Bonzi, the fat cat, is gone.
At some point last night, we were all (Tucker, Jinx the cat, and me) jolted out of a deep sleep by the cry of Bonzi. It sounded like she was being attacked or in a fight. Tucker was bark, bark, barking, and I stumbled down the ladder and grabbed a flashlight. Outside, she was nowhere to be seen, but, fortunately, neither did the light pick up any spots of blood in the snow. I called for a her for a little while longer but soon shrugged it off (she was a tough cookie, after all), and we all went back to bed.
This morning when I went outside, I saw her tracks on the deck in the snow. I called for her, but she wasn't around. There's an old shed down by where I park my car at the bottom of the path, and she's fond of sleeping in there. So, I figured we'd find her there, sound asleep, when we headed out for the morning.
A little over halfway down the path, I noticed where she'd either thrown up or had diarrhea just off the path . . . odd, for a cat, who usually is pretty private about her business. Then, we heard a meow. A loud meow carrying through the woods. But not a normal meow. It came again as I called out, "Bonzi Boooooo!?" By now, anxiety was rising in my throat, and we quickly followed her calls to the shed. I peeked inside, and there she was, wedged behind some old machinery. Not her usual spot.
As we'd come close to the shed, I'd noticed drag marks in the snow . . . which I quickly wrote off as something completely disconnected from Bonzi.
I tried to pick her up, but her left hind leg seemed broken. "Frozen" in an extended position. And she was wet underneath. But still, no blood.
I needed light so I could properly inspect her. And support.
As I'd been heading to Mama & Papa Pea's to wash my hair before work, I had a big towel with me. Without haste, I pulled Bonzi into it and hurried to my folks'.
I already had tears running down my face when I got to their door and rushed through their utility room into the bright light of the garage, calling out, "Something got Bonzi! I need light to look at her."
The wetness covering her underside was urine, and she had poop stuck in her hair. With a little more examination, it seemed apparent that her back was broken. At the very least, her hind end was paralyzed. I said, "Can you get me the vet's number? And a phone?"
I called the vet, but - of course - this is a holiday weekend, and she was closed until Monday morning. Voicemail only. The recording encouraged me to call the big city vet for emergencies . . . 2 hours away.
"I have to put her out of her misery," I told Mom and Dad. But they had a good idea: get some medicine in her, make her comfortable, and wait a bit. Especially since she was not bleeding anywhere. I'd told them about the "accident" I'd seen at the side of the path as well as the drag marks that were only at the parking area leading into the shed: maybe this paralysis was temporary. An effect of shock. Her body's way of allowing some healing time.
With a small sense of relief at this possibility, I bundled her back up and said I'd get her situated in her favorite spot back at my cabin (under the stove next to the water dish) and let them know how things progressed.
As soon as we got back home, though, and before I'd even had a chance to lay her down, she started heaving, getting ready to vomit. I quickly angled her over the hearth instead of the rug we were standing on, and she . . . how do I say this to cushion it? She covered the handmade hearth with blood. A huge amount of it.
I had my answer. Whether or not the paralysis was temporary (I believe not), she was extremely injured internally and bleeding out.
Bonzi is at peace now, wrapped again in my hair washing towel and placed in her favorite spot by the stove. (I want Jinx to have the opportunity to say good-bye, but she hasn't come down the ladder since she went up it last night. She knows something is dreadfully wrong.)
This fall, Tucker and I went for a hike up the ridge behind the cabin here. It wasn't deer hunting season yet, but it was grouse season, so I had a blaze orange vest on him for safety's sake. Hiking as far up as we were going to that day, we'd started exploring just below the ridge when a flash of something caught my eye: it was Bonzi. She'd followed us up the whole way, just like a dog! I laughed over thinking that I needed another blaze orange dog vest . . . for the cat!
So, that's where we'll take her today. To that peaceful spot where the trees naturally open to make a tiny meadow. We'll leave her there to let nature take its course (as the ground is too frozen now to dig).
What a good, fat
|Bonzi Boo, Spring 2010 - Early Winter 2013|
Thank you for being mine.