I am sorry to say, Cousins Jasper and Kestrel have lost their dear cat Pixel. She was sixteen and a half years old and had cancer. She died on Monday. We are all very sad.
Auntie Katie and Uncle Dave found Pixel at an animal shelter outside of Ithaca, New York in 2005. Pixel was so excited about her new owners that she climbed up their jeans! During her first summer, she learned to catch frogs and birds from their older cat, Kink.
She accompanied the family to Portland and over the years became Cousin Kestrel’s best friend.
She made the transition to bookshop cat this past year. At first she was nervous about it, but eventually would go down into the shop late at night to remind Auntie Katie to come upstairs and sleep.
Pixel developed oral cancer this year. It became inoperable and would eventually kill Pixel by stopping her from eating and breathing. Not wanting to cause her dear kitten such suffering, Auntie Katie decided to have her put to sleep. Dr. Wilson, a very gentle veterinarian, came right to the house. She explained what would happen, and gave Pixel a shot to help her relax.
Auntie Katie held Pixel in her lap on the couch as the heavier sedative was given by IV. Over the next few minutes, Pixel stopped breathing and her heart stopped. Katie held her for a long time as I saw Doctor Wilson out.
When Katie was ready, we wrapped Pixel’s body in a pillow case and placed her in a box, putting her in the fridge until her funeral can be planned.
Auntie Katie and I walked around the small garden behind the shop and found a good spot to bury her dear friend. It is between two logs against the far fence. Easy to find, but private enough that one can have a quiet graveside visit. I hope the cousins can help make a nice ceremony to say goodbye. Maybe they will say this poem, by Sarah Henderson Hay.
To a Dead Kitten
Put the rubber mouse away,
Pick the spools up from the floor,
What was velvet shod, and gay,
Will not want them, any more.
What was warm, is strangely cold.
Whence dissolved the little breath?
How could this small body hold
So immense a thing as Death?
Missing our furry friend already.