Life, Death and New Beginnings

 Fiona edit

I’ve always had a dog or a cat of my own. I can’t remember there ever being a time in which I didn’t have one — except while I was in grad school and even then I found a way to have a cat for most of my stay there. St. Louis is where I found my Baby Girl, Fiona.

My Mom took this picture of me and Fiona one visit home. You actually can’t see in this picture, but I’m wearing an Athens County Humane Society t-shirt here from an event I helped with.  My Mom thought that this was the perfect picture of the two of us, one that was taken with a flip phone.

On April 6th, after 15 years together, I had to make the difficult decision to put Fiona to sleep. The two previous years had been a downward spiral of health issues and given that when I made that decision she was about 19 years old, I’d say that we made a pretty good run of it.

My heart has not been the same since I lost her. Several friends of mine showed their support for me during this time, sending cards, crying with me and thoughtful gifts. One friend M, sent me a note after I thanked her for a gift and said approximately, “I just hurt so badly for you, I wanted to do something nice. And since I couldn’t take you out for coffee and have you tell me all about Fiona, I thought I’d send this.”

M was on to something that I wasn’t ready to do. I need to write an obituary for Fiona. My heart still aches typing that on my screen, but I do need to write this. I’d encourage others to do the same if they were where I am. So I should heed my own advice, especially when tomorrow, I’ll be adopting a new baby.

Fiona Collage

Fiona Sue, My Baby Girl, was put to rest on April 6, 2018 at Allen Pet Clinic surrounded by her favorite veterinarian, Dr. Allen and her Mama and Papa Kat. Fiona had lived in several cities including: St. Louis, Missouri, Washington D.C., Cleveland, Ohio and lastly Athens, Ohio.

Above are just some of the many, many pictures her Mama Kat took of her over the years. She was Mama Kat’s best friend and soul mate, helping her to find reasons to put one foot in front of the other, during difficult times in seminary, break ups, lousy jobs, sick parents and at times, crippling depression.

Fiona was adored by everyone with whom she interacted. With fur as soft as a bunny rabbit, and very social, it was not unusual to see Fiona at pet events, like Halloween parties, or seeing Santa Paws. She attended work functions, you can see above that she liked to walk around churches and provide love and support for her Mama Kat when work was stressing her out.

She was by far, the prettiest kitty her Mama Kat has ever seen. When Fiona came to live with Mama Kat in 2003, she had a cold from the place from which she was adopted. She blew snot bubbles everywhere when she purred, and she purred a lot. It was hilarious if not gross.

She used to sleep on Mama Kat’s butt at night, always wanting to be close. Her favorite toys were spongy-like balls that not only bounced, but that she could bite and carry them around the house. She would put them in Mama Kat’s bed in the middle of the night, and meow really loud when she wanted that  ball thrown so she could play. It was not  unlike Mama Kat to wake up with two or three spongy-like balls in bed with her, where she did not hear Fiona’s howl asking to play.

Fiona enjoyed singing, so much so she would sit in the bathroom and sing loudly, because the acoustics were no doubt better there.

As she got older, she learned that if she put the soft pads of her feet on your face and tap, she could wake up Papa Kat and later Mama Kat. Usually she just wanted to get under the blankets with one of her parents.

Even as she got older,  she still played. She still cuddled. She still demanded attention, but she slept more and more. Her vet even said, “She’s a fighter, and she’s fought for every bit of being here with you.”

She leaves behind her Mama and Papa Kat, Brother Kats: Biff, Josh and Mjolnir and a Little Sissy Kat, Scrapper. She also leaves behind to Doggie Sisters: Maggie and Maisy. She goes to be with her Granny Kat, another Sissy Kat and Sissy Doggies.

Fiona lived her life hard, but loved harder. That’s what she’d want to share with others today. If she couldn’t have all the attention, she’d want her family to continue to recycle love and adopt other pets, but less stinky boy pets and more pretty girl pets. She’d want to be remembered for her swooshy tail, of which she was quite proud. And she’d want us to remember how much she loved, so we could love other critters…except of course stinky boy kats.

She will be missed by so many, but mostly by her Mama Kat, who even though is adopting a new baby tomorrow, will never be able to replace a girl as special as her, but because of Fiona Sue, other kitties will be loved by this family.

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