A picture of me without you

This is Quigley, my furry little friend of 15 years.  She came into our lives shortly after Dan and I moved in together.  I remember the day we picked her out.  Here was this small black and white bag of bones with a perfectly pink nose, stretching up as high as her tiny kitten legs would let her, paw reaching out and meowing at me.  She was so adorable.

I heard a family talking about her near me at the pet store.  The adults were debating if they should get her while their kids were loudly yelling they wanted her.  I looked at the children with their dirty, snot dried faces, whining and throwing a fit over her.  If this is how they behaved in a store, how much better could the be at home?  Visions of them chasing and terrifying her flashed through my mind.  Her shivering under a chair while they screeched for her to come out.  I just knew they’d name her something stupid like Gloria or Spider Pig.  Her life would be horrible with these people.  I could not let that happen.  Without thinking, I snatched her up.  

“We’re getting this one” I told Dan.

“Are you sure?” he asked.

“YES!  Let’s go.”  I could hear the kids complaining that I was taking her and I whispered to her not to worry, I was saving her from them.

Watching the fishies

We took her home and the great debate over what to call her began.  Names were thrown around and I pitched hard for my idea… “If we name her Quigley, we can call her Q!”  Which sounded like an awesome idea at the time.

Giant tv, tiny cat

To this day, she’s never been referred to as Q.  Her names do include Quigley, Quigle-bomb, Miss Quigles, Quigley Wiggley, Mrs. Quiglesworth and Quigs.

purring...

From the start, her favorite place to sleep at night has always been on my chest or next to my head.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to roll over in the night only to find I had a kitten in my hair.  Tugging out from under her, she’d start purring.  Readjusting herself, she’d snuggle close.  Her little pink nose practically touching my nose, her whiskers tickling my cheeks.

15 yrs ago

A creature of habit, her and Scout would lay together every morning and watch me get ready for work.

April 15, 2011

Every

May 20, 2011

single

June 7, 2011

morning.

November 29, 2011

She likes to meow outside the kid’s doors in the morning when they should be getting up for school.  I’ve always wondered what she was worried about since cat’s don’t know about being tardy.  But there she’d sit, looking up at their doorknobs.  I could almost hear her saying “uh, i don’t have opposable thumbs.  little help opening the door, folks”.

Chillin' on my lap

There’s a million things I could share with you about my silly Quigle-bomb.  All the things that make her more than just a cat to me and to our family.  I would love to go on and on about the little idiosyncrasies that make up her personality.  But it wouldn’t mean the same to you as they do to me.

7.5lbs of happiness

Somewhere along the line, I really convinced myself that she would outlive us all.  Her appearance belying her real age, it was easy to forget she really is 15.5 years old.  That is until she started limping last month.  We thought maybe she had just hurt herself since she’s constantly falling off things but it kept getting worse and so I took her to the vet.

The truth is… Miss Quigles is sick.  Arthritis is causing the limp but the x-ray revealed a large black mass that has invaded her knee and moved in both directions from there.  A small, hairline fracture lies above the mass.  The prognosis isn’t good.  Bone cancer has weakened her leg and her days are numbered.  She’ll be with us until her leg completely breaks at the fracture or until she’s in too much pain to carry on.

I know the day is coming soon.  I try to not to think about it but her hobbling along on 3 legs is a constant reminder.  So I try to tell myself that she’s just a cat.  She’s not a person, I can’t be that upset about losing her.  My head hears the message but my heart won’t listen.  It knows that you can love a pet.  That it breaks a little from their loss.

And so we wait, trying to enjoy the time she has left.  She still purrs every time I pick her up and I know she’s still happy.  There’ll come a day when she won’t be and we’ll have to say goodbye.  I’ll miss her so much and her furry little face sleeping next to mine.  My sweet, little Quigley.

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About Chris

These are the pieces of my life and those that make it worth living
This entry was posted in Cat tales, Me, Uncategorized, Woe is me and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to A picture of me without you

  1. joannesher says:

    Oh, so sad. Kitties are SO special. Praying for Quigley and the family. Such a sweet tribute.

  2. cathifinch says:

    We had a cat, Ivan, similarly colored as your Quigley. He was born to a rather “different” ranch cat with two others siblings. He was a bona fide, happy ranch cat until audacious Henry came home with oldest daughter from community college. Both Ivan and Henry were nuetered and the two became total friends and companions. I still do not understand how this friendship evolved. But it did. Ivan was a quiet cat, like most cowboys are, and patient. Henry was a “wild card” who led the way. Eventually, Ivan came into the house to stay with Henry, but each day, they’d go outside for adventures and return in the afternoons. Henry died a young age and Ivan mourned the loss for more than a year. He’d search the house, go outside to the old haunts and look for Henry. I think Ivan searched for Henry until he, too, died, but of old age. A wonderful feline who considered us his benevolent “people”… Your Quigley loves his “people”, too.

    • Melissa says:

      So touching! I cried reading this. I lost both of my cats at the ages of 11 and 12 exactly 1 year apart and I still miss them terribly!! I hope that she goes peacefully!

      • Chris says:

        Thanks for reading Melissa and your kind words 🙂 I cried writing it and getting it out was kind of a cathartic experience. Now I can just focus on keeping her happy. Hope you stop by again.

    • Chris says:

      What a cute story! Thanks for sharing it and thanks for reading. I do wonder how Scout will do without his little buddy around to rub under his chin. We all love her and she loves us back indeed.

  3. Brian says:

    What a beautiful tribute to your furry family member! I love how you saved her from the little brats all those years ago. You have been blessed to have her in your lives, but she has also been very blessed to have you in hers. So many animals are mistreated or never know what it means to be loved. Thanks to you, Quigley was one of the lucky ones!

  4. Chris says:

    Thanks Brian! I woke up the other night at 4am and her face wasn’t next to mine. It freaked me out. I thought she was gone. But she was just sleeping on the bathroom rug. Maybe she was just getting a head start on watching me get ready 😉 I’m really gonna miss her

  5. Shannon says:

    Chris.. I stopped to read this post and it reminded me of our Bridgie Girl, our dog we lost a few months ago. She was about the same age as your sweet girl. They find a place in your life and it’s hard to believe they won’t be there anymore. From experience, it will be hard, a rawhide bone made me cry in Target at Christmas:) but I think that means we did our job loving them while we had them in our lives…they were our first babies… Huge hugs as you go thru this with her. I can tell thru your writing how much you love her. Shannon

    • Chris says:

      Thanks Shannon! And thanks for commenting. As I type this, her fuzzy little chin is resting on my wrist making it virtually impossible to hit the keys I want. Which is funny and makes me laugh through the tears that come from re-reading this.

      There is a connection that all of us pet owners have together and an understanding we gain when we lose our special friends. It isn’t ever easy but I guess knowing that they were happy and loved while they were alive helps. Or I hope it does. I hope your heart has healed as much as it can from losing your Bridgie Girl. Hopefully with time, the pain can be replaced with the happy memories you cherished with her ♥

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