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Saying goodbye

Beautiful day at the farmette. Definitely the feel of fall in the air.

We had to have our Lily put down this morning, so I'm going to do a little tribute to a cat that was by turns sickly, recalcitrant, athletic, sucky and the most fiercely independent of all the felines we've ever had.

Rob likes to say Lily's the cat who walks by herself. She was not very healthy from the day we brought her home from the vet in Guelph. She was a shelter cat living at the clinic so more people would see/possibly adopt her. Shelby was her shelter name, and she had been on the 'shelf' for quite a while. Nobody seemed to want the wee brown tabby with the perfect markings. But Rob did. At the time in 2004, we had had Nick and Nora Charles for just over a year, but things just didn't seem right....the family wasn't complete.

So, we took home the eight-month-old, and almost immediately things went south. She reacted badly to the vaccines she was given, and we nearly lost her there and then. Turns out she was allergic. Later in life, she'd be allergic to many things, including her own teeth!

But she was much more than just vet bills - although there were lots and lots of those.

She loved her 'condo' - a soft, collapsible cage that looked like a bunch of hockey goals strung together. She'd happily trot right into it in the summer time, and sit watching and sniffing the world for hours. Then, she'd sit patiently at the door waiting for the stupid humans to notice that she wanted back into the house.

She was a terrific leaper. When we lived in Guelph, she could take off from one of the stairs to the third floor and stick the landing on the newel post - every time.

My friend Pat got a taste of the Lily leap when she was cat-sitting for us. Lily sailed from the steps, right over Pat's head and onto the basement floor while she was bent over cleaning out the litter. Yikes.

She sounded like Lauren Bacall, with a low, raspy meow that told us and other cats that she meant business. She intimidated the shit out of everyone else - all seven pounds of her. Hobbes, who's triple her size, always gave her a wide, wide berth.

But when she wanted to be loved, she wanted to be loved. Usually when we were sitting at the table or on the toilet where we couldn't pick her up and cuddle her or something ridiculous like that. No, just lots of strong pets, and slight tail tugs, and she became filet of girl, marking us, the vanity, the door frame and purring the whole time.

Over the years, she dodged the grim reaper's scythe on at least three occasions - Dr. Melanie marvelled at how many times she came back. But on Friday, she really started to fail, stopped eating and drinking and couldn't control her bloody diarrhea.

So, after 15 years, we knew it was time. Lily was a character. We loved her. She added so much spirit to our lives. Good night wee girl.

Until next week.

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