Willow and I went through a lot together in just one year. The good and devoted girl that she is, she caught and brought me a dead mouse in the middle of the night once - also the night before a test. I screamed and flipped the mouse into a garbage bag so quick that Willow didn't know what had happened to it. She spent the night pouncing repeatedly on the bed in hopes of stirring him up again. We discovered that she is a terrible car cat. She poops, she pukes, she cries. It's a stinky messy business, which is tough when you are driving back and forth to Winnipeg from Subury! While she had the kittens she got sick. It was like all her life energy was being drained by these fast-growing little babies. She would often throw up, and one day she got all this poop in the fur on her tail. I had to hold her down and wash it out while we both cried. When we were leaving to go to Winnipeg for the summer last year, we had already decided we were taking Willow because some friends were going to adopt her. But when we took the 8 week kittens from her, her nipples got huge and swollen from the sudden lack of kittens suckling. We went and retrieved Otto - the tiniest kitten, and brought him with us. What a lovebug he turned out to be! He cuddled constantly, when he wasn't harassing Willow or playing. We fell completely in love with him. Then one day when he was about 12 weeks or so he got sick. We knew he'd been having trouble with eating, so we'd been working on it. We had called the vet and they advised it sounded like worms, so we were giving him the meds. We sat with him at every meal and tried to get him to eat. Willow wasn't letting him have any milk anymore, and he had gotten frighteningly thin. And then one morning he wasn't himself. I tore myself away from him that morning to go to work. When Rob got home, I was on the phone with him when he found Otto. He was still on the bed, not far from where I'd left him, and he was cold and stiff. We still have so much sadness and guilt - what could we have done to better help him?
Willow made my day, every day. When it got close to time for my friends to take her, I couldn't imagine life without her. When I was stressed and unhappy, she would make me laugh. Her new fam and I had the arrangement that if one of their cats didn't take to having Willow there, we would discuss her coming back to me. Happily for her, the anxious cat tolerated her and now she has kitty friends to play with and a loving home. She's a big round ball of hilarity these days - I still get pictures!