Yesterday, I lost a love in my life and one of my best friends.
Her name was Jinx - but we never called her that. She was our Binky. Our BinkaBoo, a sweet and loving little six month old kitten. She was beautiful inside and out. There was nothing and no one that could deter her from sharing her love and sunshine each and every day. She attempted to win over any stranger that came into our home and while my older cat, Milo, loathed her at first, she wooed him and they became the closest of friends. She showed up on my doorstop late one evening in July, terrified and mewling. I hunted her down through my neighbor's yard and grabbed her gently - she snarled and bit through my index finger. That was the last time she was ever aggressive. Scared and anxious, we kept her in a large hamper for a few days to adjust to indoor life .. she was only four or five weeks old at the time and had a fiesty little personality.
We fell so in love with her.
Over the months, she grew into a beautiful young feline, with bright golden eyes and a beautiful deep brown coat. She loved to play and would often ask us to play fetch with us for hours on end. When you walked in the door, she'd come running and begin to paw and claw at your leg - sometimes, she'd even leap up to my chest, so excited to have her Mama home.
I once tossed out a little cheap toy whale that my S.O. had won for me at a fair as she watched me - she had none of it! Binky sauntered on over, climbed into the trashcan and pulled the little whale out. "Mama, no! This is mine," she seemed to say, and it was her closest friend from that moment on. Very creatively, we named it Whale. If you asked her, "Where's Whale?!" she'd perk up and go to find him to bring her to us. She was amazing.
One day, when she was four months old, she began to have an awful time balancing her little legs and she'd fall over every couple of steps. Her coordination was completely off but her zest for life was alive and well and she'd still chase after her brother (Milo, our older cat) and play with her toys. Our vet told us that perhaps it was vestibular disease and that it would go away in a couple of weeks. And it did!
We were so happy. We thought, thank you, Lord, for healing our sweet baby. We thought we'd have ten more years with her, maybe more!
Life isn't always fair .. the day before Christmas Eve, Binky began to limp around. We thought that maybe she'd been stepped on, as she loved to weave through our legs as we walked, or maybe she'd hurt herself. She leapt onto my leg as usual and began to tremble violently as she tried to hold herself up. I was in shock, and worried. She had never shaken before. Over the course of the next day, it got worse. My sweet baby began to limp around more regularly, shaking as she did so, as if she was losing control of her muscles, as if it was unbearable to walk .. but being my tough little cookie, she still went where she wanted to go, when she wanted to go! As I wrapped gifts on Christmas Eve, she simply watched .. my normal little Binky would have been ALL over that wrapping paper!
The next day, on Christmas, my significant other and I canceled our plans to stay with her. We relaxed with her, kept her warm, fed her regularly (from the palm of our hands .. she was having trouble getting up at that point) and helped her to her litterbox. It was a difficult Christmas. She didn't even have the energy to play with the toys from her stocking.
On the day after Christmas, I realized something was terribly, horribly wrong. She could not even pull herself up and there was a sadness in her eyes. I was heartbroken - she was hurting, not getting any better and she no longer wanted anything to do with her brother or her toys .. except for her best friend, Whale (pictured). I took her to the vet (a new vet .. our usual vet of 30 years, I found out, was very ill and hospitalized, so we were referred to this new place) and he knew immediately that it was neurological. My heart sank. I began to cry. I knew what it meant.
My little Binky was dying. We had blood tests and x-rays done to rule out any treatable diseases, but by the 28th, we knew there was little hope. She was so sad, so listless, that an MRI was out of the question .. she began to drift into waves of deep sleep that mimicked death, and her eyes would glaze over when you would try to get her attention. That morning, as I lay on the floor with her, I stroked her sweet face and I focused her eyes on me. I saw it then. "Please, Mama. Please .." I knew it was time. My heart was shattered. I love her so dearly, so much, I thought we had so much time together ahead of us .. I was terrified to make the call, but our little sunshine was running out of light and she deserved more than existing.
We took her to the vet, and he confirmed that she was getting worse - her front legs began to seize up. He suspected a continuous seizure - it explained the eye rolling, the tremors, the tenseness in her legs and her inability to stand upright or even sit up. She was suffering.
I kissed my sweet baby so many times I could not even begin to count .. I told her I loved her, over and over, and how sorry I was .. I wish I could have helped her, I wish I could have saved her .. I told her how much she meant, how blessed I was to have her in the short time that I did ..
.. and I told her thank you. Thank you for all of the beautiful moments. Thank you for coming into my life when the world seemed so dark and hopeless. Thank you for making me laugh, for cheering me up, for being my best friend. Five months had never meant more to me in my life.
As I walked out the door, it hit me that I would never see her again. My mother held onto me as I sobbed - my S.O. stayed back to comfort Binky into her last moments .. she gave him a kiss on his nose just before she passed on. A "thank you". An "I love you". She went peacefully. I felt it in my heart - and the moment she left this world, I felt it in my soul and my tears stopped. My sweet angel was no longer suffering. She was now frolicking with healthy, functioning legs, bounding around the beautiful lush, green meadows, waiting for me to one day join her to cross the "Rainbow Bridge".
My home feels so empty. My heart hurts so much. I miss her terribly, but I feel so blessed to have had my sweet, wonderful kitten for the short time that I did. The vet said that she was likely born with a neurological disorder, something for which a treatment was not known and there was nothing more to do. She came to my doorstep, helpless, lonely and scared. She left knowing that the few months she had left on Earth were full of happiness, love, fun and joy. She left knowing that four people and one cat in our family loved her very, very much - she had a warm home, tasty food, fun times and I would do it all over again.
The last two pictures were of her and I on her last day.
Binkaboo, I miss you so much. I can't wait to see you again and I love you so much. Thank you for blessing my life and my family.
You're a real angel now.
Binky -- June '12 - December 28th '12