Sunday, January 6, 2013

Our little kitty

Yesterday was a very sad day. Our little kitty, China, who was barely 5.1 pounds, went to heaven. We are missing her terribly.
Our little China kitty.
This little kitty had a will of steel, the courage of animals 10 times her size, and the most even-keeled disposition of anything or anyone you'd ever meet. She just wasn't afforded a strong enough body to match her exceptional and determined character.

China found her way to our house from the far end of the neighborhood. Over the course of several weeks, while walking our two big dogs, we'd see this stray little skinny calico escape into the bushes as a big, curious Husky dog charged to investigate this "cat-thing." Making her way down the street in the dead of winter, this cold, undernourished (and most likely abandoned) kitty completed her homeward search at our house. Having two big dogs, I was concerned about keeping a little cat, too. In true "China style," however, she easily charmed her way into my husband Larry's heart, and then won me over by exhibiting her mouse-killing skills and fearless tolerance of Yuki, our Husky dog. The rest, as they say, is history. She became part of our family and Larry named her after the Grateful Dead song, China Cat Sunflower.
One little kitty and two big dogs.
China didn't get a fair shake from life but hope she knew she was loved and always number one with us. We initially thought she was deaf, only to find out she had a build-up in her ears from being out in the cold, wet winter weather. They luckily found and removed some internal anomaly when she was spayed, and she took medicine for a chronic runny nose. In spite of all this, she was such a sweet little cat with a bad-ass determination and tough-broad spirit.

She found hide-aways and little niches in the house to curl up and sleep—the top of the sofa, on a sunny window sill, under the dining room chairs, in the middle of the shamrock potted plant, behind my drafting table next to the heating vent. She slept soundly and sometimes you'd have to make two sweeps through the house to find her. She didn't meow—possibly due to her hearing disorder early in life—and a note in her chart at the vet indicated "cat chirps." She was a special kitty!
A year ago in December, she lost weight and got down to less than 5 pounds. She couldn't eat because a cancer attacked her digestive and intestinal tract. She was a very sick little kitty then. Doctors did not give her favorable odds, but we were responsible for this sweet kitty that warmed our hearts and home and did not give up on her. China slowly rallied after an operation and managed to fill out to 5.6 pounds. She had a great summer and we got another full year with our baby kitty—beating a timetable that the doctor allotted. If our love and her will power could have made her well and cancer-free, she'd have another 8 lives. 

China liked to go outside and occasionally went "visiting" to places unknown. If she wanted food [hot roasted chicken from Bi-Lo was a favorite; and after all she went through, we gave her whatever kind of food she would eat], she'd find me and paw my pant leg or my hair until I got up and followed her, stopping periodically to check that I was still behind her. Her favorite spot of all, however, was on Larry's shoulder. They had a special kitty-daddy bond. We know that she is now with her big dog brother, Carbon, waiting at the Rainbow Bridge until we all meet again. We love you and we miss you, little China! 
Larry and his China Cat.
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