Saturday, May 05, 2007

A SAD GOODBYE

JOSHUA 19?? TO 2007


We said a very sad goodbye to a family member this morning.
In 2000, we lived in a house surrounded by high hedges. We became aware that our cat’s food was being stolen, but never managed to see the culprit. Finally we started catching glimpses of an incredibly thin and scared adult Siamese cat, and realized the poor thing was obviously a stray, living in our hedge, and relying on what he could steal to survive. We started putting an extra bowl of food out for him whenever we fed our kitties, but could not get near him, as he was so terrified of people.

I was spending a lot of time away from home at that time, my mom was dying of Cancer in East London, and I had to go there as often as possible to be with her. One day, when I returned, I found the Siamese ensconced in our home. There is still much friendly rivalry between Ian and Max as to which of them finally won him over, but it was Max who hid behind a pillar and stroked him as he ate, and it was Ian who stayed outside and persevered until his naturally affectionate nature finally overcame his fear, and Ian was able to pick him up and bring him into the house.

At first we started calling him “Slinky” because while he was being won over, he literally used to slink around with his tummy touching the ground, because he was so afraid.
But Karen was reading the Book of Joshua at that time, where God spoke to Joshua and told him not to be afraid, but to be strong and courageous. She felt we should be affirming him to be brave, not focusing on his fear, so we agreed to call him Joshua instead, and, whether by coincidence or not, in no time he was a bold, fearless outgoing cat. In fact he became the scourge of the neighbourhood dogs, and would not tolerate a dog on the property!

In no time he had made himself completely at home, and we began the process of building him up and getting him back into shape. He was so starved while living in the hedge that his digestive system took a long time to be able to handle regular meals. He is the only cat I know who could fart so badly that he could literally clear the room of people!

He was incredibly affectionate, and would follow you around rubbing his head on you, and loudly demanding a kitty cuddle if he felt he was being ignored. We had a ritual that each morning, he would sleep at our feet, but the minute he became aware that I was awake (sometimes before I was even aware of it!!) he would come up to the top of the bed and curl up under my chin, purring loudly.

We have noticed that he has not been himself lately, nothing you could quite put your finger on, but at last it was really obvious so I took him to the vet last week, and she diagnosed leukemia. He had hardly any red blood cells left, and she said he would increasingly battle for oxygen, and become weak. We thought we would have a few weeks to adjust to the idea, but he went down very fast in the last couple of days, so this morning we took him back, and held him as he was put down.

Ferguson, the grey tabby, who adored Josh, is looking for him at the moment….and we still have to explain his absence to 2 and a half year old Ethan, when he returns tomorrow from a holiday to visit his other granny. Such is the cycle of life….


Goodbye old friend, you will be greatly missed.

11 comments:

Shirley Goodwin said...

Always so sad when you lose a pwt, as they are such an important part of our lives. (((Hugs)))

RUTH said...

Thinking of you and sending a {HUG}

Ali Honey said...

You made Joshua's life happy while he was with you so be glad he had good times. Well done for not letting him suffer. You will always remember his beautiful eyes.
Thinking of you, Alison.

kirsty said...

What a very beautiful cat he was! Hope you are feeling better soon.

Sheila said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. These sweet creatures become a big part of the family, and their loss is keenly felt.
Hugs
xx

Janet said...

Oh, how sad. I've been away from the blogs for awhile and now I return to learn you've lost such a wonderful pet. I'm sending you lots of hugs

Laura Albertyn said...

Ahhh - sorry to hear that Joshie has gone!!!

Big hugs!!

Laus

muddy red shoes said...

Poor you, poor Fergason, kiss kiss

chronicler said...

May you be comforted at this time of loss. There is just something about an animal that gets caught up in your entire heart. Such a loss, yet such joy in memory.

Anonymous said...

Leukemis is very contagious... you'd better get your others checked out...sadly that is often the case with strays and ferals. SO sad...SO sorry about your loss

super-dave said...

hi

thank you for stopping by my photo gallery. if you want to see more images, you can visit www.super-dave.com and look at my main gallery there.

i love cats and this is a great story. it's nice to see people care for and take in animals. it's a sign of genuine goodness in people.

take care

david