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This page is dedicated to the memory of my own Chiki and Pickens, who I so dearly miss.
I've loved many pets in my life, most of them on the "About Me" page,
but these two hold a very special place in my heart.
If you've lost a pet, and are having a hard time, I hope you can find some comfort in some of these links:
The Story of The Rainbow Bridge
Pet Loss Support HotLine (Cornell University)
Chiki was born in September 1985 - I brought her home just before Christmas, where she hid out under the tree for five days. Once she learned to trust me, that was it, she was my own special kitty.
She went nameless for more than two weeks. She loved to chase me when I wore my socks with the little pom-poms on the heels - so I cut off all the pom-poms for her, and she very quickly learned to retrieve. It was amazing, we'd play fetch for almost an hour, before she'd get tired... Then one day, my husband-at-the-time came home from work with a frown on his face, but a twinkle in his eye, and he told me, "All day, I had a sore foot. I couldn't figure out what I did to myself to cause this pain. Then finally, at last coffee break, I took off my boot." ...and while he was talking, he took off his boot, dumped it upside down, and out rolled one of her pom-poms... "Oh, that is SO cheeky!", I said, and that was it - she was christened Chiki, with the spelling variation in honour of the Siamese I grew up with, Chi-Chi.
Chiki's first kitty best-friend was Thai...
...but her biggest kitty-love was Pickens.
Chiki was my "soul-sister", staying with me - and on me! - almost every minute I was home (when she wasn't on Pickens).
She'd sleep on my pillow, wrapped around my head... And we used to play this little game, where I'd go to sit on my lounge chair on the patio, and she'd jump onto the chair and hunker down before I reached it, with a gleam in her eye, as if to say, "Don't even THINK about it, 'cuz I'm not moving." So I'd slowly sit down anyway, pushing her out of the way with my butt, and she'd keep moving farther and farther back, til she'd start climbing up the back of the chair (or my back), and would end up at the top of the cushion. Then I'd settle back, and she'd settle in, wrapping herself around my neck, and we'd catch a snooze in the sun together...
When she was diagnosed with mammary cancer in January 2000, I prayed that we could have one more day together on the lounge chair in the sun. So when an unseasonably warm sunny morning dawned in February, I hauled the lounge chair out into the corner of the patio that got the hottest sun - I was in shorts and a tank top, it was so warm. We played one last game of "Who Gets The Chair", and had one more snooze in the sun. Chiki died a couple of weeks later. It was uncanny how we were given that perfect warm day, in February no less, to have our last sunny cuddle.
In Loving and Forever Memory of my most precious "fur-child", my Sneaky Chiki -
September 15, 1985, to February 23, 2000.
I will love her and miss her always.
One day in December 1987, I went into the pet shop in the mall, just to look around :-). There in the top of three cages stacked on top of each other, was this poor, forlorn Siamese kitten, YOWLING at the top of his little lungs, trying to hook everyone who passed by with his little claws through the rungs of the cage. He was all alone, while underneath him in two other cages, were two full litters of kittens around his age. I asked the staff why they couldn't put even one of the other kittens in with him, just to give him some company. They just shrugged.
I went home and told my husband-at-the-time about him, and so of course, the next day, we had to go and see if he'd found a home yet. He was still alone in the top cage, still trying to hook people as they walked by, and still trying to yowl, but by now, he'd yowled himself hoarse, and had no voice left. It was absolutely pathetic. I took him out of the cage to give him "just a little cuddle", he settled right into my arms, and that was it. Pickens was never alone again.
He was named Pickens because I thought we were lucky we had such "good pickens" to choose from, that day I found him in the pet shop... (I had no idea then just why he was the only Siamese left in his litter, but I soon found out...)
Pickens was like a faithful dog, and I loved him dearly - in spite of being woken up by his yowling at about 3 or 4am every single morning for almost 15 years! He didn't want anything, he just loved to hear the sound of his own voice - for an hour or so! I'm not kidding! I did not have one uninterrupted sleep for 15 years, except when I was away on vacation (and of course, when I was on vacation, I missed him). He could be such a brat - I called him my "bnoxious" one.
Pickens loved everyone - human, cat, or dog - and after Chiki died, in spite of his own very deep depression, he was like a benevolent uncle to the new kitten (Minx) that came into our home...
...and later, to the rambunctious new puppy (Kady).
Nothing fazed Pickens.
October 8, 1987 to August 20, 2002.
I'd give anything to be woken up at 3am by his yowling now.
One day in November 2006, I fell hard for an 8-month old "teenage" Seal-point Siamese, that was at the vet clinic I'd been working at part-time.
What's not to love? Mocha was an absolute goof, a total lover, with a sweet little voice and the most exquisite baby-blue eyes, who'd roll all over for a full-body-massage and head rub - and purr like mad the whole time. He had come in to the clinic because he had a puncture in his foot, and his 'owner' decided we may as well neuter him, give him all his vaccines (8 months old, and he'd never been vaccinated :-(, and treat his horrid case of ear mites. Luckily for me, he ended up staying an extra couple of days - it was during the wicked wind-storms we had that winter, and due to his owner's house flooding, he decided to leave Mocha at the clinic til his house was in order. So I got lots of time to love Mocha up, and we bonded immensely. I asked the girls up front to tell the owner, when he came to pick Mocha up, that I would love to kitty-sit him, next time he went away.
To make a long story short, when we called back a few days after Mocha's surgery to see how he was doing, the owner told us he was "for sale". Apparently "he was a really cute little kitten, but I never wanted a cat" (unaware that cats & puppies & kids do grow up, except for those that live in Never-Never-Land). Mocha had been fed dog-food (how rude) for his first 8 months of life, and was clearly under-appreciated and not loved the way he deserved. I was horrified, and quickly talked to C.A.R.E.S. cat shelter about taking him in - there was no doubt in my mind that Mocha would find his forever-home very quickly. He was a gem in a little cat uniform.
To make this long story longer :-) Mocha ended up living with my brother, Peter. It was a perfect match. Peter had a Seal-point Siamese a long time ago - and of course, we'd both grown up with Seal-point Siameses - but he'd been "cat-less" for many years, and was starting to feel that he had room in his home, and heart, for another cat. Mocha quickly won Peter over too, with his goofy antics. He was a klutz and a comedian, racing around the house and up the stairs, often tripping, but quickly catching himself and saying "I meant to do that". Because he had spent his whole life til then as an outdoor cat, and due to his incessant yowling to go outside (Siamese-lovers know the yowl I'm talking about), he was impossible to keep inside, and could not be converted to an "indoor cat".
So Mocha proceeded to win over the entire neighbourhood. He found another cat friend, Pippin, and they became best buddies, chasing and playing with each other like dogs.. He adopted the next-door neighbour, Barbara, who lovingly opened her own door and heart up to him - and her home became his "alternate home", when Peter was at work, and Mocha wanted human company. He found a second cat friend, and convinced his two new kitty-friends that both Peter and Barbara's places were great places for cats to hang around.
Mocha liked to steal other things, beside hearts. In addition to bringing Peter and Barbara birds, crickets, and even a salamander (live, of course - they're much more fun when they're alive!), he would bring home pieces of wood, and one day, he brought home - through his cat flap - an opened can of cat food, complete with a plastic lid on it. He dropped it at Peter's feet, as if to say, "HEY! Grab a fork! I brought lunch, and I'll SHARE!" It just added to Mocha's mystique to learn that the cat food did not come from Barbara. To this day, Peter doesn't know who he stole it from.
One morning at the end of August 2007, after an evening of typical Mocha-madness and goofiness racing around the house, Peter noticed Mocha wasn't doing well at all. I'll spare you the details. Mocha spent the next 5 days at the vet clinic, submitting gracefully to all sorts of indignities and tests and medications. I visited him twice a day, every day, and he clearly wasn't having any fun at all.
After all the tests, it was apparent that the only possible diagnosis was Feline Infectious Peritonitis. FIP is one of the most horrible of the kitty diseases - there is no effective vaccine against it, no definitive test for it, no cure, and it is always fatal. And once the symptoms show up, it is very quickly fatal. It is a relatively rare disease that most often strikes young cats under 2 years old, and is transmitted through cat feces - Mocha must have come across infected feces somewhere in his travels at some point in his life, and picked it up.
There was no question whether or not to let Mocha live out his days with this disease - there was no doubt that he was going to die, and we couldn't let him be uncomfortable or in pain - he deserved to die with dignity.
On September 1st, 2007, Mocha was humanely and kindly euthanized while I held him and told him how very, very special he was - and how very, very loved, by so many people. Coming to this decision is always the hardest decision an animal-lover can make - but ultimately, it is the most loving thing we can do for our pets who can't make that decision themselves.
He accumulated a lot of love in his final 9 months of life - making up time for his first 8 months - and he will be missed terribly.
Mocha Joe -
Thief of Hearts
March 2006 - September 1, 2007
Some of my Clients' beloved pets who have passed on, and are dearly missed:
Xena, 1998-March 2010...
Vesta, 1994-Oct.09; and Lucca, 1994-Mar.2010...
Blackberry and Strawberry (above)...
...and (below), Chestnut (far left), Cranberry (far right)
Napa and Fossy...
Max and Madeline
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Revised: February 8, 2018
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Cat's Cradle Critter Sitter provides pet sitting, dog walking, and home checks, in Cloverdale, White Rock, Surrey, North Delta, and Langley BC, Canada, and for the following postal codes: V3A,V3S,V4A,V4B,V4N,V4P,V4W,V1M,V2Y,V2Z,V4E,V4C,V3V,V3T,V3R,V3W,V3X.