Saying Goodbye To Rosy

Dr. Katherine Dobbs says goodbye to her beloved cat Rosy.

Katherine's cat Rosy, seen here perched at the window, died last weekend at the age of 14.

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FoxyKats Scarlet Rose was her full registered name, but around here for the last 14 ½ years she’s just been Rosy. A mere whisper of a cat at no more than 8 pounds, she was always a force to be reckoned with, whether it was at the vet (often my place of employment) where she turned into one of those “but she never acts like that at home!” cats, to here at home, where her constant need for affection wouldn’t let her even settle down on a lap…always flipping, flopping, wanting to be the center of attention.

Sure, she had a few unlikeable qualities, such as drooling while she purred the minute you picked her up and put her in her favorite spot or on the shoulder of a friend. She would sneak up on the bathroom counter during my morning routine and steal my make-up brushes. She also had this obsession with chewing on paper…and the more important the paper, the more she wanted to chew it! I have no doubt that we will continue to find chewed on envelopes, corners of book covers, random paperwork lying around the office for years to come. She even chewed on the last ribbon she won in the show ring; her career was short at just 10 months, due to her disqualification for being nasty to the judges. Apparently it’s difficult to judge a red Somali when she is hissing and spitting at you!

Our dear sweet Rosy, who has been in hospice for suspected GI infiltrative lymphoma for all of 2012, who has filled our home with her presence since January 27, 1998, said goodbye to us on Saturday, Aug. 4. She did really well for a long period of time, and we are grateful for the time given to us by the care of Valarie Hajek-Adams, CVT, and the Healing Heart Pet Hospice. The prednisolone seemed to put the cancer in remission and we treated symptoms as needed with Cerenia. We were limited somewhat due to the fact that Rosy hated any oral meds, and I refused to put her through that torture. Injections, however, didn’t faze her in the least; as long as she was being held on someone’s shoulder, she didn’t even flinch.

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She moved onto canned food some time ago, but her appetite was good, she was well hydrated and, most importantly, she was herself, had her own personality intact up until just a week ago, when her appetite took a dive and she stopped drinking water. When she stopped talking, stopped purring, and didn’t want to be held, we knew it was time. She was “prowling,” looking for a quiet spot to let nature run its course…but of course, we wanted to make the passing smooth and painless, and Valarie her hospice nurse helped us through.

While working in an internal medicine and critical care practice, I “companioned” many families through terminal illness. We all know what it’s like to be asked, “How will I know it’s time?”

The answer that my heart knew was true was simple, “You will know when it’s time; you’ll see it in their eyes, they will be tired of the fight, they will ask you to let them go.” I knew this from the countless clients and patients I had known throughout the years, but this was the first time for me that I went through this journey with my own pet. In fact, Rosy was the first cat I’d had from kittenhood into geriatric transition…and Rosy let me know that all those years, I was right…at one point during the holding, loving, and crying, she looked at me and her eyes said, clearly, “I am ready to go; it’s time to say goodbye.”

Goodbye, Rosy, my sweet little foxy cat…and while you wait at the Rainbow Bridge, I hope there are make-up brushes for you to fetch!

The Rainbow Bridge
Inspired by a Norse legend

By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,
Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.
Where the friends of man and woman do run,
When their time on earth is over and done.
For here, between this world and the next,
Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
On this golden land, they wait and they play,
Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.
No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,
For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,
Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.
They romp through the grass, without even a care,
Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.
All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,
Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.
For just at that instant, their eyes have met;
Together again, both person and pet.
So they run to each other, these friends from long past,
The time of their parting is over at last.
The sadness they felt while they were apart,
Has turned into joy once more in each heart.
They embrace with a love that will last forever,
And then, side-by-side, they cross over… together.

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