Our Elk Grove Feral Cats Both Say Goodbye In 2019
Our Elk Grove feral cats both say goodbye in 2019. This photo shows both senior ladies sleeping happily together. Anyone who knows cats appreciate when they head butt each other and sweetly groom one another. These two were besties. Angel the cream-colored girl left us a few months ago; she was 18-20 years old, per the vets. Skittles was the brindle girl estimated 16 plus years of age.
They both slept on our covered deck with heating pads and heat lamps in winter and a swamp cooler and fans in the summer. My sister lives next door in my duplex. She had taken over the daily care of the girls as I work so much and the deck is just outside her patio slider door. She worried about these senior cats. We would go out at night with a flashlight calling them even in terrible weather. Anytime they didn’t come up for dinner we were out to try and find them.
Both Angel and Skittles had become quite friendly and allowed us to pet and brush them. We could even get them into portable kennels for vet appointments. My sis washed the blankets each week and gave them fresh food and water several times per day. She combed them every day and last year in the spring we had them shaved as they had so many matted hairballs. Their hair grew back nicely and they seemed much more comfortable over the summer. Little did we know then that our Elk Grove feral cats would be leaving us so soon.
These two elderly cats were beloved. They both enjoyed laying in the sunshine each day, even when that walk became hard for them to do. Common in elderly cats is a renal failure. We gave them fluids and did all humanly possible. Angel, we had to put down a few months ago and poor Skittles has been alone much of the time since. We think she was a bit confused sometimes, probably due to the stroke. She loved her food especially the wet food.
Our other feral rescue orange tabby cat Yoda also passed away earlier this year. He had hepatitis. I rescued him from a parking lot where his feral mother dropped him. He was screaming and only 2 weeks old, so tiny. I bottle fed him and he grew up to be a large beautiful boy. He was a great hunter. He disappeared one day as he was ill but he ate and took his pills every day up until then. I was walking the property one day and found his remains after a few months. We were relieved to know what happened to him. He was under a little tree by the pond where he had laid down. He was a strong boy and he loved living free on our five acres, he had a good life and even died his way, free on his property.
Yesterday, Skittles went missing and then she came back in the evening covered in mud. My sister gave her a bath and a blow-dry. Then today again Skittles was gone. My sister was so worried about her, wondering if she was lost out in the storm. I heard her outside my office window calling for Skittles after dark. She had her flashlight, so I went outside. I heard Cathie say, oh JaCi I found Skittles she is under the deck. I asked, is she ok? Cathy, my sis cried, ” no, I don’t think so.” I looked under the deck with the flashlight and Skittles was gone. Only her little body remained she looked so peaceful as though she had walked along and just laid down and went to sleep.
My brother in law had run to get Chinese and when he arrived home Cathie told him what had happened to Skittles. He went out in the storm to retrieve her body. We live in the country and have predators so he wasn’t leaving her outside. He picked her up and Cathie wrapped her in a nice blanket. She had gotten the fabric at the store to make new blankets for the animals. Greg put Skittles in a box in the garage and he will bury her tomorrow, next to Angel’s remains. These two old ladies are to be together again, side by side in our little pet cemetery, under the white birch trees.
Skittles had a stroke some months back and her hind end didn’t move for two days and then she began to wobbly stand. We almost put her down but we were concerned about how Angel would do alone so we thought to give them a few more days together. Miraculously, Skittles recovered and we were so delighted as poor Angel would have been alone. Angel had outlived all her other feral companions as several had found their way here and then passed away over the years. Skittles stayed the longest, with our sweet Angel.
I have a picture on my wall of Angel. I pass by her every day and am so grateful for the last 6 years I had with her. When I bought this place the previous owners said she had been here for over 10 years. They warned me to not feed her or she would stay? I said but she has been here for 10 years. Of course, I started feeding her day one. She was so wild and would run at the sight of me and skittles ran too. That all was to change over time.
These old girls grew to trust us. My sister and brother in law didn’t even like cats before living here and Cathy is allergic. They moved here two years ago and both became big cat fans. They both cried about these cats passing. Loving tears for our girls. Cathie wears a mask and cleans cat boxes and feeds every day, as we have 8 other cats. Yes, call us the crazy cat ladies.
Our deck outside will seem a bit empty without our Elk Grove feral cats that said goodbye in 2019. I have no doubt that more ferals will show up here someday and we will always happily have space for cats that decide to adopt us.
— JaCi Wallace