I Lost a Family Member This Weekend

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It was not a good weekend as I lost my little Runtee.

A couple of years after moving to Florida there was a feral cat that hung around my neighborhood. I called her Runt, because it was clear that she was the Runt of the litter.

She was so feral and scared that you could not get within 20 yards of her, before she would run into the woods.

One day, I laid on my front yard for 2 hours not moving, just so Runt would come closer and take some food I was offering her out of my hand.

She finally moved close enough to eat the food, but after I made the slightest move, she was running again into the woods.

Then about 2 months went by, I never saw her and wondered what had happened. Living in the woods with snakes and bears, I thought the worst.

One day, I was looking out my back window and Runt was walking by, followed by 4 kittens. She was keeping the kittens in the woods, until she figured they were big enough to venture out. It was so cute watching mom and her kittens walk around, they would follow her every move.

I started taking cans of food outside and the kittens would come get the food while Runt stood nearby, but not near enough to come close to touching her.

As her kittens got older, I adopted two of them and found homes for the other two.

I brought both Callaway and Snowflake inside and that is where they have lived ever since. I still put food outside for Runt, but I could never get close to her.

It was not long after that Runt was pregnant again and this time she came into my garage and had her babies.

After a couple of days, I scooped up the kittens and brought them into the house and put them in a spare bedroom. I left the door open to the outside and backed away.

Little Runt came into the house to take care of her kittens. She was scared to death, but as any mom will tell you, you do anything for your babies.

I kept her and her babies in the closed bedroom and would make my way in to feed all the cats and change the litter. Each time I opened the door, Runt would scurry under a dresser and hide.

But slowly she started to come out, I could still never touch her, but she was starting to slowly trust me.

I kept one of her kittens and found homes for the others when they were old enough.

I took Runt to the vet and got her the shots she needed and brought back to the house. My goal was to keep her as an inside cat with full run of the house. I figured the first chance she saw the door open, she would make a run for the outside. But, she never did.

About 2 months after bringing her into the house, I was watching TV and who jumps up into my lap? It was Runt, she finally figured out that she could trust me.

From that day forward, every time I went to bed, Runt was the first pet to jump into bed with me, snuggle up against my chest and she would stay there all night, every night.

She spent over 10 years in my house and became such an amazing cat. She would always come when she was called and every time I sat down to watch a movie, she would jump in my lap.

A few weeks ago, she stopped eating and when I took her to the vet, she had a failing liver and stomach cancer.

The cat that adopted me was dying.

Still, every night she came to bed with me and she still followed me around the house. Then this past Friday, she would not get out of bed. I had been trying to force feed her, but she really could not eat.

I made the very hard choice on Saturday, to take her to the vet and have her put to sleep.

I’m not going to lie, I cried like a baby most of the weekend.

People that don’t understand the pain of losing a pet are people that have never felt unconditional love in their life.

My heart truly is broken, but, I knew and Runt knew that it was time.

The last night in bed with her, the daughter from that last litter came to bed and licked Runtee for over and hour from head to toe. It was like she was hoping it would help her and make it well.

I took Runt to the vet and I did not even put her in a carrier. I held in my arms and we went to the vet and her life was over.

Her daughter is heartbroken as well. She is walking around the house looking for her mom. I have held her tight and tried to tell her that her mom is gone.

Runt took a big piece of my heart with her when she left this world.

I did not adopt or rescue Runt, she was the one that adopted and rescued me.

This is a tough week and if I don’t respond to your calls, texts or emails, I hope you understand why?

If you don’t, then you have never had a pet in your life that means the world to you.

And for that, I really feel sorry for you.

But I can assure you, every night before my head hits the pillow, I am going to say goodnight to my Runtee, just like I did for over a decade.

I loved her and always will.