RIP, Little Buddy
1994? — 05/30/2010
No, that's just a look-alike
It breaks our hearts to announce to all the friends of La Casa de Los Gatos that the last of our beloved feral kitties, Domino, left us today around 2:30 pm.
Domino came to the House Upon The Hill in 1996, with his sister, Simona. He was black from nose to tail with three white spots on his belly — thus the name — and the most beautiful golden eyes.
Domino was a wary feral. No one could get close enough to pet or stroke him. He came here to live because where he lived previously, he was being fed by a nice man with a horrid little bitch of a wife. She apparently had a thing about cats, and kept threatening to call animal control on them. When he wasn't around, she would throw things at them and kick them. We're still amazed that she didn't just poison the food he put out for them.
In the event, in the interest of preserving his life and health, some kind soul kitteh-napped him and Simona and we drove them to The House Upon The Hill, wherein they were entrapped for the requisite 12 weeks that it takes for the average cat to transfer its attachment to a new home.
Being feral, Domino hated being indoors, and cried (in tiny squeaks — for a long time we thought he was mute); and whenever a hoomin approached he would rush to hide or try to fling himself out of the nearest window. In fact, he would hurt himself trying to escape.
Eventually, we gave up and let him out of the house, and he was very happy to live in our crawl space and on the hill, and eventually adopted our neighbours as co-parents.
Domino had tested FIV+, and we knew we were taking a risk adopting him, with two older cats in the house. Little did we know that, a year or two later, we would end up with seven other cats and a dog. All rescues, all needing immediate assistance. But Domino (and Simona) were happy to live up on the hill, and required very little from us except regular food and clean water. They didn't want to be petted or held or even touched. They certainly didn't want vet visits. Try as we might, we never managed to capture them long enough to take them to the vet, except on three occasions.
Yesterday was the third visit to the vet, for Domino, since Simona had long since left us. We noticed that Domino, who had always been very healthy, appeared to have a cold and was weak and shaky. Last night when we managed to capture him, it was obvious that he was very dehydrated. His beautiful golden eyes were watering terribly, and his nose was blocked and stuffy. He was coughing and sneezing and could barely hold his head up.
We rushed him to the emergency care clinic our vet runs. They did everything they could. But it wasn't enough. They called us today and asked us to come down right away. We found our beloved little free spirit locked in a hideous metal cage, surrounded by barking dogs and busy people. We knew we couldn't leave him there. He could hardly lift his head.
So we took him outside into the little back garden of the clinic, where the grass grows tall and the sun shines down on flowering camellias. There, among the butterflies and birds, and the small life of every garden, we said goodbye to our beloved boy. He was so happy to be outside in the fresh air and sunshine that he almost got away from us. A sudden resurgence of energy brought him to his feet and he struggled against our restraining hands and arms until we talked him down, calming him, stroking him, petting him. He was struggling to draw each breath. It was obvious that he was suffering, and we made the hard decision all of us who love our little fourfoot companions must make. We couldn't bear for him to suffer.
Domino's Rainbow Bridge
He's in our garden now — his garden, really — in a patch of sunshine under the oak. Perhaps we'll put a white rose on his grave, or a fruiting tree. No more suffering, no more pain.
Good night, sweet prince! And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. Stumble It!