Tara--Rainbow Bridge 1.3.2009
Tara: aka T-Boo, Princess
Born: Sometime in 1988-1.3.2009
Breed: Domestic Long Hair - Torbie
In late 1992, after Meerclar (in her first incarnation with me) had died and Circe vanished the same week, I was left with only my Pakhit. I had just moved in with my husband-to-be, and Pakhit seemed to be failing fast. Traumatized by the loss of my other two babies, I was terrified that whatever had decimated my cat household would claim her life too.
Well, by early April 1993, we discovered that Pakhit was allergic to fleas and cortisone shots (this was before Advantage Flea Control) helped her body, but she still seemed lethargic. It occurred to me that she might miss her sisters, so we decided to get another cat. I called Concern For Animals, an animal welfare organization, and we went out to view the cats they had. Unfortunately, most were far too wild to coexist comfortably as an indoor cat, but the woman said she knew of someone looking for a home for one of her cats, and we decided to meet the kitty.
The cat, a Torbie, was sweet-faced and sweet tempered, though afraid. Apparently she'd been living with three male cats who made her life miserable and was used to being picked on and attacked. The woman who owned her didn't want her, (she was the woman's ex-husband's cat), and poor Tara was having to fend for herself. She'd been a feral kitten before we got her, so she had a rough life all the way around. We fell in love with her instantly, took her home (she was about 5 years old when we met her then), and she and Pakhit never bonded, but I think the company made Keeter feel better.
We renamed her Tara (from the hideous name she'd been given), and within days the little thing had won us over. She's sweet and has that blank-kitty-stare you occasionally find in fluff-brained cats. You know, the one that says, "I'm really not very smart, but I love you." She's passive aggressive due to her background, (which is why I think that she and the aggressive Luna don't get along), and I swear she's a Pisces, though I can't know for sure. She's the type of cat that, if she were human, would be wearing a pink sweater, a plaid skirt, and be driving a pink convertible.
Tara adores catnip, loves to knock things off tables and drools massive quantities of kitty spit when she's happy (which we have checked out with the veterinarian, it's just joy leaking out). She lives to be petted and snores when she sleeps. The following updates started when I created my first website.
November 1998 Update on Tara: Tara has made headway, we are feeding her in the same room as the other cats and she's managing to hold her own and eat she runs away from them. She continues to drool, has found a new home on top of Sam's desk and we still find her playing with Meerclar when they think we're not looking.
November 1999 Update on Tara: We recently have moved and this has created an extreme upset in the feline hierarchy. Tara's become the scapegoat for the other cats' irritation. Rather than try and find a home for Luna, the main instigator, who is a problem child and needs me more than I think Tara does, we are attempting to find a good single-cat home for Tara...this tears us up but I'd rather see her happier and in a place without any stress for her, than feed my own desire to keep her here no matter what.
January 2001 Update on Tara: Tara is now my office cat and quite happy. I'm glad we found a workable solution. Effectively she's an only cat this way and has adapted to life in my office with ease. She gets a lot more attention this way and doesn't get beat up, and is spoiled rotten by yours truly. She doesn't clean her ears enough but we all have our faults.
October 2001 Update on Tara: Tara continues to reign as my office cat and seems content. She's got a tiny lump on her head I want to get checked out, or rather--it seems like a skin tag. She still drools on my keyboard and is terribly spoiled by now.
November 2002 Update on Tara: Tara is still my happy office cat. She's gotten bolder over the past year and pushes her way onto my keyboard when she wants attention. I do, however, think she's older than we originally thought when we got her. I get the feeling she's at least 14 years old, maybe a little older...but we'll never know for sure. She's starting to get a little of that 'grizzled' look older kitties get around the chin. But she's playful and bouncy and seems in good spirits, so we're not worried. She just got a new kitty condo all her own this autumn and loves it.
April 2004 Update on Tara: Tara has adjusted fully to being my office cat, and she seems more than happy with her lot in life. She is still looking healthy, though I really do think she's around 15 or so, she's drool-happy with love, and she's very pushy when she wants attention which is fine, I can type and pet her at the same time, almost. She sleeps on my printer so I keep it covered with a plastic cover, and she's taken to knocking the phone off my desk when she wants attention, so I have the feeling that I'll be getting a new phone soon. She's doing fine, and looks as healthy as ever, if a little older around the chin and eyes. She's still our 'pretteest' girl.
November 2004 Update on Tara: Tara was the only one relatively unaffected by the escape of Meerclar and Luna, and she continues to do fine. The lump on her side which I thought was a kidney (according to one vet) isn't, we were told it's a fatty tissue deposit kind of like a cyst. She has a few little nodules on her body under her fur, but the vet said that unless they start growing a lot, at her age, don't worry about them. She's in good health otherwise, eating, plays, sleeps a lot, and drools all over my keyboard. Our oldest girl is still one pretty baby.
January 2006 Update on Tara: Well, Tara will turn 18 this year. I still can't believe she's that old because she sure doesn't act it. She's got great bloodwork (again, a little high cholesterol) but overall, she's in good health. She isn't overweight, isn't underweight, her fur never gets matted, she's still spry, and she still drools like a faucet. The main thing I notice is her pushiness has increased. When she wants petted, she wants petted!
April 2007 Update on Tara: Tara's 19 now, and you wouldn't know it. She's more demanding each year, but she's also still doing really well and doesn't look anywhere near her age. She's doing good with her blood work, drooling like a faucet (yeah, I say that every year), and seems quite happy. She had a minor UTI this year, but we caught it quickly and stuffed her full of kitty-antibiotics and it cleared up really fast.
May 2007 Update on Tara: Tara's got some undiagnosed problem that seems to be stable for now (a balance problem)--it could be a minor stroke or an inner ear infection. But when the vet gave her a full spectrum of tests and x-rays, he found out that our lovely girl has a BB lodged in her skull--behind one of her canine teeth. It's inside the skull and has been there, well, for at least 14-15 years since before we first got her in 1993. She's doing okay, though, and we're hoping that she pulls through this problem without any further incident.
August 2008 Update on Tara: Whatever the problem was she had in May 07 seems pretty much gone. She hasn't had a problem since then, so I am thinking it was a tiny stroke that she adjusted to easily. She's 20 years old now, and doesn't really look it. I've been giving her haircuts (she now gets mats) and they aren't that pretty but hey, they work, and she's still our gorgeous girl. Since Luna and Keeter passed over the Bridge, we've let Tara out in the rest of the house. She's adjusting but has very few social skills when it comes to minding her manners and at her age, she's just not going to learn. But hey, at her age--why should she? She's using the cat box out in the foyer (it's one of those automatic ones) and she's eating in the kitchen now, and she's also turned into a lap cat, which I appreciated since I miss my Velcro Keeter so much. She's putt-putting along.
October 2008 Update on Tara: Well, it's very interesting because when we brought Calypso home, Tara hissed, a little, but seemed fascinated by her and Calypso followed Tara around like a puppy. Now bear in mind, Tara has never really been interested in other cats. But last night, she got a little snookered on catnip and started playing with Calypso--they played a little chase. She still raises her paw to "the Kid" but it's never violent, and she seems to be accepting Calypso into the household. We've never seen Tara interact in a positive way with the other cats--but she seems to be cozying up to little Caly.
December 2008 Update on Tara: Tara is getting a bit old, but she still has her seniority. The other younger cats give her respect, and all in all they get along pretty well. Unfortunately, she is drinking a lot of water and losing weight--so something is definitely wrong. She is about 20 years old, so old age is catching up to her. But the most important thing is that she is happy. We make sure of that. For all of you cat owners out there, I'm sure you will agree with me.
January 3, 2009: Final Update on Tara: And so we come to the end.
We made the decision yesterday—we knew this was coming with our girl, but didn’t want to believe it could be so soon after losing Keeter and Luna six months ago. But it became obvious the past week or so that our Tara was getting worse and her quality of life was starting to suffer.
We took her in at 10:30 today, and found out she'd lost another 3 lbs since November--so something was seriously wrong. Dr. Bruce concurred that it was time now, before she started to seriously suffer. He's going to do a necropsy so we know what was going on.
He gave her a sedative because she was fidgety, and we all--the vet, the tech, Samwise and I, stood around her and petted her until she was very calm and relaxed...probably the most relaxed I've seen her in weeks. The vet gave her enough to knock out a full grown lab and it still just basically relaxed her into a light daze--he said that happens sometimes when they become so debilitated. And then we said goodbye to our princess and she went to Bast without a struggle.
We know it was the right thing to do, and she lived a long life with us--and she knows she's welcome to come back again if she wants. She was born into a hard life, a feral and then shot by a bb gun (the bb stuck in her skull), then owned by somebody who didn't give a damn about her...but when we took her in at five years old, she blossomed out, and for the last sixteen years, she's lived a life of luxury and love. I guess that's all anybody can ever hope for--to live most of their life beloved and cherished. At one point, she got the nickname “Princess” and it really summed up her personality.