When I worked at my very first veterinary clinic, a girl came in with a litter of 5 kittens that were 1-2 days old. Leo and I were only dating at the time, but we decided to give raising some kittens a try. Within the first week, two of the babies died. The remaining three thrived and grew and we became more attached that we had planned. We named them with the intent of only calling them something other than kitty and they're new owners could change it later. So, Bertha, Buster and Tinky Winky were so named. We moved to Austin together, us and the three fuzz balls. When they were at the age that we could give them away, we couldn't. We weren't able to decide between them and we couldn't split them up. So, we had not one, but three cats.
These three cats have witnessed our engagement, wedding, buying our first house (disaster) and our second (we still live here), the birth of our son, job changes, a lay off, and the birth of our daughter. They are our family. Unfortunately, I noticed some changes in Tinky last February. Our kitty Mitch (always a true feral) left home on November 18th, 2008 and hasn't returned. Mitch was Tinky's best friend and I knew she was grieving, but by February felt it was something else. Bloodwork and a trip to the vet gave us no answers. All was normal and no signs of anything that we could go on. Over the next several months we coasted along. Then in August right before our vacation, Tinky became very ill. It was believed that it was just a case of gastric upset and bladder infection. A month later, it happened again, and then again. After money that we did not have to spend, lots of tests, a diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome was decided on. Even though nothing else was showing up, I feared this wasn't the problem. After a very strict food change, sometimes 4 or 5 meds per day, Tinky continued to lose weight and be in pain. By early December, her doctor and I agreed that she had lymphoma. There was nothing to be done except love her and maker her comfortable. We did exactly that until she developed another complication. The only choice to be made was to let her go. Our kitty that had once weighed almost 10 pounds was only 6 now. Even in pain, she purred and loved on Leo and I as we held her and kissed her goodbye.
There are no words for the hole this little cat has left in our lives and in this house. She was the kind of cat that ran to the door to greet everyone, played everywhere, laid everywhere, slept curled up either at my head or by my side. She loved the smell of toothpaste, mouthwash and especially Burt's Bees chap stick. She was loud and like to talk about everything. The house is so quiet now, its empty in so many places. We still have her brother and sister and they are sweet and we love them of course, but Tinky was a one of a kind cat. There will never be and could never be another.
Tinky, you've left us heart broken, but we know you are waiting with your Mitchie by God's throne for our arrival. We'll not ever stop missing you but are so blessed to have shared our lives with you for 10 years, 8 months, and 23 days. Thank you for being our Tinky Winky.
Tinky and Mitchie