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Last Thursday Barbie left...

On Thursdays I work in the kitten trailer which has also become our geriatric ward and then the new aids trailer where there are almost thirty kitties with aids.
This is where Barbie Doll lived her life for the past six years.
She was found as a stray that was badly beaten up by other kitties and diagnosed with feline aids as soon as the initial blood tests were in.
I've seen pictures of her at work where she was a normal looking cute small kitty.
Bad male kitties who weren't fixed and abandoned at some point must have beaten her up.
The most common way feline aids is transfered is unfixed male kitties fighting for territory.
I met her when I first started volunteering and fell in love with her though I didn't work in that area regularly until the last couple of years.







Barbie loved attention from peoples and would climb all over you if you let her.
She'd often be at my head level playing with my braids for attention and more pets.
She was loved by lots and lots of cat ladies and is one of the ones everyone wants to talk about.
She was scraggly and only had a little stump of a tail by the time I met her.
Her fur alternated from soft and lovely to falling out and ringwormy on a regular basis, she had hardly any teeths and had gum issues as well.
She loved to sit in the sun or in a nice cozy hidden place and snooze.
It was often difficult to find her as she'd cuddle up, hide and sleep.
Then some times she would come bounding out of nowhere full of shit and vinegar demanding attention and whatever else you had going.
I was one of many adoring fans of Barbie.
On Thursdays the new aids area is one of the areas that I really focus on super cleaning and finding special treats for these guys.
Aids isn't a death sentence for kitties, it's a lot like people aids but those that it does ravage it ravages severely and cruelly.
Barbie wasn't a fighter of other kitties but she fought this thing hard and bravely.



Last Thursday I went into work expecting a fairly easy day with hard work and loves to pass the time quickly.
I was looking forward to Mya and Chloe visiting as Dan was picking them up at ten thirty at the ferry terminal.
I'd see them as soon as I got home from work. xD

Breezed through the kitten trailer with about fifteen minutes to spare so I spent time giving treats to the oldies then went and played with the kittens.
Had my coffee break and was ready to take on the new aids trailer with a smile on my face.
I initially noted Barbie hiding in a cat tree when I did my head check upon entering.
She ate a few treats, accepted snuggles but didn't want to come out.
So I cleaned, moved furniture, shook out bedding and changed accordingly (no one else does this, it's always the same bedding I've put down the week before :/) scrubbed, wiped, mopped walls & floors, dried everything off and proceed to scoop shit which I saved for last because that's the yuckiest but bestest time.
That's when I sit on the floor and they come to me and I can give them love back with my left hand and lap.:)

Barbie crawled out of her space in the cat tree and demanded my attention.
Immediately I could tell she was done.
Her furs was almost all gone and she was incredibly much thinner than she was the week before when I thought she couldn't get any thinner.
She wasn't breathing right and the trip from the cat tree to me was painful for me to watch.
The litters were scooped quickly and I tended to her more than paid attention to them.
There is a little heater on the floor that we sat in front of because she was so cold.
All the other cats kept coming to see what was going on, they'd demand a bit of attention then back off and look at us with big eyes.
Barbie was dying and I was holding her and all I could think was please die quickly and don't die.
All I could tell her was that she was a good girl.
I tried not to cry but failed at times.
I talked about the times she used to do my hair and joked with her.
I sang songs and talked to the other kitties who were all watching.
Leslie finally arrived and brought some special food that Barbie was not interested in.
Leslie can't take her to the vets right away as she's not in pain just slowly fading and there are eight hundred and ninety nine or so other kitties to tend to.
She's not sure but she thinks Gay can come in early (three and it's just around noon) and take her in if she doesnt' pass already.

At some point during all of this I get the phone call from Dan and Mya at the mall and have to brush them off because I'm holding a dying kitty and Leslie hasn't arrived yet.

When Leslie leaves she sets the special food down beside us.
Benji who is a very fat snuffly orange kitty instantly goes for it.
He gets a couple of gulps down as I say no Benjamin.
He stops and looks at me because he's a good boy.
He then proceeds to crawl on my lap with Barbie and snuggle us both while he licks her.

On the outside I'm there and finding a cat bed of the snuggliest best to put in front of the heater, on the inside I'm crying for Barbie and desperately wanting my daughter and granddaughter.
I put Barbie in the bed, push Benji off and he gets in the bed with her.
I tell him to look after her and love her and he starts snugging and licking.
I stay with them for a while then I fly off to attend to my other daily kitty duties (back courtyard Travis friends & Jeremy Land).
I return before I leave and Benji is still there with her loving her up.
He hasn't touched her food since I told him not to.
In fact another kitty or two came and ate most of it while we were all snuggling.

Dan arrives and I must go see my family with regret and relief.
If Mya and Chloe hadn't of been in town there would have been no question in my mind about staying with Barbie until she went to the vet.
I would have stayed until she passed if they didn't take her.
I don't care if it was midnight that night I would have stayed.
But my heart was torn in a way it had never been torn before.
I know now where my heart stands.
It hurt but I think it was ok.
Barbie seemed just fine being loved by Benji and purred as softly as she did with me snuggling her.
When Debbie called me later to tell me that they had taken her to the vets she said that Benjamin was still sitting with Barbie when they took her.
He helped me make that decision, I don't know what I would have done if I'd have thought I was leaving her alone.





Benji and Barbie as I left them.

These guys could not take their eyes off of the show while this was all going on.

From top left clock wise, Liam, Frankie, Riley and Randy.
Riley Grey is my beloved passed away Boo's brother and usually fights with Benjamin over my lap while I scoop.
He's soft and loves me up big time but isn't always so nice to the other kitties, he's had to fight for stuff in life as he started out on an industrial site.
He didn't pay much attention to me until after his brother died and I had a big Boo sized gap in my heart.
The rest of the gang are all shy guys you have to warm up a bit before you get a good snuggle purr reaction.
Randy though moves really fast towards you if you have a brush in hand.

I'm working in this trailer tomorrow and that's always hard after someone passes especially someone like Barbie.
I am so spoiling the shit out of Benjamin.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
joeymichaels
Feb. 4th, 2010 01:18 am (UTC)
Poor Barbie - but good kitty, Benjamin. Extra treats and kitty scratches for him!
sharya
Feb. 4th, 2010 06:18 am (UTC)
What a wonderful Kitty Benji is! I'm so glad he was with her in the end.
wellnowyouknow
Feb. 9th, 2010 11:16 pm (UTC)
That made me sad and smile at the same time.
What a great story.
Thanks for posting it.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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