Good-bye to Sydney

Trip Start Jun 22, 2008
Trip End Jul 04, 2013

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Flag of Philippines  , Luzon,
Monday, November 24, 2008

Today was a sad day.  Sydney, our 18 year old cat and Jane's best buddy had to be put to sleep.  This is her story.
Sydney chose us as her owners as much as we chose her.  We went to Noah's Ark in search of a new kitten and she was one in a litter of several kittens in a cage.  When Jane kneeled down to take a look at them, she was the one who was stepping on the others and trying to climb her way out to us.  She was going home with us and those other loser kittens were just going to have to step aside or get trampled.  Jane liked her attitude so we took her home.  When we got there we opened the carrier.  Did she run and hide under the furniture?  Hell no.  She just strutted out, gave a quick look around, and gave it her "paws up" approval.  She was home.  And she was definitely Jane's cat.  Sometimes we thought she was more dog than cat.  She followed Jane everywhere and waited in the window for her to come home at night.  Russ said she knew when the car was coming down the street.  We had a routine in the morning.  Jane would get out of bed and go to the bathroom.  She would come in right behind and sit by the toilet.  If Jane didn't give her a head rub she would get bit in the butt.  No lie.  She loved head rubs.  If you woke up early you'd better be careful not to talk unless you were prepared for head rub time. As soon as she knew you were awake you were fair game.  We had to hide our hands under the blankets or she would gently bite them until we complied. 

Sydney was really an indoor cat but we had a big deck and lived on a quiet street so we'd let her outside when the weather was good.  The great thing was we didn't have to worry about her wandering away or running up  a tree.  She would just trot down the deck stairs and make her way around the house eating grass and lying on hot rocks. She made her rounds just like a security guard and eventually came trotting back up the stairs to the front door again. Then she'd puke up the grass she ate when she got inside.  Never outside.  She wasn't at all scared by anything in the great outdoors, even something as big as a deer.  She'd graze on grass along side the deer in the yard.  She was mildly curious about them and they were also curious about her.  One time she and one of the deer acutally touched noses out in the garden.  Afterward they each determined that the other was no threat and went about their business.  It was one of those really cool moments when we wished we had a camera. 
There was another memorable moment when we were glad we didn't have a camera.  That was the night Sydney caught a baby mouse, chewed it up and then puked it up on Russ's head while he was sleeping.  Still a good story.  What a rude awakening!  At first we couldn't tell what it was she puked up but then looked closely and could see a little mouse face in the wad of mangled flesh.  Yuk!  Russ was so grossed out he took a shower at 3am and made Jane change the sheets. It still makes Jane chuckle, probably because she never had a wad of mangled mouse puked up on her head.

Sydney had a thyroid problem for years and had developed renal failure recently.  We were told that the move over here might be too stressful but she was always pretty fearless and adventurous and she didn't seem to be too affected by the move at first.  She just walked out of the crate when Pet Relocation delivered her and Sam to our temporary apartment and made herself at home.  There were none of the behavioral issues we were warned about.  She just made sure she knew where the food was and then found a comfortable place on the bed and a sunny place by the window.  But I guess you never know what's really going on in those little cat brains.  Everything seemed fine until we moved again and she suddenly went blind. She was already almost deaf and now blind too.  Plus she wasn't use to the new place so she couldn't find her way around by instinct.  We took her to the vet but there was nothing they could do.  She was still eating and getting around although she was bumping into walls a lot.  And she was purring so we figured she was pretty happy.  Her condition got progressively worse and about a month later we were at the point where we had to carry her to the litter box because she couldn't find it, and at the end we had to bring her to the food and water bowls because she didn't have the energy to get there.  She was exhausted just getting off the couch and after just eating a few bits of food she would have to lay down. You could see her breathing was labored and her heart was pounding hard.  By the time we made the decision to put her to sleep she was hardly getting on her feet at all and barely eating anything.  It was just a matter of a week or so before the inevitable would happen and there was no point prolonging her agony.

Hard to believe 18 years went by so fast. She was a great cat.
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kenikenken on

Dear Jane and Russ,

I've been following your travel blog for some time now (there was a time that I spent an entire day just reading the entries.) I was wondering why there weren't any updates until today when I read the sad news. I knew right away that I needed to sign up just to be able to write this comment.

I lost a cat myself last February and she had been my constant companion for 3 years. I just can't fathom how you two feel after having your Sydney these 18 long years.

I am very sorry for your loss.


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