We so love people who love cats. And we love people who can tell a good tale probably as much as you do. We hope your heart is warmed, faith in humanity is restored, and that you give your cats a big hug and lots of kisses. Here’s Judy’s story about Casper and Marshmellow:
My Wonderful Cat Faerie,
On Wednesday, our Marshmellow passed away suddenly. We think it was a heart attack. The morning began as it always did. I petted him on the couch and cleaned the sleep from his eyes (Casper used to lick them clean but when he passed away, it became my job). Then I went into the kitchen to wash his bowls and make his breakfast while he went to the sliding glass doors that lead to our deck so he could watch the birds. That was his favorite thing to do. No sooner than I suds-up the bowls did I hear a terrible cry from Marshmellow. It sounded like the sound he made when a black stray cat would wander onto our deck.
Marshmellow was very protective of us and used to “fight” that cat through the glass doors. But it was daytime, the stray only lurked around at night. And the birds were outside singing. If they stray was there, I’m sure the birds would have flown away. I rushed to Marshmellow. He was laying on his side in obvious distress. His breathing was shallow. I ran to get my husband and the carrier so we could bring him to emergency. But as we were stroking him, before we could get him in the carrier, he took his last breath. Our only solace is that it happened quickly, in one of his favorite places, doing one of his favorite things…and, just like Casper, he wasn’t alone when he left us.
Thankfully, our daughter, Carrie, was sleeping out at her friend’s house. Marshmellow’s last moments are playing in a constant loop in my head. I am glad Carrie was spared these images. When she came home, Marshmellow was wrapped in his favorite blanket and looked like he was sleeping peacefully. Just as Casper was “mine,” Marshmellow was “hers..”
Carrie was the one who first found Marshmellow at North Shore Animal League. They put all the hard to place in the Purina Cat Haven, a colorful building that you see first before going into the main building with all the kittens. It is such a wonderful and happy place for these cats to live until they find their forever homes. The main room is filled with carpeted shelves, bay windows with seating, cat condos, scratching posts and toys. From that room, there is a kitty door that leads to a clinical looking room where the cats’ food is prepared, the cats get daily grooming, inspections, etc. That’s where Marshmellow and Casper were most of the time according to the staff. Even though the other room was far more interesting, they didn’t want to be with the other cats, only each other. Marshmellow and Casper almost blended in with the stark white walls of that room. I think that was the way they liked it. They were there for two years. Even though there were many wonderful kitties for us to choose from in the main room, Carrie was drawn to the clinical looking room. That’s where Marshmellow and Carrie first laid eyes on each other. It was love at first sight. Carrie petted Marshmellow while Casper watched a few steps away. When it seemed that Carrie was “OK,” Casper let her get a couple of pets in with him, too. Carrie came running back to the main room where Sam, my hubby, and I were.
Excitedly she said, “There are these two beautiful white cats. One is fat and friendly…” and at that moment Marshmellow came through the kitty door and stopped at her side, “and the other one is smaller and shy.” And that was when Casper stepped through the kitty door and kind of hung back there and watched his brother. Casper let me pet him. Both let out earth-shaking purrs. From that moment, they were our family.
Carrie is an only child. We had just moved to Long Island from Manhatten. She didn’t have too many friends out here yet and was terribly lonely. That’s why we went to North Shore Animal League that day. We intended to get two kitties so they’d keep each other company while Carrie was at school and Sam and I were at work. Marshmellow was Carrie’s confidant. She told him secrets. She cried to him. She laughed with him. She used him as a pillow (he LOVED it). Marshmellow helped her through a dark time in her life in a way that nobody else could. I’ll love him most for that.
The North Shore Animal League figured they were about 9 years old. Same age as Carrie. If that’s true, Casper was 14 when he passed in August. Marshmellow made it to 15. Indoor cats are supposed to live to 20, I hear. I feel like we were robbed. But we had seven great years together and that is a gift. I wouldn’t trade a single moment of it. They were happy here and if anyone deserved happiness in their lives, it was Marshmellow and Casper. Marshmellow was never the same after Casper passed. It was about 3-4 months until he stopped looking for him. Then he seemed resigned to being alone with us. He became a bit needier for affection and the loss of Casper created a bond between Marshmellow and me. He was happy…but never the same. It was a heart attack that took his last breath but I believe he really died of a broken heart.
Anyway, for years you have been a special part of our family. You helped us through a very trying time. Feliway brought harmony back to our home and your toys brought joy to The Fellas (that’s what we always called Casper and Marshmellow together). You know Casper’s favorite was the corn and he was holding it as we relieved him from his cancer. Marshmellow’s favorite was the fortune cookie (I always called it the wonton). We cast Marshmellow’s footprints in plaster, just as we did with Casper. While, Casper was cremated, we buried Marshmellow in our yard, wrapped in a favorite blanket, with his “wonton.” We put the bird feeder above his resting place so he can always watch the birds. It was his favorite.
Thank you for everything. We’ll get new, furry members of the family again…but not now. When we do, you’ll be sure to hear from us. Until then, I’ll remain a fan and recommend you to everybody!