Chicklet, 1994–2007

I regret having to report that Chicklet died at 10:05 Thursday morning at home, with both of us beside her. She had been ill for a while but that last night was the first she seemed to suffer. We set up the air mattress so she could sleep between us once again (but stay near the floor). At 3 AM she got up to visit her favorite hiding place in the closet. Later in the morning she moved next to the radiator and I gave her some water. We just got off the phone with the vet's office (scheduling her final appointment) when she cried out, had a tiny seizure, and passed. A diva to the end.

Please enjoy this collection of photos, and leave your thoughts below. Chicklet (aka Kitty) came to live with us in 2000 – Art's first year of med school. She previously belonged to Art's brother's family, so we have some baby pictures too. In student housing, she enjoyed her perch atop the air conditioner vents, looking out the 28th floor window at the Whitestone Bridge and the landing planes at LGA.

She moved with us to Yates Ave, and although she missed the air conditioning, she appreciated the deeper closets and the wider variety of furniture on which to sit. She traveled with us when possible, as much as six hours away by car. She loved sitting on the shelf beneath the car's rear window, relishing the attention from passing travelers. When she couldn't travel with us, she was watched over by a pack of caring friends, who she often tricked into giving more than her usual serving of food. Although some may think of us as jet-setters, we're actually well-traveled homebodies. Usually upon boarding a plane for some exciting destination, our first thought would be “I miss Kitty.”

Kitty was always… er… big-boned. We tried restricting her diet, but she just became less active. A year or two ago, she started showing signs of kidney disease in her blood. (Most cats will get this, if they live long enough.) We switched her to specially-formulated food, and eventually added some daily medicines. Shortly after Thanksgiving this year, she began behaving strangely, and her vitality noticeably deteriorated.

She spent four full days in the kitty hospital the week of December 3rd, on intravenous fluids and medications. On returning she was more responsive, although she looked pitiful with her shaved forearms. For the next 5 or 6 days, we tried nursing her back to health with subcutaneous fluids, and cajoling her to eat with syringes and baby food. It was a difficult time, but we were glad to have her back and she clearly enjoyed the attention from us. We thought that if she could resume eating, she'd last weeks or maybe months. Then, everything changed Wednesday night; suddenly, she was clearly very ill and suffering. We're glad this stage did not last long.

For seven years, Chicklet was an integral part of our lives and our relationship. We'll miss you, baby.

©20022015 Christopher League