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Queen Mimi 1993-2012

Queen Mimi, the longest-lived of our "kids" passed away in my arms at 8:25 on Tuesday, May 8, 2012.

As we were moving into our new house in Pennsylvania, it was obvious Mimi was getting tired. We moved her in a carrier with Misty Kitty, and the pair stayed next to each other over the first night in the house. Wednesday and Thursday, she remained in a little kitty bed in the corner of the "kids' room" of the new house. On Friday, we took her to the vet to see what might be wrong.

She had lost some weight. Lab works showed her kidneys and heart were fine, but she had something wrong with her liver. The vet hoped it was nothing more serious than stress, and he seemed hopeful that if she ate enough, the symptoms might go away. If it was only a result of stress, food and water would return her to normal. The vet kept her over the weekend, to feed and hydrate her.

The lab work improved significantly, but Mimi seemed tired when Susan brought her home on Monday afternoon. By nightfall, we knew she wasn't going to be able to survive another few days. She was too weak to walk to the food dish and struggled to drink water.

For the first time in years, she didn't give us her little "Mimi kisses" on the cheek or chin. She didn't want to be held; it seemed to hurt if we held her.

Tuesday morning, it was raining lightly after a long night of storms. During the night, Mimi had somehow walked, taking many breaks we assume, from the kids' room to a spot near Susan's side of the bed. Mimi wanted to be with us, right until the end. Susan brought in Mimi's cat bed, some water, dry food, and a small litter box.

I thought about placing Mimi on the bed with us, but we worried that she might try to jump and hurt herself in the weakened state. Normally, Mimi would have jumped onto the bed and kissed us goodnight.

We knew Tuesday was Mimi's last day, but we had no idea it would be so horrible. We were going to call the vet at 9. A little after 8, while Susan was getting ready for the lousy day ahead, Mimi started coughing and wheezing. I ran to her side and sat with her. She spit up liquid and was struggling to breathe. I picked her up, out of the cat bed, and carried her back to the kids' room.

I hoped to calm her and relax her long enough to get her to the vet. I'm not sure if she died in my arms, technically, or when I finally rested her exhausted body next to me. Her body spasmed as the muscles moved, but there was no heartbeat or breathing. The worst part was the final cries of pain that morning. I wanted her to be okay and it seemed like we failed her. Mimi didn't deserve those horrible last few days.

As she faded, I kissed her head and told her I was sorry, so very sorry.

Most likely, she died of cancer.

She went from jumping up to our bed to being unable to walk in less than a week. It was heartbreaking.

We wrapped her in a towel, called the vet, and took our little girl on one last journey. I held her, carefully, for some reason still wanting her to be comfortable. I know she was dead, but she was queen of our house and deserved to be cradled with love.

Last August, we lost J.C. Kitty — a special cat, quick to purr and extremely loving. It was a horrible loss, because it happened right as we were moving to PA. Susan had just left, returning to Minneapolis, and JC had endured oral surgery. We thought he might be okay, but he wasn't. The cancer had spread and he lost the fight.

Some of the thoughts on J.C. were in these posts:

I've also written about the losses of Jordan and Fido on this blog. Since leaving California, we've now lost our beloved girls, Fido, and J.C. Kitty. Yes, we at one time were caring for eight cats. Of the "original pride" there are now three: Alex, Mutt, and Pumpkin.

Misty Kitty joined the family at a time when we needed her, right after J.C. lost his battle with cancer. She liked Mimi and gets along well with Alex and Mutt. They needed a little spark in the house.

Mimi and Jordan will always have a special place in my heart. True, we love each and every "kid" in our lives, but the girls were a pair: they loved each other, and loved us. We have many photos of the girls together, often with Alex nearby or between them. I'm not sure how Alex feels, but he was definitely depressed after Jordan died.

Without Mimi and Jordan, it is like a stage of my life has ended. Mimi was with us for more than 18 years; that's a huge part of our lives spent with the girls.

Each of the last three moves has now been followed by a cat passing away. Fido's cancer was diagnosed as we were moving into our Minneapolis home. J.C. died as we were moving into our first PA home. And now, Mimi passes away after only a few nights in our new house. I know it is a meaningless pattern, a coincidence and nothing more, but it is as if each new start comes with a price. Silly and foolish of my brain to think such things, but I feel lousy right now. I want my Mimi kisses before going to bed… and instead there is silence.


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