“Toni sadly announces the death of her beloved cat Lonely on January 4th, 2008. She will be dearly missed by Toni and her family.
Lonely was first given to me by Michael in Spring of 1993 when she was only 7 weeks old and we lived in a small basement apartment in Ferndale. The picture of her with the red carpet is our only image of Lonely as a kitten. As I was in between jobs at the time, I was spending a lot of time by myself and wished for a cat to keep me company. Early on the kitten would cry whenever I left the room, even if she could still see me. I had to place her on a shelf in the bathroom even to bathe, just to keep her from crying out. Because we cured each others lonliness, she became Lonely.
Being a normal kitten, she escaped once from the basement apartment and was gone for over 24 hours. I was quite upset but very relieved to find a scared, dirty, wide-eyed Lonely who never ventured that far out again! I also have a memory of waking up with her head half way in my mouth while I was sleeping – strange kitty at times!
After a year, within a single week in August she was spayed, joined with a pitbull-chow puppy, and moved across the state in a hot car, to her new home in Kalamazoo. Lonely, as many knew her to be, was a grumpy girl. During the car ride she was kept in a cardboard animal carrier which was too hot for her to take so she clawed her way out. Since I didn’t have A/C and fearing she would jump from the car, I rolled up the windows…and there we roasted together for the remainder of the long haul. Her crawling, warbling unhappiness and my half panic that she’d cause me to drive the car off the road or something. When we arrived at the new apartment I put her in an empty room by herself while we moved our stuff in, but when I went to let her out, she couldn’t be found! Again, my panic set in that I’d somehow lost her, only to find out that she’d crawled up inside the dresser that had come with the apartment, and was quite content to sleep there.
As the years went by, Michael took great care of Lonely and was the only one she’d let groom her. Other pets entered and exited our lives, but she remained constant, growing ever more grumpy by the day. And we loved her all the more.
When Michael and I seperated, Lonely moved with me three times over 5 years, enduring roommates and their pets. In her final home, she grew to love Raven and would purr loudly when she slept on him. I also loved it when she would walk up on me and rest on my hip.
She had what we called “”thunder paws”” because even though she weighed only 13 lbs, her paws would press with the might of a lion with each step. She also developed the habit of nudging with her nose when ever she wanted to be pet. That was precious. And she was most definately the kind of kitty who told *you* when she wanted love, and when she wanted to be left alone. We started to call her “”shrimp kitty”” because she had the peculiar habit of lying on her side, legs streched out, with her front paws curled in over her face when she slept. She loved to lay in a sunbeam and soak up the heat.
As my alergies grew worse..yes I was alergic to her, while even acquiring 2 other kitties (Da Vinci & Scamper), I had to ban all kitties from my bedroom so that I could breathe at night. After years of cuddling up next to me to sleep, she would paw half the night at my door. It absolutely broke my heart not to be able to let her in as she grew up sleeping with me. It breaks my heart to this day.
Just after Thanksgiving 07 we noticed she was losing weight. After a round of antibiotics she was still losing weight, but strangely getting rounder. Things quickly deteriorated and within a week she was not eating, drinking or barely walking on her own. After xrays and an ultrasound the vet broke the terrible news that Lonely had feline cancer that had rapidly taken over most of her body. Lonely hated the vets office and hated the car ride and hated her cat carrier. I decided to bring her home to die in peace, comfort and with those who loved her surrounding her. Raven and I kept watch over her 24/7 for the next few days as friends and former roommates stopped by to say their goodbyes and share memories of her. I truly appreciated their visits. It was important to me that her passing be loving. Over the past several years I had known the day would come when I had to say goodbye to Lonely, and would cry and hold her close each time, trying to hold tight to those moments I had left. I’m glad I did.
I can’t thank the folks at the funeral home enough for their assitance, thoughtfulness and understanding. It made the experience better than I could have hoped.
I invite you to share your memories and photos of Lonely.