. Thank you Sparrow for allowing us to have her, and for helping us by taking care of her when we would go away. I know you loved her too. It is so quiet in the house now without her. She would always welcome me home. I sure do miss her and will not forget her. Our four legged friends do play a big part in bringing joy to our hearts and sadness too.

    Thanks to all of you who share my loss and who understand the ache in my heart. It is comforting to know and understand each other's pain. It brings us closer.