Warning <long soppy story>
They were rarely more than a few feet apart, they slept, played and hunted together. Ying and Yang. Three years later I noticed that Nexus was loosing weight and strength. A trip to the vet diagnosed him with feline Lukemia, he was dying slowly with no hope of a cure. It cost me £1.26 to have him euthenaised and the liklihood that Matrix was also ill, was high. It cost me £70 to find out that she was not infected.
The emotional cost was immeasurable. The effect on me, on you, on Matrix. Nexus was put out of his pain. No long lingering death, no fading away gradually. The end of Nexus’s pain was the start of Matrix’s. She constantly looked and called for Nexus, she cried for months. Cudding didn’t help, you wouldn’t let her sleep with us so I started sleeping downstairs on the sofa with Matrix, it helped her, and me, to sleep.
I asked the vet if getting her a companion would help. The vet said Matrix would associate the arrival of a companion with the departure of Nexus so they would not get on well. I had to wait until Matrix had finished grieving. When Matrix stopped grieving she seemed happy enough chasing the local birds and brawling with the local cats. But when I moved to Seattle the coyotes and cat-on-alead-condo-rules reduced Matrix’s ability to entertain herself. With my long days at work, she needed entertainment. A companion.
I visited all the local cat rescue centres. There were so many. The cats were stacked in rows and rows of individual cages. It was heartbreaking. I wanted to take them all home. In the Bellevue rescue centre they had a large room where the cats could socialise and roam around. I sat in the room watching them. Sampo was wondering from cat to cat, licking each of them. She was elegant and affectionate to other cats.
It took the Bellevue staff two hours to catch her, she was elegant, affectionate to cats, slippery and very people-shy. The Bellevue adoption papers included the condition that I arrange to have her neutered. The vet said she was about 3 years old and had already had at least one litter of kittens ‘she’ll be prone to putting on weight’
Over the years I’ve systematically tried to overcome Sampo’s fear of people with some success