Monday, February 28, 2011

Remembering Sweet Gentle Tabby

A few years back I took in my granddaughters cat, Tabby. She was elderly, a little slow, and a bit over weight. This poor kitty was mauled by one of their dogs, which appeared to cause her severe physiological damage. A cat that was very happy and sociable to humans and other cats, turned into a frightened cat that kept herself hidden from everyone, accept her owner. To make a long introduction short, I decided to adopt her, thinking I could bring her out of her ongoing anxieties. I also thought she would make a great companion for Zelda. What a mistake that was, and to make the situation worse I went about everything the wrong way. Perhaps if I had started with a slower process, and put Tabby in a room away from Zelda for a couple weeks it might of worked out better in the long run. I put Tabby on my bed, and when Zelda came in the room, she jumped up on the bed and attacked her. To late I realized cats can be like jealous children. Zelda probably had great concerns of losing me and her home.

Anyone could tell by her movements and her eyes that Tabby was a gentle cat. Unfortunately the attacks from Zelda did not stop, and the squabbles continued with Tabby defending herself.  Tabby's anxieties were never stemmed from fear of other cats. Because of being mauled by a dog, her fears were of dogs, and for some strange reason she chose to no longer trust humans. (accept her owner)

We were living in my sons house at the time, and he had a dog. So for about 1 1/2 months Tabby stayed upstairs. It took about 3 months for Tabby to realize the old dog was no threat to her, so she stopped hiding and started making short visits downstairs. Every-time she came down stairs, jealous Zelda would chase her back upstairs. Eventually Tabby tired of her aggression fought back, and came down stairs when ever she chose to. After about 4 months Tabby seemed settled and was cured of her dog anxieties, and she was also  friendly with people that came in my home. As the little ongoing squabbles with Zelda continued, she ferociously fought back, and finally Zelda backed off a bit, But Zelda never accepted her, and from time to time a squabble would escalate between them.

As Tabby sits on the window seat munching on some dry nib-lets. Zelda quietly sits on the stairway, cautiously watching her.

When the milder weather came I allowed tabby to go out with Zelda, always getting them in before the sun went down. I would say I gave her about 5 years of a better life.

Considering that Tabby's mother was an indoor cat, and she came from a home that cared for her mother and the kittens. I would say her start in life was far more pleasant then Zelda's or Ezzabella's. When my granddaughter and her husband adopted her they kept her as an indoor cat. When they purchased his father's home the deal was for the cat's that lived  there to stay there. So when they moved from an apartment to a house, they ended up with 2 more cats. I guess at first they had their share of squabbles, but eventually they accepted each other. So back then Tabby was an outgoing sociable cat to humans and other cats. When they no longer lived in an apartment they allowed Tabby to go out with the other cats. One thing she did, that I did not approve of, was not getting her cats in before dark. As time went by 3 of her cats disappeared. Finally she decided not to allow Tabby out at all, so she converted her back into being an indoor cat. At my home during the snow and cold weather, Tabby stayed in. And during the mild weather, she was allowed out during the day. 

When I had breast cancer, after the chemo I had a mastectomy, and after the surgery, my daughter and her children stayed with me. I was in a great deal of pain, so I was drugged up and in bed for a couple days.. Unfortunately, even after I told my daughter and her children several times "Please do not let the cats out after 5:00 pm!" When the children tried to pet Zelda, she would growl and hiss at them. So with company in the house Zelda spent most of her time hiding under my bed. Tabby welcomed the petting and the attention she was getting from the children. And in spite of my request to not let the cats out, (especially Tabby, because of her age and weight, she was no match for a predator)  But unfortunately one of them let her out, by mistake or because they felt she should be allowed to go out. The next day she was nowhere to be seen. I called and searched for her, for days, but no Tabby.

It was painful to accept the horrible fact that Tabby was more then likely the victim of a predator. To this day I miss that gentle, outgoing, loving, Kitty. So if there is a Rainbow Bridge, I'm sure she crossed it.  

Rest in peace my sweet Tabby .   


Admiral Hestorb said...

Oh that makes me tearful. Poor poor poor sweet baby. But you tried so hard and I send hugs to you for trying and also trying to make it all work.
I hope you are well now, my friend.

Jan's Funny Farm said...

Poor Tabby. It's so hard to not know what happened when a pet disappears.