Sunday, June 06, 2010

Dale R.I.P. - July 24, 1992 to June 4, 2010

Dale passed away quietly on Friday morning. He has been part of my life for close to 18 years. No need to say that I will miss him dearly.

I remember going to pick him and his sister, Chip, out. He was the eldest of a litter of four. The first time I saw him, his eyes were not open, yet, but I immediately fell in love with this kitten. Two weeks later when we went to see the kittens again, his eyes were open and I saw two shiny green beads staring at me. He came straight to me and meowed at me with his tiny voice. I picked him up and he fell asleep in my hands. His ears were still round shaped so that he looked like a little black bear. I was hooked. I knew he was going to be my cat.

Chip left us first in 2004 at the age of 12, shortly after our move to Reinach. Dale had always been the strong, healthy one, but a couple of years ago, I noticed that his coat was getting felted and he was often quite agressive. We brought him to the vets to get him combed (Dale would NOT let us comb him) and have him checked. As a matter of fact, Dr. Buser (our vet) had to sedate him in order to groom him. That's when we found out that Dale suffered a) from spondilytis and b) of hyperthyroidism which, at that age, is often linked with kidney problems. Both conditions could however be kept under control with the help of medication.

In the past few months, his hind leg muscles started to deteriorate faster and he seemed to have more pain, so we increased his pain killers. As of last week, he could no longer jump on the sofa or on the bed, and was eating less and less, thus not taking in much of his medication. Last Wednesday when I came home from work, Dale came to greet me, meowing as ususal, but then as he walked towards me, his hind legs failed twice on a distance of about 15 feet. I knew that was it, so I called Dr. Buser on Thursday and got an appointment for the Friday morning.

I decided to spend my last night sleepingon on the couch to be closer to him. In the morning, I fed him, but he wasn't really hungry. He went outside any layed in the sun, soaking up the warm rays. When the time came, my good friend Diana picked us up and drove us to Dr. Buser. I'm so glad that she was able to come with me and stand by my side while I said my goodbyes to Dale as he fell asleep. Thank you so much, Di! I really appreciate it.

In a way, I'm glad it happened this way. Now, I can concentrate on my return to Canada and don't have to worry about Dale's condition. It was already clear that it was not an option to take him with me to Canada or for O-X to take him to Holland. He would not have survived the stress.
Now he's in kitty heaven with his sister Chip, TBFs King, Hélène's Merlin and is most likely chasing whatever cats chase up there. He was more than just a cat to me; he was my soul mate. I really, really miss him.

22 comments:

Shelli said...

I'm so sorry. I know how hard it is to lose a member of your family, whether they have 2 legs or 4. I'm thinking of you.

CanadianSwiss said...

Thanks, Shelli. Very sad indeed, but he had a good, long life and didn't suffer long.

Mark said...

Goodbye Dale, mijn kleine vriendje. I will miss you as well. You'll be in my heart and my thought as the special cat you were. Poppie, I know what you are going through as I know how much you were attached to him. The picture you chose was the right one: Pretty Kitty!

CanadianSwiss said...

Thanks, Mark. It's by far my favorite picture of him, but I also found the last one kind of nice. It was one of his favourite spots in the back yard. He could sit there for hours, screening the "hood" for any feline intruders that might be lurking about.

Michelle said...

Awwww sorry to hear and hope you are ok :-( What pretty green eyes he had!

CanadianSwiss said...

Michelle: He was one good looking cat, indeed. His coat was still amazingly silky and soft and his body still very firm considering his age. I'm doing pretty ok, thanks.

Xmichra said...

:(
so sorry to hear this news CS.
((hugs))

CanadianSwiss said...

Thanks, my dear friend!

Shammickite said...

I'm so sorry that Dale is gone. 18 years is a long time to be a cat/human team. My eyes are full of tears for your loss. I hope he meets up with my Dixie and Marmo up there in pet heaven, I know they'll make him welcome. And our old WendyDog will welcome him, and I'm sure she'll promise not to chase him.... well, not very far anyway.
It's certainly been a dramatic year for you... sending you hugs, lots of em!

CanadianSwiss said...

Michael: Thanks, sweetie. It's always a tough decision to let go, but the best one, no doubt.

Sham: Thanks so much. He was such a good cat! I miss him terribly, but I'm happy to know that he's being welcomed by so many other sweet pets :) As for the dramatic year, I must say that I've had my share, and it's not quite over yet (don't put up everything on the blog). I do however strongly believe that things, no matter how bad they seem, happen for a reason and will make you wiser if not also stronger.

Thanks for the hugs - they are more than welcome right now :) xox

Pierre said...

Hugs Sandra

swenglishexpat said...

I am so sorry to read this. I have never had a cat, but I have friends who have gone through a very similar situation and I happened to see their cat in the last stages, and it was painful even for me. Hugs!

CanadianSwiss said...

Pierre & Swenglish: Thanks, my friends! :)

...ESP... said...

CS, we are so sorry to hear of Dales passing. Dale always allowed Pippin to come running up to him every morning and say good morning and he would give her a look like " Would you just relax dog, alright already say hello and get on with your walk". He was a beautiful cat.
Many wonderful memories of Dale for you to take with you to Canada!!

Ginnie said...

18 years is a long time to have a pet, Sandra, so my heart is broken for and with you. Yes, there's a blessing in the timing, so in that we can be thankful. But it's still hard and I can feel it. Peace to you, my friend. He is no longer in pain.

CanadianSwiss said...

ESP: Awww. I didn't know about Pippin & Dale's "relationship". Cool. That made me smile. Thank you :)

Ginnie: Indeed. 18 Years is a long time even in human years if you ask me. I've gotten over the roughest part, but I still look for him when I come home. But the decision was the right one and that makes it easier to cope with. Thank you my dear friend.

...ESP... said...

Canadian Swiss - I really do know how you are feeling about losing your beloved Dale. We just lost our wonderful Pierogi who was killed infront of our house on June 28th. He was only with us for 13 months. I was not here when he was killed and my heart is broken that I never got to say goodbye to him properly. I hope that Dale meets Pierogi and they are having a blast together and maybe sharing stories on Pippin!! Two beautiful black cats that were truely best friends to us.

Jay said...

Sweetie, this is a loss so familiar to me. It's so hard to say goodbye.

Shammickite said...

Are you in Canada yet, Sandra?

Stuttgartgirl said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I have 2 cats and know they become your family.

Tiina Kala said...

Oh honey. Losing a family member is always so hard. Hugs and kisses.

nursingstikes said...

Death will come to all God's creatures that have breath and soul, in heaven I hope your cat will meet again.
Try to give color to the hobby to plant flowers in small pots and put in your room, or in your cat's favorite place.
Hopefully fixed activity.
Please kunjungingan back and fill in the chatbox, and tell your friends follow medical, and paramedical and nursing.
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