Violet seemingly never knew love, care and protection until I met her. After that she became the most loving and affectionate pet of my life. I am thankful we had time together before her time was up, because the love between us allowed her to become accepting of environment, humans and other animals (to a degree), and taught me to have more patience with all living creatures.
“Cats choose us; we don't own them.”
– Kristin Cast
When Violet moved in our home was home to eventually 6-cats, 1-dog and 2-humans that would constitute her loving family.
Dearest Feline Sister
Feline "Don't Talk to Me" Sister
Feline "Bully" Brother
Since I didn't know V well until she was an older cat, I will just share a few photos of her getting acclimated outside of the drawer and closet. At first she loved sleeping underneath my comforter, but soon she found her way onto, or onto a pillow I laid out for her, and eventually hanging out with me on my lap while I worked.
V's training was more of a conditioning phase. Comfort is often found in the routine, where expectations are met and trust is developed. By providing clean litter box, fresh food and water available at all times allowed V to understand that around me she was safe.
The clean litter box and nightly love, allowed her to sleep in peace with me in the bed. Soon she would learn my patterns and adjust herself to them and become one with the environment and its inhabitants. Can't tell you how many times I would over her and she would just slip out slowly and go back to sleep.
She and Bentley did have territorial issues though. Offering time-out and sometimes time together would resolve that short war.
Eventually, she became one with our home and she was at peace.
I will talk about "Competition" in a different light.
V went from a household of four dogs to one with 3 cats (eventually 5) and a dog. Before joining our family, she has never had to live another cat in her adult years.
After she become relaxed in her new environment, she started exploring the house and surroundings more. This is where she learn about territory and boundaries were established. Oddly, V was quick to rise up the ranks, falling short to Ellie, our 17-year old black cat.
Though she would have territorial spats with Bentley, the only male cat in the house. It seemed that they were evenly matched though and kept to their own space.
What really made for a golden experience for V was her inaction with Sashi. After Ellie died, Sashi took over the top position of remaining 5 cats. Instead of competing with V, Sashi become very motherly and made every effort to make V comfortable around her. Within months, she succeeded and the two were nearly inseparable.
Of course Sashi is nearly inseparable from anyone of us, but still, for the first time in her life, V had a true sister who cared.
There were things that V loved; snuggling up against my unshaven face, burying her head under my chin and against my neck, and taking position to sleep on my lap all day while I worked.
Unfortunately for V, everyday was an adventure and not in good way. Her disability made walking and jumping a challenge. In the beginning, she would sway so hard that she would often stumble, trip, and sometime fall.
Over the years with love and care in our family, her disability actually waned enough for her to be able to jump up onto window sills and desks, take short walks outside (but only at night) and eventually run around the house at speeds which were not possible to her early on.
I would think her best adventure was in her final year. She discovered a way onto the awning of the patio just out the office window. There she would hang out, either on the roof or at the window's threshold itself.
From that perspective she started to watch our other cats play, hunt and enjoy an outdoor life.
Then the magic happened, she witnessed two cats jump from the shed roof onto the awning roof and back down. One of them was not one of our cats, but another male who would make a few more trips to visit V at her window. It seems that She would wait at the edge of the roof for him to comeback.
Then the impossible happened, she jumped down herself and started enjoying our little patio yard. Unfortunately, the return trip was impossible, so we would bring. her back up in arms.
From the space of a closet or dresser drawer, to the vastness of an awning, the backyard and our little neighborhood, V finally got to enjoy the outdoors and all the action that came with it.
V was a fighter and at first she did not want to leave. We are not sure what was ailing her, but her age made her not a great candidate for exploratory medicine. Something was bothering her inside and it felt like she wanted to eat it out of her. She didn't seem to be in pain, except for those seizure-like episodes that lasted about 20 seconds each time, when she literally bite into herself.
During my time in the foothills, caring for a small ranch, my cat sitter called me in distress. V was showing signs of degradation. I immediately headed back down the hill, leaving Missy and my wife behind to care for the animals there, to spend on more night with Violet. I knew it was time.
When I got there, I removed Sashi, who seemed to be caring for her, from the room. Violet had retreated in the closet and hid herself real well.
I wanted to her to come out to me like she always has. I left closet door open, laid in bed. Within moments, she was on top of me. Her trip to me was not easy, as she swayed uncontrollably, but she made it on her own.
She assumed her usual position against my neck and despite the pain, she started to purr.
Normally, I would rollover and go to sleep and she would find something else to do. However, this time, I stayed most of the night, letting her have that spot. When I finally did rollover, she didn't leave, she snuggled up against my arm and stay there for the remainder of the night.
We both knew this was the most precious moment we have ever had together.
When I woke up to call of the veterinarian, I slide out to get dressed. Violet didn't flinch when a stranger came into our room and took her pain away.
She died in my arms, quietly and peacefully. I spent another 15 minutes just holding her. Then the vet helped me wrap her tightly in her favorite blanket and I put her into a box that I had prepared for her earlier.
I took her back up the foothills and we buried her between a family of trees in pouring rain on a small hill, I now call Violet Hill.
I still talk to her in my office everyday. RIP Violet. I love you.
Where words fail, music speaks.
– Hans Christian Andersen
Definitely a snuggler for effection
Sucker for affection
After missing out on playtime in her youth due to abuse, we made up for it.
The song I play when I think of her.
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In Violet's Name
Violet was a Siamese/Tabby mix. She had a beautiful soft coat that I couldn't get enough of.
She was about 3–4 years old when I first met here at a friend's home. He was just getting through his divorce and it seemed that Violet was more the ex-wife's cat. He had three very excitable dogs and although they all got along, I am sure V felt like the odd one out.
V had a neurological disability where her eyes shifted left to right as long as her eyes where open. This disability prevented her from having the agility and movements of a healthy cat. She could not walk straight, jump high, and was terrified of the outdoors.
She hissed at all the animals and people in the house, with the exception of her owner. Her nickname V was not given because of her name, but rather because of her nature; being Vicious.
About 6 years later I rented a room from my friend for a few month and had the opportunity to get to know V better. I saw that my friend was not really a cat person and didn't care for her as much as his dogs. Her litter box was seldom clean, her food was a bag on the floor in an unused room with a hole torn into it, and V's refuge was either the closet or a drawer left open.
She was not to be found during the day, but at night she cruised the house and made herself comfortable on my friends bed. Sadly, he would have to change his sheets frequently.
I took the liberty of buying some healthy cat food, a new water and food bowl, fresh litter, and a fresh litter box to put in it. I clean-up her room, made a nice bed in the close with a new cat bed, and arranged one drawer to be hers, complete with new bedding there too. Every day, fresh water, fresh food, and fresh litter.
She would hiss at me every time I or my dog, Missy, came into the room. Soon, I kept Missy out and put a gate in front of the door so no animals could invade her space during the day. At night, I would take the gate down to let her continue to explore the house.
After a few weeks, she would pop out of the closet or drawer when I came in to feed her. Curious to see if I could get her trust, I started spending time in the room with her, working on my laptop beside her food bowl. Every day, she would just stay and spend more time beside me.
Then one night, she came into my room and jumped onto the bed, ignored the growling dog and just laid on my chest. This became a ritual every night and I might add that she didn't soil MY bed.
After a few months, V was finally more accepting of almost everything. Her improved demeanor allowed my then girlfriend to request to take her to a more cat-friendly environment at her house. Luckily, I would follow V and move in with her shortly there after.
We couldn't initially let her roam the apartment, but she did have a her own room, my office, where I would spend a lot of time with her everyday.
I felt that this was the beginning of a new life for her, a life of love, care and company.
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