Saturday, November 21, 2009

Tribute to Simba in Pictures

*****Warning: Very picture heavy post!*****

First off, I want to send everyone a big thanks for your kind words and understanding with the loss of my Simba. I still have a snivel(s) every day. I think, though, where I've known now since the spring that he had cancer and wouldn't be here much longer it made it a tad easier. Just a tad. It was still probably one of the hardest things I've ever done. I had hoped to get up one morning and he'd, y'know... and not have to make that decision.

Unfortunately, last Saturday I did have to make that decision. I got up, and he was in the bathroom. He looked at me and gave a weak "meow", and there was all kinds of gooey weird stuff in the corner of his eye. It was almost like he said, "It's time." I immediately broke down and got Hubs to call the vet. We took him down a couple of hours later. Hubs stayed in the car with the boys, and I took him inside. I stayed with him while they did it, I couldn't leave him to go with strangers. He meowed maybe twice. The vet gave him the needle, I was absolutely bawling my heart out. I held his paw, and he stared at me the entire time, told him I loved him, and he was gone. The vet said the eye stuff was secondary, caused by the cancer. I did hear the vet tell the assistant that Simba had a huge cancerous lymph node tumor. (And it was HUGE. It was way bigger than a grapefruit, I should have had it done a month or two ago.) Anyways, I heard him say that he was skin and bones, the tumor was just eating away at him. I felt guilty for not doing it sooner, but he hadn't seemed to be in any major distress. (Since he's been gone I haven't filled the food dish nearly as often, so I guess he was eating more than I thought.) I figure this last go off if the tumor was removed he would have been lucky to weigh three-four pounds. Anyways, I always said as hard as it would be that I wouldn't let my animals suffer. So now I'm sure he's having a blast, back to the kitten days, no more tumors, no more pains. He'll be my cat again one day.

So now that I've got myself crying again, we'll get to the pictures. Most of my pictures of the cats are 35mm, so at work today I went through the baby books and scanned some pictures to share (I don't have a scanner).

This first one is him, Nala, and their three siblings with their Momma, Poopa. Nala is the light colored kitten on the top right, and Simba is right beside her. The other three kittens looked just like Simba only thing they had tails. Simba and Nala were the only two bobtails in that litter.

Simba at 6 weeks. They both had blue eyes at first, but they changed. Shortly after I got them I was getting ready for work one morning. I had on a long skirt, one of those broomstick skirts that were in style in the 90s. Anyways, all of a sudden I felt searing pain in my leg. I lifted the skirt up to see pretty much what you see in this picture -- Simba looking up at me with all 20 claws stuck in my bare leg! One of his back legs had slipped, so I had a cut about 12" long from those razor sharp kitty claws. I reached down, grabbed him by the scruff of the neck, and took him off my leg. When he was little if you weren't watching he'd climb up your leg if he wanted your attention and some loving. When he got older he would just sit at your feet, then you'd hear, "meow", and he'd jump from the floor to your shoulder. As soon as I'd hear his meow I'd bend over a bit so he'd have more room to land and not dig me if he slipped.

This picture is enlarged and framed in my hallway. I had a bath and came out to find them like this. Everyone said I must have posed them, but I didn't.
Christmas 1996

He loved to lay under the Christmas tree. Had to put unbreakables down low cuz he liked to play with them. You can see Nala in the back. In March of 1997 he nearly died. He had urinary tract disease. He had a couple of trips to the vet for needles and medicine, but he totally blocked off. I was working on a Sunday morning, and he hadn't peed all night though he had gone to the litter numerous times. I called the vet, and my parents took him down for me. When they went to get him at my apartment he was laying on the kitchen floor. When Ma picked him up it must have put enough pressure on his tract to dislodge some of the crystals, and he peed all over the floor. (The vet said that was a good thing and probably helped save his life.) He had emergency surgery to clear the crystals. He ended up hospitalized for over a week. I'll never forget when I went to visit. They had a collar around his head, but the little bugger got around it and was licking the catheter. So they cut an xray up and made a bigger one. Then the little bugger got his back foot up and started kicking the catheter, so they had to tie his feet together! He had a few flare ups after that major incident, I had to really watch what he ate. But the past few years he had no troubles at all.
Simba also like to watch tv. Here he's watching Coronation Street and exercising at the same time!

Whatca lookin' at?
All of these pictures so far were taken when I had my apartment. (Except the one with their Momma.)

Here he's watching Benji the Hunted. He was also fond of Theodore Tugboat, and he really liked the movie Babe.

None of the cats go outside. Back in the summer of 1997, Simba and Nala got to go on an adventure. First they had to go for a drive for about 10-15 minutes, then up a lake in a speedboat (they were in cat carriers, of course). Then they got to spend the day roaming around on a very small island where a friend and his brother were building a camp. Nala didn't care for her adventure. She mainly stayed under the camp (C was convinced he was going to have to tear the floor up to get her out, but she came out eventually on her own). Simba, however, loved it. Unfortunately my camera got wet, and half or more of my pictures didn't turn out.

This is from Christmas 1997 when I moved to my first house. He loved to play with those blue satin balls. I had a set of six that were especially put on the bottom for him to play with.
This would be from November 1998 when Pumba came along. "Come on, play, Lazy!"
"I'll get ya no matter if you want me to or not!"
He warmed up to Pumba a lot more quickly that Nala. Nala never really did care super loads for Pumba. She actually still hisses at him a lot, but she does seem to be a bit nicer this past week since her brother isn't here any more.
This is the last photo I took of Simba, back on September 18. The tumor was on his left side, so you can't see it.
And he came home on Thursday. The urn is just a small white ceramic one. I may find a really nice picture of him and make a label for on it or get a nicer urn, undecided yet.
My next post will have FOs and lots of knitting content, promise.
Happy knitting!


Anonymous Debra in NC said...

Awwww........what a dear sweet kitty Simba was! Thank you so much for sharing his life journey with us!

I know just how hard it is to lose a furry family member. I've lost 2 kitties within the past 10 months, one to crf, and one to cancer. Even though I saw it coming with the crf kitty, it still didn't really make it easier. Perhaps less of a shock, but making that decision is never an easy thing to do.

Maybe your Simba is now at the Bridge playing with my Cinnamon, Tequila, and Care Bear.....let's hope. :^)


9:54 PM  
Blogger Donna M said...

What a lovely tribute to your dear little cat! He had a wonderful life with you and your family.

10:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The nicest post about your sweet cat. You were a great kitty mom to him so don't second guess yourself. He loved you a lot.

Are you others missing him? They are probably looking for him.

11:50 AM  
Blogger Walden said...

Such a wonderful post. It's hard to let loved ones go, but sometimes it is for the better. It is obvious you loved him very much and I am sure he knows that.

6:12 PM  
Blogger Wanderingcatstudio said...

He was gorgeous, looks like he had quite the personality.

9:47 PM  
Blogger meegiemoo said...

Poor kitty and poor you. *hugs* It's hard to say goodbye to a good companion but you're a good kitty mama and knew it was time to end his suffering.

4:04 PM  
Blogger Frieda said...

Thanks for sharing all of these wonderful photos of Simba through thr years . It's a beautiful tribute to him . You made the best decision for him , I truly believe that we know when it's time , please don't second guess yourself . He had a good life with you and your family and you did right by him ...

6:54 PM  
Blogger Barbara from Nova Scotia said...

Aaaawwwwww. So sweet!
We're at that deciding stage with Kora, our English Springer. She has a huge tumor on her neck and is losing control of her legs... I just don't have the heart to take her to the vet for that final visit. She sure is energetic when she's begging for table scraps...

Simba looked like a total sweetheart.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Monika said...

I felt the same way with Sam. I was hoping to wake up one morning, but no it was not easy. There was no way, I would NOT be there for him at the end, even though I too cried my eyes out. You've got a lovely urn for your Simba, and lots of lovely pictures to remember him.

3:22 PM  

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