Kenya Russell

I don’t know what to title this other than her name.

My cat died this morning and I’m still kinda in shock.

She was so diminutive that most people, including me I guess,  still identified her as just a little older than a kitten.  And she still acted like a kitten.  Running all over the house, the little chirpping meow when she hopped up on the bed, chasing cat toys.  She just didn’t behave in a way to make me recall that she had been with me for over 10 years…..

Until less than two weeks ago.

We got home from vacation and noticed that she looked….well…kinda shabby.  Like she hadn’t given herself a bath in a week.  And she had a slight, very slight, limp.  I was alarmed, but she perked up and started cleaning herself and walked just fine  so I thought “well maybe she just missed us and now that we are back she will be okay”

We monitored her food and water dish and she seemed to be eating and drinking just fine.  She was bit thin, but she has always been a very small cat.  If she lost 2 ounces it showed.  She seemed to be doing better, but she was very clingy and more sedate than normal.  Martin pointed out that she was getting up in years and I immediately said “No she isn’t  !!!!!  She’s only….um….oh. wow she is over 10 years old!”

A couple of days later I happened to stay home sick from work and she did what she always does when I am home and in bed – she snuggled up like a happy little bug in a rug and loved on me all day.  She really really loves it when I stay home sick.  I watched her pretty carefully, but other than being a little low-energy there was nothing identifiably wrong with her.

Martin and I talked about taking her to the vet, but honestly what would we say “Hi, this is Kenya she seems a little under the weather, can you find someone who speaks cat so we can ask her what is wrong” ???? Until we could see something clearly wrong we just weren’t ready to take her to the vet.

Over the weekend she was still kind of lethargic with bouts of normal.  Then on Tuesday she started going downhill again and even cried out in pain once when she hopped down from a piece of furniture.  But then when we examined her she didn’t have any “hot spots” or places that she wouldn’t let us touch.  So once again we were puzzled.  Still, by Wednesday we agreed it was time to take her to the vet and see if they could find anything wrong.

Kenya must have overheard that conversation, because she went into hiding.  We looked everywhere on Thursday morning to take her to the vet but we could not find her.

Our other appointments that day were not flexible, so we went on with our day.  Part of which involved me being put under for some dental work.  When we came home, Martin poured me into bed and I slept fitfully for the next 6 hours.  During that time I am pretty sure I saw Kenya at least twice and petted her.

At 3 a.m. Friday morning Martin woke me up to tell me that “Kenya is gone. She came home and she is gone”  This combination of sentences wouldn’t connect in my fuzzy brain.  How could she come home and be gone at the same time?

Eventually I woke up enough to understand.  Kenya had died.  Martin found her having her final moments in our guest room (her favorite room in the house) and was there with her when she died.  Poor Martin.  I couldn’t deal with this, so I locked myself in the bathroom while he boxed up her remains.  By the time I get home tonight the only traces of Kenya in our lives will be memories and photos.

Why on earth am I blogging about this?  Well….this is my way of processing the emotions.  I guess I need to get this out of the way so I can blog about the fun stories of Kenya.  The happy stuff.

She was what I call a puppy-cat.  She would come when I called and she was totally people oriented.

I’ll post some of the happy stories another day.  For right now, here are a few photos of my sweet Kenya.

the serious look.

meeting the baby

I have a bigger copy of that last photo.  I’ll post it next week.


3 thoughts on “Kenya Russell

  1. Holy $@&!. This totally sucks. I’m glad for you in that you can reconcile your religious views with this tragedy. I lack the ability to demonstrate that kind of faith, but I admire it in others.

    I’m bloody in tears. I loved that cat. It’s like saying, “Half our house just vanished,” or “My car is totaled but the insurance isn’t paying squat BUT, I’m Okay with it all.” I praise your equinamity. Spiritually, mentally, I am in sack cloth and ashes. If I owned more black t-shirts I’d rend the one I’m wearing right now. I am so, so, so #(@*&$ sorry, sister.

    My soul sings with pain for your loss. All I can think of is fictional scripture to offer as a means of comfort to me, myself and You:”All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well. So may it be.”


    Thanks little brother. how about this one
    “the Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it” I Cor. 10:26 This comforts me in knowing that Kenya belonged to God. and she still does.


  2. I am so sorry to hear this. I wish you joy in the life you shared and (eventually) peace with your loss.

    We recently lost Duster, and had to try to explain “death” to Solvi. Has Ginny noticed the kitty gone?

    Thanks. Oddly, I have a lot of peace about this. I miss Kenya at odd moments, but I’m glad she didn’t suffer a lengthy illness.
    Ginny has not noticed. We hope that she is too young to be affected by this. We will get another cat at some point, but not till Ginny is old enough to be part of the selection process.


  3. I’m so sorry. It’s so hard trying to guess what might be going on with the members of our family who can’t just TELL us what’s up. It’s never easy trying to determine if it’s something different or something wrong.

    It sounds as if she went mostly peacefully, and that’s a blessing. I’m glad ya’ll are doing okay and are in peace. It’s never easy to say goodbye to our wonderful companions. Hugs to you and Martin and Ginny.


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