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Good bye, Agatha

Agatha
1991-2009

Agatha and I made the last trip to Dr. Dunn today. She had gotten really bony and weak, and this morning went part-way under the guest bed to sleep instead of one of her usual sleeping spots. I think it was the "find a place to hide" behavior, and certainly I've been expecting it. Advanced kidney disease, high blood pressure, blindness, and most probably cancer finally have overwhelmed her.

I adopted Agatha as a kitten through the auspices of my cat sitter at the time, a woman who financed her rescue operations through pet sitting. I picked her out from her litter mates at a vet's office in Jackson, Miss. (where I was living) for her pretty calico coloring and dainty little white front paws. They were calling her "Agnes"--I modified this to Agatha for the little-old-lady feel, thinking of those dainty white gloves.

She was a total beta, timid, spooked at sudden noises even when it was only me sneezing. She hated car rides beyond the usual cat level--that first trip home from the vet she wet the carrier, and the 7-hour drive from Jackson to Atlanta when I moved was a nightmare despite the tranquilizers (for her, though maybe I should have had some too). These last few years, though, she seemed to have decided that hiding from every visitor was not really worth all that effort, and would even allow the neighbors to pet her and offer treats.


That was with everyone else--from me, she needed affection. Any weekend day where I was home around 10 AM, she'd appear for lap time and become a purring cat-round. On chilly winter nights she'd hop up on the bed and duck under the covers to snuggle up next to me, then later in the night move to the foot of the bed on top of the covers. After she went blind last fall, I had to get cat steps for the bed so she could still be on the bed for that hour of reading and cat-snuggling I have before going to sleep most evenings.

She was the cat most likely to find and posses the warm spot, wherever it was--the sunny place by the patio door, the folded towel under my desk lamp, and these last few years the special bed in the Cat Room with an incandescent light aimed at it. She was also a catnip addict, taking it fresh or dried, in any shaped toy on offer. The really good 'nip would warrant grabbing the toy in both paws and rubbing it over her head. She was the most assiduous sharpener of claws I've ever had, and she managed to shred the back corners of my sofa-bed down to the wood frame before I spotted the damage.


Timidity and submission to the other cats of the household didn't mean that she didn't express her wishes most forcefully at times. I'd be sitting at my desk, back to the door, and would hear an imperious "Ow!". Agatha would be in the doorway, commanding my services. As soon as I got up from the chair she'd turn and head to the living room, where she'd flop on the carpet next to her brush. Or she'd go to the back door to indicate a need for an escorted trip to the yard for some lemongrass or catnip--or I could go pick the greenery and bring it to her as an alternative. Guess that's where I ranked in the pecking order.



Good bye, Miss Agatha-cat. You are missed.

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Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
growlycub
May. 25th, 2009 10:44 pm (UTC)
Hugs
apis_mellifera
May. 25th, 2009 11:06 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry. *hug*
tudorpot
May. 25th, 2009 11:09 pm (UTC)
Sorry Nancy- I know it was hard when I had to do the same trip with my dear Woodruff. Love the last picture.
idiotgrrl
May. 26th, 2009 12:24 am (UTC)
Deepest sympathies.Poor kitty - it was time.
rolanni
May. 26th, 2009 12:30 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry. It's terrible when they leave us.
mmegaera
May. 26th, 2009 12:32 am (UTC)
I am so glad Agatha had such a long and well-loved life. Good thoughts headed your way, and much sympathy.

The guys send purrs, too.
dichroic
May. 26th, 2009 01:07 am (UTC)
I'm sorry she had to leave you.
(Anonymous)
May. 26th, 2009 01:12 am (UTC)
Goodbye Agatha
You have my deepest sympathy. Thank you for sharing the pictures and story of her life. It's obvious she was loved very much. As my cat gets older, I know this day will come for me too. Love holds both happiness and sorrow.
stoutfellow
May. 26th, 2009 01:19 am (UTC)
My heart goes out to you.
sunlizzard
May. 26th, 2009 01:23 am (UTC)
Truly a beautiful and brave little cat. And what a lovely, long companionship you two shared. All cats should have such loved and loving homes.

It's a sad, sad time for you, friend Nancy. I will keep you in my prayers, and the Quad Squad will offer their purrayers as well.

~ Kay
ann_mcn
May. 26th, 2009 01:25 am (UTC)
It is so hard, even when you know it is time. She sounds like a lovely, loving cat.
drunixbrat
May. 26th, 2009 01:48 am (UTC)
My sympathies...
You did well by her, and she did good by you...
xinef
May. 26th, 2009 02:20 am (UTC)
So sorry. Hugs.
(Anonymous)
May. 26th, 2009 05:44 am (UTC)
Gentle Agatha
What a beautiful and loveable little cat - and what a wonderful essay, tribute, and pictures. You've made me love her, too. It seems to me that the word to describe Agatha is "gentle," and I am sorry for your loss of this gentle little friend.

Diana Birchall (Miss Schuster-Slatt)
bibliotrope
May. 26th, 2009 06:08 am (UTC)
Hugs and sympathy.
allyra
May. 26th, 2009 04:23 pm (UTC)
*hugs* Agatha was very lucky to have you as cat-mama. What a special girl she was! Thank you for sharing the story and the photos. You and precious Miss Agatha will be in my thoughts.
isiswardrobe
May. 26th, 2009 09:25 pm (UTC)
She seems to have been a very lovely cat. I'm sorry for your loss.
coalboy
May. 27th, 2009 04:05 am (UTC)
So sorry.
kk1raven
May. 29th, 2009 07:04 pm (UTC)
My condolences to you. No matter how much you expect it to happen, it is never easy to lose a beloved companion.
filkferengi
Jun. 2nd, 2009 03:43 am (UTC)
We're so sorry for your loss.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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Nancy Barber

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