Bootsie - by Sarita

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My precious Angel, Bootsie

On a cold and rainy night a pathetic looking, undernourished, soaked little kitten showed up in my neighborhood; just at *my* home. She must have had a 'gut feeling' about *where* to come because I took her in immediately. I dried her off real good and held her (as if I *needed* to hold her - she was clinging to me for dear life!) and then got out the best thing I could think of - Tuna and milk. Though my home was very quiet I sat beside her in the floor while she inhaled her meal. From the very beginning of this new relationship, she had the most meaningful way of looking at me. Her eyes were full of stories to be shared with me. She slept as close to me as she could curl up that night,,,and all the following nights, as well as afternoon naps, for 7 years. She was never out of my sight, nor I out of hers! She found an excellent human to *own*!

Bootsie and I were like mother and daughter. (we took turns in that department.) We *did* share all our little stories, good and bad. She knew on my bad days that I needed extra attention and she was more than eager to provide the extra love and attention to me, and vice-versa. We never went outside together, but if I traveled overnight, she was part of my luggage. :)

She was the typical climbing, scrambling cat. She had started to blossom within months of my adopting her to the point that friends would not even know it was the same pathetic little kitten! Oh,, she was so very, very beautiful. She loved to lie on my lap on her back, 'spread eagle' and I would rub her tummy, scratch here and there - wherever she would wriggle to so that I would *know* to get that spot also! She had such a coat of fur that I never even saw that pink little skin underneath, as hard as I would try to delve, it was just more and more fur. She was also the best 'watch-cat' I had ever seen! No one got within 20' of my home without her alerting me! Though she owned me and had me trained very well, she would let me have certain visitors without too much pouting. (again, those eyes!!) In her pouty ways, she would almost close her eyes to little slits to let me know this was not acceptable. In her loving ways, she would cock her head to the side and smile so sweetly with half-closed eyes.

One of the most amazing stories I can tell about a problem we had with our heating system. Sometimes it would not kick in and got cold without my realizing it. I would have to press the 'reset' button inside the furnace and it would make it turn on. One night we were sleeping, and I felt this little paw ever so gently pressing against my chin.... I just reached over and rubbed her and just lied there.. Again, the little paw, cautiously touching my cheek or chin...! Half awake I looked at her and mumbled something and she stood up with determination!! So I asked her what the problem was.

Without a word, she jumped off the bed, stood there and looked at me, took a few little steps, looked again with that "well?" look. So I got up and realized it was really freezing in here!! I started to walk behind her and she came to the furnace door...sat down and looked at it and then looked at me. I looked at the thermostat and it was about 45! So, I opened the door, pressed the reset button and it kicked in. I closed the door, turned around, and there goes Bootsie back to the bedroom..... I followed her back and she was purring with great authority that she had 'saved our lives'!!!!

This happened on several occasions before I could get a repairman here...always the same...that careful little touch, the 'look', the prissing down the hallway, stopping and sitting at that door, *us* pressing that button, and prissing back to bed. I *know* if that little paw had had enough strength she would have opened that door herself and fixed it!!!

......Bootsie started to become sedentary and wasn't eating so well. Took her to the vet, got some vitamins and a more healthy (supposedly) cat food. The vet didn't find anything in her bloodwork. As time passed, and quickly, she began having coughing/choking type spells and shivering. I would hold her real tight, do my usual 'baby talk' to her - but extra - and she would get over it in a short time, and be back to her adorable self - 'kitchen patrol', making sure she didn't miss out on a 'yum-yum',, and her 'cat patrol' around the windows, making sure we were not invaded!

It worsened and I could not leave her alone because she would lose control of her balance and fall off of her posts if I didn't watch her and catch her... I took her to another vet just a block away, and he told me she had advanced feline leukemia..... He left us alone to discuss what we were going to do about this devastating news. We came back home with medicine to ward off these episodes as best we could. She was her usual little busy-body for the most part, but the episodes would not go away, and when she did have one, it was worsening each time.

I was in tears everyday at this point, and Bootsie *still* tried to console me in her own motherly way as always. I called a friend who is president of a local pet oganization who gave it to me 'straight'. Although Bootsie didn't *show* signs of pain and suffering, she was. We went as long as we could go.... My precious friend came with her heart of gold and shared my tears and pain. Bootsie was playing with her favorite little toy, a piece of yarn with a little mouse tied to it, but she *knew* this was our last day together. My friend took Bootsie, when I could finally let go of her, and did for her and me what *I* just could not bring myself to do.

She is my Angel Bootsie now and I feel her presence often. One never gets over losing a *child*..........That's been over 3 years now and the tears still stream like waterfalls.... I am sure they always will.

by Sarita
© 25th of May, 1999

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Created by Spot of Borg © 25th of May, 1999
Last Updated : 7th of October, 2012.
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