April 1991 - 11 March 2010:
It's only now that I can bring myself to write about the loss of our beloved Beatrice even though it's well over a month since she died. We had known it was coming for a long time - she was almost 19 years old and had advanced kidney disease. In the end, she just stopped eating and drinking and slept deeply on her favourite chair (which had been my favourite before she claimed it!), just occasionally stirring to change her position. At about 7pm on the final evening she suddenly lifted her head and there was a strange little tremor. This happened another 3 or 4 times. And then, she just stopped breathing. We were so relieved that we hadn't had to take her to the vet to be put to sleep - she always hated going there.
I'm certain Bea was becoming more and more human - perhaps that's what happens when a cat has spent so long in the company of human beings - and I don't think I'd have been all that surprised if she'd suddenly spoken to us - I always felt she was trying to!! The house has been eerily quiet without her. It's only now that I realise how much the presence of that small creature filled our home. Attending to her needs was always my very first job of the day. It had to be - because of a thyroid condition she had an extremely loud voice and we wouldn't get any peace til she'd had her brekky! But she didn't always communicate in such a noisy way. She would often sit on the arm of my chair, or on the table if I was at the pc, and tap and stroke my face with her paw - always being really careful to keep her claws in. She and her sister were the gentlest cats I've ever known. During their long lives they never scratched or bit us even when we struggled to get tablets down them which they hated.
We lost her sister Mabel in 2007 at the age of 16 (see this entry http://not-alone.livejournal.com/63768.html#cutid1). So now we are catless and that is how it will remain because they were completely irreplaceable. Bea never really got along with Mabel - I think she wanted us all to herself. But now they're together again - underneath the flowering cherry tree in the garden. We will always miss them.
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