My heart is broken

stripe rip

Mrs. Stripe playing with mum in the dappled autumn sunlight.

Life has been very challenging recently and I hoped that three bad things were enough but not so. Last week we had to have our beloved Mrs. Stripe put to sleep at the veterinarians. I had mentioned previously in a post Mrs.Stripe and the pharmacy that she had severe muscle deterioration in her hind quarters which along with arthritis was causing her pain. On the last visit we shot her up with everything available and it was lovely to see her vibrant spirit emerge when she was pain free. The medication stopped working despite doubling the dosage and she was struggling to breathe through snuffling from an unrelated allergy problem that we could also not treat. Teddy and I talked about what we best, especially given that she was at least 15 years old and a feral street cat. We both agreed that we couldn’t bear to see her in pain and she finally made the decision for us.

I was sitting on the sofa, the night before we took her to the vet, and for the first time in her life she sat on a human’s knee. I looked at her in astonishment but she just settled down like she had always done it. The heat emanating from my knee must have soothed her poor little joints but I had no doubt that she was saying, “Please make the pain stop”. It was a sad day at the vets and almost all staff was in tears both at our sorrow and losing such a special patient. Even in her last days she played with her knitted catnip Spiderman, mewed plaintively for treats and even seemed to smile. She often made us smile see the post Resolution No 1 – wash more.

The house is in mourning and her daughter, Toffee, who is 13 years old, is wandering around the house crying. Zhenny, our other cat, has retreated into closets; occasionally giving us the odd cuddle but mostly biting us. We have euthanized many older pets but Mrs. Stripe was possibly my favorite. I became very mentally unwell when we moved to Egypt and when I caught glimpses of her in the garden it lighten my burden. She is probably half Egyptian Mau but has a bit of European Ginger which gave her fur the most gorgeous Titian highlights. She was exquisite and I couldn’t keep my eyes off her. I had no intention of looking after her until she had an injury. See my original post about our first meeting – Mrs. Stripe. Right to the very end of our posting in Cairo I wasn’t sure if she wanted to come with us – she was essentially a wild animal. One day she just made up her mind to stay in the house and we had to rush to get her neutered and vaccinated for the trip to America.

The veterinarian placed her in a beautiful blue shroud and we have buried in her beloved garden. Like most immigrants from third world countries, she loved her adopted new land and the odd new creatures she observed such as skunks and raccoons. She loved us and we will always love her. RIP Mrs. Stripe.

Mrs. Stripe's shroud on her favorite ottoman

Mrs. Stripe’s shroud on her favorite ottoman

Kerry not Charlie

Coexist-in-Theory Quelle horreur! There is no good ideology that assassinates someone who is blasphemous. Civilized societies have a legal system to address this. As a writer, I try very hard not to be disrespectful to other people’s religion or ideology unless I find it abhorrent. I am a humorous writer so sometimes I may poke gentle fun at a culture or religion. In all honesty, having lived in an Islamic culture, I do not understand why cartoonists would show an image of Prophet Mohammed when they know how offensive that would be but free speech allows them to do so. Living in Texas, I often feel that free speech regularly slides into hateful rhetoric and is used as an excuse to spread repugnant ideas. Small acts can accelerate hatred between opponents. I live in a predominantly Republican area and some people who had VOTE OBAMA bumper stickers had their cars scraped by keys. No wonder we have so many social problems in the USA. I am full of grief and sadness for the current events in France and all the murdered victims; their relatives and the mostly innocent Muslim French population who will now be discriminated against, further aggravating the situation. When I was a teenager the IRA and Loyalist (Irish Catholics and Protestants) were actively terrorizing the UK and Ireland. I went to a Catholic school in a predominantly Protestant city and our school had regular bomb threats. At the time, I felt that there was no solution to a centuries old problem but life has changed and I married someone from a Protestant family in a civil ceremony. COEXIST.