Life Without Abbey

Abbey, May 2001- August 2012

Something sad happened in our multi-cat family last week. One of our three indoor cats, Abbey, died. She was only 11 years (and a few months) old. Her illness came on pretty quickly. She was perfectly fine when the above and below photos were taken on May 26.

She gradually started eating less and less maybe a month or so ago. When the mobile vet came out to see her a couple weeks ago, he did blood work and we found she had kidney disease. We’ve had other cats with that but cats can often live several months or even a couple years with kidney disease. However, she didn’t respond to sub-q fluids. We force fed her but she just wouldn’t eat and when she got weaker and weaker, we had her put to sleep on August 30. She really didn’t seem to be suffering, just sort of “out of it” and not having any enjoyment in life.

We found Abbey in June of 2001, abandoned alone in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. She was only about 4 weeks old. There are coyotes, snakes, foxes, hawks, and all sorts of dangers there but she was holing up in a tiny little cave. She was very hungry, though.

Abbey came to live with us when we had 3 other indoor cats, Cory, Miles, and Scottie. She and Scottie, an orange tabby, became best buddies and hung out together all the time.

Unfortunately, Scottie died in 2006 (at only 9 years old). By then Miles and Cory had also died and we had Marbles (still with us) and then got Google in 2008. Abbey never cared for either one of them and often kept to herself. The family room was her domain, often behind curtains, under the futon, back in a corner…maybe it reminded her of her babyhood in a cave.

In 2005, Abbey was critically ill with idiopathic chylothorax, a rare condition. After having fluid aspirated from her pleural cavity a couple of times, her lungs were permanently scarred. Her prognosis was “very grim.” But we force fed her back then, too, and eventually she began to eat again, regained her weight, started to purr, and didn’t need to take her meds regularly anymore. She was left with asthma so did need meds occasionally during her remaining 7 years. Back then the vet said that since she was allowed to lead a quiet, indoor life she might be able to survive longer. We’re lucky we got to have those several more years with her but it’s never enough, of course.

Abbey was a very sweet and good cat, never got into trouble like our current boy cats do. She liked rolling, being brushed (mostly by her dad, Tony), catnip, chicken, tuna, treats, grass, burying her uneaten food with toys, shoes, rugs, anything she could drag over her plate. She was cute and funny.

We’ll miss our little short munchkin. If you’d like to read more about Abbey, especially her rescue from the mountains, I wrote about her on my cat blog a little over a year ago here.

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11 thoughts on “Life Without Abbey

  1. She really was a dear and so fortunate that you rescued her. May the grief ease so all that’s left are your precious memories of her.

  2. I’m sorry your post of such good looking cats includes the sad news of a recent loss. I always wish our pets out-lived the human life span, but a pointless wish. Fine pictures.

  3. Oh Candace, I know how much this hurts. We just lost our little dog a few weeks ago, and one of my birds just this past Monday. They do become such a part of our lives. I am so very sorry.

    Fly high Little Abbey.
    xo.

  4. So sorry to hear your best, furry, friend passed. These photos are sure to keep her memory alive along with the love for her in your heart. Hang in there

  5. I sure feel your pain. After 16 years I just had to put down my two cats; Macavity and Rumple Teaser, named after two cats in T.S. Elliots, Old Possum Book of Cats. They were never without each other in 16 years and we got them together from a Colorado shelter at 6 weeks old. I was actually relieved they went together as I couldn’t imagine how bad it would have been for the one left behind. I just love cats and I see you do as well.

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