Photo from Fall 2010....we had just moved and Xena loved looking out the front window, spying on the neighborhood. She turned and gave me an approving , knowing look. ( She was almost 15 in this photo....)
I love this photo of Xena, we were watching the GOP Clown Debates in my room, I had just called Newt a " Bloviated Asswipe", yelling at the TV , and she turned her back on the TV and gave me this All Knowing Wise Look..and I took her photo. I will never forget that moment....her look and the way she turned her back made me laugh so hard, I called to 6-6 to come look.
I do believe that Circles of Light help healing.....And I believe that Animals, our pets are also very much a part of our Families. Xena is a part of our Family. We got her not long after the Millennium, in 2000 , she was four, and a Throw Away Cat, she had been living outside for months, as her owner coped with a new baby. There was an ad in the Paper basically saying" Beautiful Ill Tempered Cat named Xena needs to Move Somewhere. " I was intrigued, I took my son with me to go get her, he was nine at the time. I don't know why but I read that ad and thought she needed us. In many ways we rescued each other. I forever will be grateful to this beautiful Tortoise Shell Wonder with the mysterious hazel eyes.
First The Story Of Xena
So she came to live with us, but would not come inside or really come to us. Yet daily we would spend time with her, trying to play with her or offer her all kind of lovely treats from tuna to catfish to toys. We would sit in our garage and try . It was very quickly obvious she had had no human contact for months. So we fixed up a lovely spot for her in the garage and kept acquiring things for her to play with from Tree Branches to Carpeted Posts we tried it all...She liked the garage and she liked the Deck next to the garage, we lived in Bellingham in a little house in town that had 2 decks and a garage, and by that spring I had also acquired a Lovely old 1920's 22 Foot Wooden RumRunner for my Husband ( it was a Anniversary Birthday Present,
it was barely seaworthy and a sight for Sore Eyes, it needed much work,but I literally bought it for a Six pack of Beer and 20 dollars, and we put it behind our house up on Barrels so we could work on it. ) The Best part of getting the Boat "The Mystery" was that it was a wonderful spot to sit out back climb on the Boat and dream or watch the sun set or have a beer or if you are a boy, pretend you are a pirate...and Xena claimed it as her home, she loved it. There was nothing better than watching her stand on the Bow and proudly hiss at the neighborhood dogs. She loved walking around her boat and eating up there and sleeping in the sun. How she climbed the ladder was also quite a sight. People used to love to take photos of her sitting on her Boat, Perched waiting to hit the High Seas.
Her other favorite spot was the Front Porch Deck, sleeping on the railing under the Budgie's Cage...smiling up at him. For some reason she never ever tried to pester Tweetie, and she actually protected him from other animals and cats. And so over time she became very much part of our herd and even began to trust us and see us a Friends. And by that first spring she would come to us, come when called (yes , really) and eat tuna sandwiches from our hand and even come inside the house at Night to sleep. I gave her my office and she slept under my desk, sometimes with the big old Basset Abby by her side.
When Trouble Befell Xena
For those that have read "Silent Fallout" sadly Xena was one of the members of my family that truly suffered retribution for my Work as an Environmental Activist. ( Or atleast we think that was part of what happened.) Yet Something Else was happening in
Bellingham at the same time our Family was getting harassed and sadly those event also crossed our Timeline...and Xena's.
In 2001 and 2002 in Bellingham , WA there was a series of cats that suffered Mutilation and worse. The cats were taken , vanished and then they would reappear in pieces. Who ever took them cut off their tails, skinned them or shaved them near the Tail and left a Mark or Marking , an Initial. And some of the cats Tails were actually hung on signs or Lamp posts. Xena was Cat No 6 and she was the Only Survivor that I know of. Many of my Environmental Friends that knew of my work fighting the Chemical Plant that was Dumping near the Bay and the Drinking Water were sure that the attack on our Cat was not random that it was targeted. We will never know, but this is what we do know. She was Stolen on a Monday Night, and she was Missing for 5 days, and everyone was searching for her. As she was a well loved and known Neighborhood Cat. ( By the time that she was taken, we had had slashed tires, break ins, brakes tampered with, and death threats. We had learned quickly while I did my County Wide Health Survey that my work as a Whistle Blower about the Mercury was not appreciated by Certain Entities, hence the reason that everyone thought it had to do with my Environmental Health Work and Advocacy).
So on every night I would walk around the hood searching for her and yelling for her, and others came too. On the 6th day, at night, near MN, I found her, hiding shivering under a deck behind a fence 3 houses down. She would answer me and there was no meow and no purr, but she came out from under the deck and a hole in the fence up to me....And she was wounded and very thin. She had marks on her , and clearly someone had tried to shave her and carved a W on her, and tried to cut her tail. I took her home and nursed her and she sat in a box of towels crying and I laid on the floor next to her and promised her she would be okay. And the next day I took her to the vet and we saw how traumatized and hurt she truly was. We dressed her wounds and took her home. And I nursed her that summer, and she never went outside again and she never went on her boat again. It was written up in the Local Newspaper and they were rude about it. I called the Paper because I was worried that Someone was going to kill or hurt more , or even kill a person or a child next. The Paper tried to paint these Cat Attacks as "Pranks" , I was convinced that they were a sign of deep trouble and a possible murderer being groomed or training. (And yes even Police Reports were filed as well...again there was a lack of concern that many of us in our Hood felt was even more concerning.)
( This Concern was shared by others....and if anyone remembers these times by fall of 2002, the DC Snipers went on a Rampage and they did indeed come from spending time, approximately 2 years in Bellingham, and there are and were residents there that did ponder the Cat Attacks which ceased Sept 2002.When John Allen Willams and Lee Malvo lived in Bellingham they lived in the York Neighborhood and Fairhaven, the same hoods where most of the cats were attacked and killed. When they lived in York, 2001, they were one street over from our street).
( But needless to say all of us viewed Xena as beyond brave, we know she fought bravely to get back home to us. And we know that to this day she does not like to be handled much and we know why, and we understand the trauma she went through. It is why there have been very few Vet visits through the years. It is also why early this am when the Vet suggested weeks of IV/SQ fluids or even euthanasia, we knew that she has to die at Home on her own terms. with us by her side and as little discomfort as possible.)
From 2002 On Our Lives went through Many Changes. In Fall 2002 A Multi Media Investigation Request and report was filed on Bellingham regarding the High Level of Contamination that was effecting the Health and Wellbeing of thousands in the town and the County. ( This request has only been filed by one Other Mom, Lois Gibbs for Love Canal, it had to be filed with DC EPA ( Criminal Division) and Justice Dept.) Once it was filed due to the Risks and Threats our Family had to leave Bellingham . And so began an odyssey that lasted many years. For me, and my son, we ended up Losing our Home and Our Friends. And I also lost my Marriage. And during the Bush years, as a Scorched Whistle Blower I ended up living in multiple states with my son. And our Animals , our loving creatures, the tiny herd were truly family. And Xena is the only one that has survived and been with us since Bellingham. She is now 16.
And Now within the past Week Our Brave Xena has become very Ill
So for the most part she has been well all these years. I always set up multiple perches in our home so she can look out the window. Both times when we had to move ( as Renters) due to Foreclosure Problems , I found places where she could look out the window and watch the birds and squirrels and lay in the sun. Sunspots are a treasured thing in our house. And along the way we rescued a Dog named Lilly in California and we also rescued a battered marmalade wonder cat here named Harry. And she played with him, shared the Sun and the Bird Spot and chased him up and down the stairs, and occasionally playfully bit his tail. She has dined well on Chicken and Fish that I fix for the critters and occasionally had snacks of half and half, or my coffee. She has always found ways to lick the Oreo Wrappings and she always had Turkey for thanksgiving. And she loved Spaghetti with Parmesan cheese. And she loved sleeping on my bed by my head, especially in the winter. ( even though the past two winters I had an Unheated attic room ).
And then last Wednesday night it all changed, she got very sick, she was wobbly and having trouble getting around, yet that morning she had been chasing Harry like usual. At first I thought that she had had a stroke. By the next day she was less wobbly and trying to drink, but still not right. Friday we had huge storms and yellow skies, and tornado warnings. I was worried about taking her to the vet and also worried about those Yellow Skies. By Friday Night she again didn't sleep was pacing and crying and I knew that I was going to have to take her to the Vet.
And what we Learned at the Vet and What now for our Lovely Xena
So I took her to the vet at 8am on Saturday Morn, after sleeping on the floor with her for three nights . They drew Blood and gave her IV fluids and did a bladder puncture for the Urine Sample and they gave her meds for the nausea and discomfort.
She purrs when I am next to her and she only cries if I leave the room....And so today early this morn the Vet called, her labs were awful....She does not just have Kidney Disease, she is in total Kidney Failure. She also has a Kidney Infection. She most likely had Kidney Disease for quite a while. But I did not know. She was eating and drinking ok. She threw up sometimes , but I thoughtit was due to being chased on the stairs. Her Labs were the worst that the Vet had ever seen, BUN 294 and Creatinine 11.2. So I had two talks with the Vet today, and I will do Hospice at home for her. As a Nurse, I have provided hospice care to so many over the years, and many in Seattle in the 90s during the AIDS Crisis. And I also provided Hospice Care to two dogs. But Never a Cat....But she must be allowed the chance to die here, at home with us, on her own terms....I owe her that.....
And if you read the history above you can see why I can't give her IV/SQ fluids at home, or why she hates being Handled by Anyone....yes, even me.....But I want to her be able to die at home...Her Home....Her Terms.
As many know....son and I are moving to Brooklyn NYC in the Spring, in May. Sadly I just spent a huge junk of our moving money this weekend, hoping to save her life, so that she would be with us for the move,because I can't imagine her not being with us.. But now moving without our Lovely Xena, and that breaks our hearts....I have heard there is a Pet Cemetery in Brooklyn.....But for now we will do our best to make her final days comfortable....and dignified...just like her....and give her the TLC and love that she has always had and that she quietly gave us too.....We wish we had more time with her, just a little more time. So please do send her Light and keep her in your prayers...Thank you..... ( I will try to post updates in the Comment Section for now.....)
So If i am not here or Facebook or Twitter ....I am laying on the floor next to her...stroking her head and telling her how beautiful she is.....Our Xena Warrior Princess...
8PM March 6th
First off I have to thank everyone..I have had amazing messages of support here and on Twitter and Facebook...so much Love and Light..6-6 and I are beyond grateful...
The past 24 hours.....Xena came out of the cave dawn Monday...licked my hand and purred.....to me this says that she wants to be here..that she is trying to fight and hang on...So I spent most of day yesterday trying to give her fluids and making a watery paste of the kidney food...she has been sleeping on my mattress on the floor or her favorite blanket...( she came out of the cave, that is huge).I have been carrying her around to her favorite perches so she can see her birds....still spending alot of time just stroking her head and letting her know we love her. Today I did take her to the vet and learn to do the SubQ fluids and also how to give her the nausea meds.And brought her home and again let her look out the window, putting tuna water on the Kidney food paste...she licked it...( not sure she liked it..but she licked it...) She is still in Kidney Failure, and the Lab did rerun her labs, they are what they are...but for now she is here....and I don't think she is giving up...not yet.
Please do read the Post above, our lovely Xena died on Tuesday March 8th at 9:39 AM. She quietly went to sleep at home with some medicine from Dr. Linda. Please read the post above about our Lovely Xena. Thank you all for your support, love, and prayers for this amazing cat and 6-6 and I. We are grateful for the Gift that was Xena as a member of our family for so many years. We hold her memory dearly.