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Farewell, Ms. Ella

July 27, 2008

She’s gone. We took Ms. Ella to the emergency vet for euthanasia late last night when it became clear that she was really suffering and the pain medicine was no longer controlling it. The people of the Nashville Pet Emergency Clinic were compassionate and kind. I actually feel fairly peaceful about this, because I felt that she was letting us know it was time, and she did not have to be in pain for very long.

As I did with Mr. Otto, a few Ella memories, because it’s my blog and I can do whatever I damn well please with it:
-Ella came to us through a friend of a coworker, who could no longer keep her and didn’t want to have to take her to a shelter. She was born sometime around March 2000, and became part of our family around October of that year.
-Ella, unlike the rest of the kitties, was a big lover of plant material – eating it, that is. That’s why all of my houseplants are on top of the mantle and other tall furniture – she would do her best to get to them and eat them up. She would also howl at them as they were carried through the house.
-She would raise one paw and very lightly brush your face when she wanted attention. She would also make this specific noise that none of the other cats make, and could be called using it.
-She also liked to burrow under blankets, occasionally digging at our shirts or pants in an attempt to get “under” them.
-Sometimes neighborhood cats would get up on the little roof outside one of our upstairs/attic windows. Ella would literally launch herself at the window trying to get at them, to the extent that she popped out one of the window panels.
-When I was quite sick with my thyroid issues and my heart was racing, she would come sit on me, which was quite calming and appreciated.
-Whenever Joel and I had an argument that turned to yelling (it doesn’t happen often, but it happens), she would park herself between the two of us and howl at him – never at me. She was clearly “my” kitty, and knew that I was always right. 🙂
-My dad has never liked cats, and never let me have one growing up. Ella must have known this – when my dad came over when we lived in that townhouse apartment, he was headed downstairs, and she launched herself onto his shoulders from the top of the stairs and hung there. I still laugh about that. She always was the best at the circus tricks.
-Ella liked to be sung to – she would clearly relax when being given medicine or some such if you sang to her. I was looking for her the other morning and sang, to the tune of the Scooby Doo song, “Ella Ruby Roo, where are you?” Got that damn song stuck in the husband’s head all day.
-I don’t know why, but I sometimes called her “Ella Roo” or “Ella Ruby,” which explains the song above. She used to be named “Nod” as a kitten, and her momma’s name was “Fred.”
-Ella was the only one of the cats we’ve had who really liked to have her belly scratched. She was more into this if you did so while exclaiming, “Scruuub-eee-belllll-eee!” No, seriously.

Today, she was buried alongside Mr. Otto, and we will plant something for her and find a marker as we did for Otto.

Added: In unrelated sadness, a gunman opened fire with a shotgun during a service this morning at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, TN. One person has died and several others are reportedly in critical condition. The husband and I attended TVUUC several times when we lived in the area and TVUUC Rev. Chris Buice performed our wedding ceremony. Our thoughts are with the community.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. July 27, 2008 9:11 am

    I’m so sorry. I’m sending much love to you.
    Our pets are our children.

  2. A'Llyn permalink
    July 27, 2008 9:20 am

    Aww…I’m sorry. Those are sweet memories.

  3. July 27, 2008 11:28 am

    Those pics were adorable. You gave her a good life. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  4. July 27, 2008 9:19 pm

    Thinking of you guys and appreciating the great stories about Ella. So sorry to hear the news.

  5. July 27, 2008 10:39 pm

    Sorry to hear this sad news, but so happy that Ella had good, caring humans who ended her pain and suffering. I desperately hope that, one day, my family will be able to legally show me that kind of compassion.

    Who the hell has a mad-on for Unitarians? I can’t think of a group of people that could possibly be less likely to inspire anger or violence.

  6. Julie B. permalink
    July 27, 2008 11:02 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about Ella. I love hearing that she would take your side during arguments. What great memories.

  7. July 28, 2008 6:19 am

    David, I’ve been thinking about that same thing, re: compassion and people. I learned from our vet that some people who have religious objections to withdrawing care from humans or assisted suicide also refuse to do the same for their animals. I don’t know how widespread that is, but I had never heard it.

    Thanks, everybody. I’m just realizing now how much this post outs me as a crazy cat lady, but I’m okay with that. 🙂

  8. Sheila permalink
    July 28, 2008 11:00 am

    Hey crazy cat lady, it’s the love animals share that make us crazy with the same. Ella sounds like a true friend.

  9. saraclark permalink
    July 28, 2008 11:34 am

    Let me know what you are interested in planting for her, I probably either have something good or can get it for you.

  10. July 28, 2008 9:09 pm

    Rachel, I’m thinking of you.

  11. July 29, 2008 11:38 am

    Thanks again, everybody. Saraclark, I’m thinking of putting in another hydrangea (which is what we got for Otto), and maybe some hostas in between (it’s a shady area).

  12. Dean.giustini permalink
    July 29, 2008 2:05 pm

    Ella sounds adorable. What a gift she was


  13. Stacey permalink
    July 30, 2008 11:27 am

    And you are all the luckier for having known (not “owned”–everyone who has a cat knows they darn well are not “owned”!) her. Such sweet memories–they will surely last a lifetime. Thanks for sharing, Rachel.

  14. July 30, 2008 1:06 pm

    Rachel – I’m so sorry for your loss. Ella sounds like a wonderful cat and friend.


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