Her Name is Luna - A Cat Story
by Helen Nevarez
(El Paso, TX)
Cats I loved alive or in heaven
I befriended a stray cat December of 2008. She must have been about 5 or 6 months old. She has never left ever since. She is now a resident in my garage. Her name is Pelusa (Spanish for lint. She is a tortoiseshell color and when I first saw her she looked like a piece of lint, all skinny and unloved). I can't let her in the house since she fights with my other cats but she is now a part of the household.
A few months after meeting each other, she brought a few of her stray friends along. One of them was a pregnant stray cat which I named Abba. I had just finished watching the movie Mamma Mia and the name just fitting for a momma cat.
Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009 Abba had a litter of five in my backyard. It was cold and windy that day and she was so scared calling out for help. Her babies were scattered all over the yard cold and shivering. I packed Abba and her babies in a cardboard box and brought them into the garage. I put worn out towels in the box and helped her and her babies get comfy. I put out milk and water as well as dry and canned cat food out for her. Two hours later, I went to check on her. She was laying there cleaning and feeding her babies. To my surprise, she had two more. A total of seven beautiful angels.
Unfortunately, under the circumstances they were born, one died the next day. I named him Angelito (Little Angel) and buried him. I noticed Abba was sneezing but didn't think anything of it until four days later that I found one of her babies sick with mucous covering its nose and mouth. Despite my best efforts, that second baby died that night. I named her Torti since she had tortoiseshell markings and I buried her next to her brother.
The rest seemed to be doing fine but then started showing signs of illness. They all got their momma's upper respiratory infection. Then to make it worse, Abba's milk dried out. So I became the surrogate mother. I bottle fed them and would clean their little faces with cotton balls and qtips. Despite my efforts, ten days after they were born and on my birthday, Estrella (Star) the third kitten died. Then the next day the fourth, Shadow died. Then the next day the fifth , Sol (Sun) died. Then the next day the sixth, Midnight died. Only one baby remained, Luna (Moon).
I was so determined not to let this last kitten die. Abba and I mourned the loss of her kittens and she seemed to become very attached to Luna. She would not leave Luna's side. When I would take Luna inside the house to feed and clean her, Abba would cry frantically until I let her in. She would quickly jump up to were Luna would be and start cleaning her. Unfortunately, after a hard rainy night when Luna was about two months old, Abba never showed up again and Luna became my life.
One month after her birth, Luna was still alive and growing. I continued to bottle feed her and after she was finished she would crawl up onto my shoulder and bite my nose then fall asleep on top of me. I kept bottle feeding her but weaning her off the bottle wasn't working. She would not eat soft or dry food. Then I noticed her eyes were not in good shape. I took her to the vet. They gave no promising words. They said she was in bad shape and that the upper respiratory infection had also affected her eyes. They didn't think she would make it. I was forced by the vet to wean her off the bottle by puréeing canned food and feeding her with a syringe. It worked!!! It was hilarious seeing her wait for me to prepare the syringe. She would eat two syringe fulls in one sitting and then would crawl up to my shoulder and bite my nose and fall asleep on top of me.
At two months, Luna was getting fat and bigger but her eyes were getting worse and the sneezing wouldn't go away. Then she got diarrhea. The vet forced me to start feeding her dry food. It never worked but I managed to get her to eat canned food from a dish, finally!! At three months, her eyes seemed to be getting better. She was still sneezing. She continued to grown although at a lower rate than wanted but she was alive!
Then in August at four months, her eyes started showing signs of damage again. Her left eye started getting a blue, gray scar on it. I took her back and forth to the vet for the next couple of months with no results.
Then in September, one of my other cats, Diamond became ill with diarrhea. The vet put her on antibiotics but it didn't work. In October, after going through exploratory surgery, Diamond was diagnosed with intestinal cancer. The diagnosis broke my heart and I was a bucketful of tears.
The next few months were difficult for me. I had two cats that were ill and neither were getting any better. Yet they both had enough energy to fight with each other. Diamond hated Luna especially when Luna tried biting her ears or when Luna would pounce on her. Luna seemed to give Diamond an little more energy.
Their brother Toepick who is 15 years old also got a spurt of kitten hood with Luna. And my other cat Jade found a playmate with Luna. I was determined to fight for all of them.
In January, I found an eye doctor that started treating Luna's eyes. Although he said there was no cure, he told me he could help her so her eyes wouldn't get more damaged. She is now on eye drops, seems like for the rest of her life.
In February, I realized it was time to let Diamond go. I had her euthanized and her ashes are now in a black cat shaped urn. It looks just like her. One of the ears lost its color after Luna almost bit the ear off. Even in death, Luna bothers Diamond. Can't help but laugh. I had to get a black marker to cover the bites. Yeah, Luna is a biter and a fighter. She's a feisty little cat with a mind of her own but also very loving and loyal.
Luna helped me through the tough decisions and now my bond with her is unimaginable. She is now past a year old but she has not lost that kitten spirit. Despite the fights we have with giving her the eye drops, she shows me so much love. She still bites my nose and sometimes she still curls up on top of me to sleep. My mother often wonders why God let Luna live. I tell her it's to show me that love continues even after death. She helped ease the pain I went through when I finally let go of Diamond. It was perfect timing. She also helped ease Toepick's mourning for Diamond. Luna and Toepick are now inseparable friends.
Lately, I seem to be remembering Diamond a lot. Luna sits with me and although she doesn't purr how Diamond used to, she eases my sorrow. When I think too much of Diamond, Luna seems to crawl up to me and bite my nose at the perfect time. It's like her saying, "You got me too." I can't help but smile and pet that little cat that went through so much just to be with me in my time of need. God works in mysterious ways. I'm glad to know one of those mysteries. Her name is Luna.
Aug 08, 2010
Reply to "LUNA" A Cat Story
by: Mary in North Carolina
Your story about your wonderful cats and the devotion you have for them touched my heart.
I can VERY much relate to your feelings of sadness and loss after losing cats that you have poured your heart and time into ....only to lose them.
I am a Cat Rescuer from many years back.
I have done as you have and bottle fed babies who lost their mothers, I have rescued and tamed feral s who was deemed "TOO WILD" to save and I have shared my home and my heart with many who have gone on to the Rainbow Bridge, leaving my heart forever broken.
In the last 12 months alone I have lost 5 of my precious babies.
Callie: Lost her at age 13 to breast cancer.
Snickers: Lost her at age 13 to kidney failure.
Salem: Lost her at age 14 to Liver Failure.
Rocky: Lost him at age 16 to intestinal cancer.
Lola: Lost her at age 4 to a spinal tumor
Rocky and Lola was put down together on June 5th of this year and my heart is STILL broken.
Like you, I still grieve and look for them as I go through my daily routine then reality sets in and I remember they have go on and I am left behind to care for and love my remaining feline babies. They (like yours) come to me to comfort me as if to remind me that THEY are still here with me and need me. (THANK GOD)
Yesterday I took 2 of my babies in to see the vet.
Ozzy for diarrhoea and J.J for a respiratory infection. I am now awaiting bloodwork results to find out if Ozzy has intestinal cancer.
I'm praying every moment that his problem is not serious and I do not lose him.
I have had him for 5 years.
J.J is going to be fine (the vet say's, as long as his bloodwork reveals nothing bad) so I am thankful for that.
So I wanted to write a comment to your letter and let you know that you are not alone in what you do and how your feel.
God bless you and your cats for many years to come is my wish for you all.
Your cats are blessed to have a loving human to care for them and LOVE them.
From One Cat Lover to another
Mary in NC and ALL her feline family.