Nona the One-Eyed Wonder Cat

23 Oct

Nona’s good side

When I first married my husband, we inherited his mother’s three cats.  Bandita was the big, fluffy mama cat and her two daughters – Nona and Culichi.  Nona was named such because she was gray and Culichi had no tail, having lost it in a fight with a Rottweiler.  Nona this point only had one eye because the other had been damaged and resulted in a cataract.

Culichi and Bandita treated me with cautious disregard.  Culichi even peed in my new Coach bag, and Bandita liked to take swipes at me when I would go in my closet.  I strongly suspect they were angry with me for 1) getting rid of their mother (hubby’s mom used to live with us) and 2) bringing a dog into the house (the very hyper Doberman never understood why the old ladies did not want to play).

I gave up trying to get any attention from those two cats, but Nona was a different story.  I couldn’t sit down without a full on cuddle attack from that girl.  And she was ALWAYS purring.  You could hear her purring from the other room, wondering if someone had left a fan on or something.   It was amazing how she’d rev up immediately upon seeing you.  A low slow purr would develop into full throttled throat rumble with just a scratch behind the ear.

When I had my numerous eye surgeries, Nona became my sympathizer.  It was she and I against the world.  No one else understood my disability, but I am pretty sure Nona did.  When I was facedown for a week while my retina tried to reattach itself, she’d purr and rub her face against mine as I sobbed into the pillow begging for relief.   We were simpatico. 

I even made up a little song for her that I would sing every night when she’d climb up on my chest in bed for a good ear scratch.  “I only got one eye, but I love you with of my heart.” 

She was fifteen though, and she’d been looking worse for the wear for the past year or so.  I stopped letting her outside as much and kept her indoors as much as possible.   She had some dental issues, so I only gave her wet food and would crush up the dry food into a fine powder for her to eat.  I knew it was getting bad when she stopped jumping up on the bed for an ear scratch.  She still purred, but I had to kneel down at her new spot in order to give her an ear scratch.

She started dropping weight rapidly and for the past month she got very thin.  I hadn’t realized how bad it was really until about a week ago.  My husband and his mother said she needed to be put down, but I didn’t want to hear it.  I thought she had some time left, but I ended up being wrong.

On Friday, I made the veterinary appointment for Saturday morning.  That night I opened up a can of tuna and set it out for her to eat.  She could barely get through it.  She ate small pieces, looked at me, sighed then went to her spot in the doorway.

The next day I took her to the veterinarian.  On the way there, I held her on my lap so she could look out the window and watch all the cars pass.  She loved it.  She was so happy and purred the whole way, the rhythm of her purr matching the hum of the engine. 
We have the best veterinarian in the business.  We’ve been taking our animals to him for over thirty years.  He gently gave me the bad news and told me that she had kidney failure and gave me a few options, but the end result was the same:  she wasn’t going to make it and was most likely suffering.    He asked me if I wanted to be with her when we put her down, and I said of course.  I figured if she comforted me in my times of suffering, I’d see her off in hers.

I held Nona as she purred her soft, comforting purr until the medicine hit her veins and she closed her in eyes in peaceful slumber. 

I miss Nona.  I miss her bedtime visits and our nighttime lullaby.  I even miss tripping over her in the middle of the night.  She is a big reason that I love cats.  I had been a very strict dog person for the majority of my life, and I am grateful to Nona for teaching me otherwise:  that cats are pretty awesome.  So thanks Nona, my simpatico kitty cat. 

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