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Leo
09 July 2009 @ 03:15 pm
Last night, as I snuggled with Cleo on the couch, I heard an unusual sound. I wondered if it was connected with Cleo's purring, but quickly realized it wasn't because it was out of sync with her breath. The noise sounded like quick, labored breathing - I wondered whether it was my mom or the murmur of some sort of electronic device (air conditioner or fan). Suddenly, I heard a sustained whine. I ran upstairs to my mom's room to find Shadow on the floor with her head tilted back, mouth wide open, and producing sounds of discomfort. My mom woke up immediately and we began to panic. I ran downstairs to get the phone book to call the animal hospital. By the time I came back, Shadow was barely moving. Her head jolted backwards one last time and she became limp. I had just witnessed a beloved family member of 3 years suffer and die right in front of me. My mom and I just stood there crying in disbelief of what had happened to our cherished companion. We both felt so helpless that there was nothing to do to save her. Shadow's death was so sudden and rapid; from the start of the labored breathing, she must have died within five minutes.

I couldn't believe what had happened. There were no apparent signs that Shadow was ill or in any pain. I did notice her scratching her ear vigorously last week and checked her for ear mites, but saw nothing. When she walked away, she tilted her head a bit. Also, when I pet her a few days ago, I was surprised that she didn't purr as usual - I didn't think much of it, though. Just a few hours before she passed away, she laid on the bed next to my mom, just as she always would.

My dad, brother and I adopted Shadow and Cleo from an animal shelter on Staten Island in June of 2006. Shadow was the runt of the litter and my brother picked her out because she was so tiny and had beautiful blue-green eyes. As Shadow grew up, she remained petite and slim. She was a little shy, but very sweet and loyal.

After my dad passed away two months after adopting the kittens, Shadow bonded with my mom and kept her company; she chose my mom as her "favorite" in the family. Shadow slept next to my mom almost every night and covered her in sandpaper-tongue kisses. It brought me so much comfort to know that while I was away at school, Shadow was providing love and comfort to my grief-stricken mom.

I called Shadow my little drag king because she was always sporting a soft, sleek gray tuxedo. My mother endearingly gave her the title "Mon petit chou", which translates to "My little cabbage" in French.

I feel so terrible that Shadow suffered before she died, even it if was only five minutes. It was absolutely heartbreaking and traumatic to watch her pass away. My mom no longer has her loyal companion to keep her company in this lonesome house. My heart aches for Cleo, too, because I know that she will miss her sister greatly.

My mom just brought Shadow to the vet for an autopsy and eventual cremation. We have no idea what caused this to happen.

As I go through the grieving process, I will probably be making more posts about Shadow, just as I did when Midnight passed away three years ago.

Rest in Peace, ShadowCollapse )
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Leo
03 November 2008 @ 11:17 pm