Saturday, April 6, 2013
We Hardly Knew Ye, Austin
About eleven I went into the kitchen for a glass of iced tea and saw Austin lying on his side on the floor with Rocio also lying down, resting his head on Austin's haunches. I thought how cute they looked napping together, though it struck me that it was unusual to see them on the floor. After I got my tea I was about to walk by them again when I thought something didn't look right about Austin. I bent down to pet him and check him out and sure enough, he had run off to the Rainbow Bridge. I picked him up and laid him on the sofa on a fleece blanket and Rocio joined him. Rocio spent the night on the couch with Austin. The two of them loved each other as if they were litter mates. I slept poorly that night and without kitty company. I think they held a kitty wake in the living room.
Fairly early in the morning, but late enough that the vets should be through with morning surgery, I called to talk to vet about what could have happened. Austin had FeLV, but he never showed any symptoms of being ill, just the opposite. The vet told me that from how I described finding him and thinking he was just asleep at first that it must have been sudden heart failure. He could have been born with a heart defect that didn't cause a murmur or any symptoms until the heart just stopped. He had just turned 10 months old. Rocio is heart-broken and spent the day yesterday lying in the pink hammock where he and Austin often napped together. Spyro spent the day in the blue cat bed by the heat vent, keeping Rocio company, but not crowding him and doing his own mourning. Oja spent the day in my room, giving the boys their space. At twilight, Spyro batted the balls in the Turbo Track a few times and Rocio showed some interest.
It was interesting to me to see the kitties comforting each other. Spyro and Oja had a long mutual grooming session that did not end in a rasslin' match. After dinner that night Spyro and Rocio shared a chair, cuddling with a little gentle pushing and mock biting. At bedtime Rocio wanted me to comfort him and let me know by jumping up on me and pushing my chin with his head. I petted him and talked to him a little bit. He stayed there for quite a while for him, then left to share a chair with Spyro. I am so glad that I adopted Austin and Rocio. Had they been in their previous foster home, Rocio would have had no kitty company to comfort him. Spyro and Rocio have helped each other tremendously with their grief and all the kitties have helped me with mine.
I buried Austin next to Herman. Interestingly there seems to be a volunteer flower growing next to Herman's grave. I was careful not to disturb in when I buried Austin. I got him a hummingbird light. If you have seen these solar-powered garden lights on stakes, you will know what I am talking about. They are basically a stake with a couple of solar collectors in the middle and a clear plastic shape on top. At night they shine with a light that changes colors. I love them and decided to use them to mark the kitties' graves. Emma got a dragonfly, Herman has a star and Austin has a hummingbird.
You went much too soon, Austin, and we all miss you terribly. We will see you again at the Bridge. In the meantime, I know that you will have a blast. Say hi to Herman and Emma for us.