R.I.P., Sweet Abbie

My Sweet Girl

I’ve had my sweet tortoiseshell Abbie (aka Miss Abbie, Abigail, Miss Gail) for a bit over 16 years now. I found her in the warehouse at City Paper Company in Birmingham. She was just a tiny little thing, was running a very high fever, and also had an abscess on her back, probably from another cat’s bite. And me, with my sick sense of humor decided to name her Abbie for abscess. She didn’t seem to mind. :)

I already had three cats in the house, and didn’t really want to have a fourth, so after getting her well, I gave her to a co-worker who took her home, but brought her back the next day. Her husband didn’t like that she kept jumping on the bed to sleep with them. I took it as a sign that she should be with me, and she’s never been away from me since.

I think that’s what I’ll miss the most, having a cat who loves nothing more than being in my lap or sleeping on the pillow by my head. My other two cats love to be with me, but Abbie was insistent that she be given preferential treatment… and she got it.

At first, she didn’t like it when I got the two orange kittens a little over six years ago, but over time, she grew to accept them, and most of the time, she and Tigger slept all curled up together. However, in the last several days, she wanted nothing to do with them or me, and just wanted to be under the bed. She hadn’t had a normal digestive process in over two weeks, twice in to the vet for an enema just to give her some relief. She stopped eating and seemed weak and confused. It’s time to say goodbye to my faithful friend and companion.

I did not want to traumatize her (or me) by taking her into the vet tomorrow, so I called an in-home euthanasia vet. They happened to have an opening in the early afternoon. I set the time, got off the phone, and wailed.

The vet and her technician were prompt, professional, and so very compassionate. It made the whole ordeal so much easier on all of us. All of the paper work and payment was taken care of ahead of time, for which I was grateful.

When I was ready, the vet gave Abbie the shot that would cause her to sleep. I held her in my arms and talked to her and stroked her and kissed the top of her head until I felt her relax. During this time, the vet was asking me about Abbie and her life, and it was a sweet retelling of what a wonderful cat she’s been. After holding her for about five minutes and knowing she was totally asleep, I gave her to the vet to administer the final injection.

We had a towel for her on the floor in my den. After the injection, the doctor listened to her heart until she was gone. Not 10 seconds after she said Abbie was gone, the sun broke through the clouds, came in through my window, and shone through the beveled glass on my coffee table. Right next to Abbie’s body, a beautiful rainbow was cast on the floor, and was there for about 30 seconds and then was gone. I said to the vet and her tech, that I guess Abbie was crossing the Rainbow Bridge. The tech said it gave her chills at the timing of the appearance of the rainbow.

Abbie was given a good life, and she did nothing but give love in return. As hard as it is to go through this grief at the end, the only way to avoid it is to not have a pet. I hope I am never without one.

Goodbye, Abbie. I love you.

14 thoughts on “R.I.P., Sweet Abbie

  1. oh, cheryl, i’m so sorry. i remember abbie and what a sweet cat she was. she had a great relationship with you, and i’m so glad yall were such a blessing to each other. much love headed your way . . .

  2. Cheryl,
    Thank you for sharing your story. I lost my Angel on the first day of school last year. We found her at school when we had a school clean up day. One of my co-worker’s daughter took her home first but then the little girl decided; “Jesus would want Ms. Hale to be the mother to the kitten.” How do you tell a 6 yr. old no? I had to feed Angel every two hours with a dropper so that meant taking her to school. Everyone at school wrote about her and came to visit her until she got out of the box and began wondering around. So I had to leave her at home. I had her for about 8 years. I had her teeth cleaned last year and she developed pneumonia . One of the hardest things I had to do was to pick her up from the vet’s office that afternoon. She now is buried in our backyard and when I need someone to talk to I go visit her. I am so sorry for your lost. I agree with you that Abbie crossed “the Rainbow Bridge” maybe Angel met her on the other side.

  3. My heart is broken. I loved her so much and like you said, she was one of the most loving cats. I wish I could have seen her one last time. I’m glad she’s no longer suffering. The “buddha’ kitty is now at peace. I am grateful for that.

  4. RIP Sweet Abbie. Thank for loving your Mama so completely and thanks for showing her a sign that you are okay after your transition.

    What a sweet description of a special girl, Totty. Nothing is better than that kind of love.

  5. I am so sorry Cheryl. :( I know you will miss her deeply and she’ll be in your heart forever. The rainbow coming in the window gave me chills. I think that is a good sign that she’s in a good place and doing well now. I know it’s awful to have her gone, but I hope you can at least get a little comfort in that rainbow. Little things go a long way during sad times.

  6. Cheryl,
    Thank you for sharing this. I am a pet lover and have three precious Shelties that are such delights. They are ALWAYS there for me and love me unconditionally. I am happy to hear that you will get another cat. I had another sheltie for 14 years and he died of cancer about 9 years ago. We planted a tree in his honor. (Well his name was TIMBER, so we thought that very appropriate.) I can’t tell you how many times I used to sit by that tree and talk to my Timber. He died on the same day that my 3 shelties were born…May 13, 2001. There is a time for everything, a time to die and a time to be born. Timber left us with some treasured memories as I know these three shelties I have now will do too. I know Abbie gave you with many great memories too. Focus on those, and when you get a new pet, tell him all about Abbie. He’ll listen for sure. Please accept my sympathy and when you decide it’s time for another kitty cat, send photos. Rhonda

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