Creating memorials in loving memory of our pets...

Memorial created 02-20-2012 by
Russell Barnes
September 2 2002 - February 19 2012

Beautiful boy

What an amazing, gentle soul. My best buddy for nearly 10 years. I miss you little guy...

Friday 17/02/2012

Came home after a yoga class. My blue oriental Gimli normally comes out to meet me. I hadn’t seen him since the morning so I was worried when he didn’t appear as he is not an outdoors cat.

Heard the doorbell ring and I had a horrible feeling. Property manager for my apartment block, Mandy, telling me he’d been found under a neighbour’s car and that he couldn’t move his back legs. She’d taken him to the local vet.

I went to the vet but they were closed – after 8pm. Phoned their landline but only got voicemail and a reference to an emergency number. Phoned that but they had no link to the vet.

Went home. Couldn’t sleep of course. Made sure I cuddled Tilda (fat tabby female) who knew something was up. Got to vet at 8am (opens at 9). Spoke to Charlotte at reception. Finally saw Gim. He didn’t look good. Not talking and he talks all the time. Sue, the vet said he had no deep pain reaction. Back paws cold. No femoral pulse. Temp subnormal. She took x-rays. No visible trauma. I cuddled him and he looked so tired. Plan was to keep him comfortable for up to 3 days in the hope that his circulation would improve and a call could then be made

Left him with the vet.

Got a call about 2 hrs later from Sue – she’d expressed his bladder and found blood in the urine so there had been trauma – probably under a parked car  and then run over. Sue suggested he be moved to Vetinary Science Group so they could look after him overnight – 24x7 service.

 I took him to VSG. He was examined again by an intern. I left him overnight having been told they would keep him hydrated and sedated and turn him over as needed.

I cuddled him again but he was so weak and he just put his head on his front paws and looked so lost.

 Got a call at 1:30 am Sunday 19/02/2012 – Gimli had gone into cardiac arrest. They were busy resuscitating him and needed to know if they should continue. I said  “no, just let him go”. Didn’t want him to suffer.

I called VSG in the morning to arrange collection of his body.  I did some research to look at burial or cremation options. Found a magic place in Albany – Pet Garden of Remembrance. Spoke to Roger – could bury him the same day. Went to VSG. Picked him up and drove to Albany. The owner, Dave, was on holiday but he’d dug a grave before leaving in case there was a need for it. I went down to the spot with Roger. Beautiful forested area. Gravesite was next to a tree. I took Gimli out of his cat box and placed him at the bottom of the grave – he was still in a blue blanket. I looked at him one last time and touched his face. Roger gave me some time alone and I cried for the first time in 8yrs – I’d last felt like this when my dad died.

I went back to Roger and we came back to the grave and covered his body. I felt a little closure  getting my hands dirty. I talked a bit with Roger about what a brilliant cat he was and how he had right to the end made it easy for me by just slipping away.

Went home feeling surprisingly lighter. I’m not sure if I’ve jumped a few stages in the grieving process. I know that I miss him and I feel emotional when looking at pictures I have of him. I’m sure this will continue for a while. I’m comfortable with that because I have no regrets. I loved him and cuddled him every day for 10years and was never once mad at him – even when he’d try to steal my dinner.

He was very vocal – always there when I opened my garage door after work and he’d chat constantly even after he’d had his dinner. He knew a few words – his favourite was “treats”. I’d just have to whisper that and he’d be off the bed like a shot and down the stairs meowing. He loved “head cuddles” I’d lie on my side on the bed and he would do the same and rub his head against mine. I’d tickle his tummy and stroke him – this was the quickest way to stop him talking since he’d be too busy purring!

He had a friend – Tilda, (I call her Monster cos she’s huge). He could wrestle her in the beginning but she gradually got stronger and heavier than him so in the end she’d just sit on him. He’d run to me looking for support and I had to hold her off on more than one occasion. He was very much a one man cat – disappeared when visitors came through. He hated the vacuum cleaner and would get out of the house as quickly as possible the minute he even heard the cord being unravelled – just a grey/blue streak low to the ground and out the cat door.

He loved getting brushed – I got a pet grooming kit and groomed him almost daily. He’d try to clean my hand as I groomed him. He had an extremely long tail as is common with Orientals/Siamese. I would hold it near the tip so that he could clean it and he’d only stop when he’d chewed on it and turned it soggy.

He was born in Christchurch and my then partner Noelene, found him and his twin brother Gandalf on the net. We had them flown up to Auckland and they joined our other 2 cats Cornflake (occicat) and Diesel (Abbyssinian). Gimli managed to disappear within hours of getting to the house. We found him in the engine compartment of our car just as we were about to go out in it to look for him!

Gandalf didn’t live long – irritable bowel syndrome. Cornflake also went early – cancer, and Diesel was run over – not much luck with them. Gimli thrived as the dominant cat about the house. We were given a brown Burmese and an Tonkinese from a couple who couldn’t look after them anymore – Coral (Tonkinese) and Baggins (Burmese). They were half-sisters. Coral was definitely not the sharpest tool in the shed – when put in a laundry basket she’d sit there looking out of it not knowing how to jump out. She would get out eventually after perhaps 30mins of pushing on the sides of the basket and looking bemused.

Baggins was an independent spirit – loved being as high as possible. She had a cat box in the shape of a chicken which we put on top of a high kitchen cupboard and she loved sleeping in there or just watching the world below.

She simply disappeared

Coral also vanished – I suspect she got into a car (she loved climbing into them) and the owner drove off without knowing she was in there.

So now it’s just me and Tilda. I’m making sure she gets regular cuddles. She’s definitely unsettled but I think she’s starting to get a bit more comfortable again.

I’ve said to myself in the past that I’d never get really attached to a cat but I’m a cat person through and through. I will get another one, maybe another oriental or perhaps Siamese – I love the vocalisation and I miss that the most even though there were times when all I wanted was for Gim to shut up!

Sleep well my beautiful boy…




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