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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne


Why is it that we are never so compelled to Share as when it is sadness in our lives, a loss?  Why do few people put pen to paper (fingers to keypad) when they are having good days?  Or simply ordinary days?

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 cat friend she was:  putting up with a cold house at Swamp River Ridge those last months and seeing me through the move to this cabin.  Sleeping curled right up against me at night, these last few weeks - a new habit that I enjoyed.  

Bonzi Boo, Spring 2010 - Early Winter 2013
  Thank you for being mine.



  1. I'm so very, very sorry. I pray that Bonzi is already on her next kitty adventure, and ready to take on the world, one mouse at a time :)

    1. Thanks. Tucker & I just returned from taking her up to the resting place I chose.

  2. How awful, CM. I am so sorry - Bonzi was an amazing cat. I wonder if it was poison? My heart goes out to you - it's so hard to lose our kidz.

    1. No, I'm pretty sure it was a critter that got her - esp considering what I heard during the night.

  3. What a sweet picture! I had never seen that before. I think it's worthy of being blown up and framed as a little 5" x 7" picture to hang on your wall.

  4. So sorry for your loss. I know how tough this can be.

  5. Dear Chicken Mama, I had an inkling you had a new post up and here it is. Bonzi sounds like an amazing cat and a beautiful one, living life on her own terms. I am so sorry for her death and I am glad you were able to be with her before she passed. I lost my 20-year old cat in last October and just buried her yesterday. I hope Bonzi and Puppy meet up in that special place for cats who have crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Here's a big hug. Take good care.

  6. I'm so sorry to hear about Bonzi, I know how much your little critters mean to you and I know it must have been awful to see her go through that. Glad she is in a peaceful place now.


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