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Animalkind, Inc.
P. O. Box 902, Hudson, New York 12534

Rainbow Bridge Memorials

Princess, the old cat

Princess passed away peacefully late Sunday, Jan 29. She was in a little soft cat bed in front of the heater, set at 'warm.'

Her behavior was sorta odd the last couple days -- she ventured upstairs to sit on my lap on several occasions (she normally avoided upstairs).

When I let her out, she did not stay away for long, and would almost always be waiting in the driveway for me to come and pick her up and bring her back in. Normally, I would have to call her and call her, and come out several times before she would show herself.

She found a new "favorite place" in the living room....over by the heater and not on the chair or the shelves that she normally chose to repose in. Today, she did not bother to come for 'breakfast' with the other three cats. In mid afternoon, I noticed she had not moved far from the heater, which was not like her. I carried her to her water dish, but she could not even stand. When I brought water to her in an eye dropper and slowly squirted in her mouth, she reacted by turning her head away.

In late afternoon, I placed her in a cat bed, and left her in front of the heater, checking on her from time to time. Only slow breathing, as could be seen by her abdomen filling with air, and then releasing.

We figure she was 20 years old or more. She came to Animalkind, I am told, from Robinson St. in Hudson, having been abandoned by a long time owner who either moved or passed away. I seem to recall Katrin saying she had been seen on the street and the alley behind for quite some time before her frail appearance caused some kind soul to get the cat to Animalkind.

She stayed at the Animalkind shelter for some time, and was allowed to freely-roam the downstairs office area. Staff members loved her, as she was very gentle, sweet and affectionate. BUT....she had a bad way of unexpectedly, in a burst of remarkable speed, run out the front door when some unsuspecting person was coming in or going out of the busy place. Several times she had to be retrieved from the middle of busy Warren Street.

Katrin therefore determined that Princess would be better off at her home with other "nonadoptables" because it was impossible to keep Princess from running out the door and into trouble.

The cat was so thin......her back was like a fishbone. You could count (and see) her ribs, and when she walked, her back took the shape of an elbow macaroni. Skinny legs, with ratty looking longish hair. Yet, she had great teeth and a big appetite for food *and* water.

At Katrin's, for whatever reason, she did not like to stay inside with the other cats. Instead, she found an open deck on a house two doors down. Sadly, the woman who lived there, although claiming she *loved* Princes and possibly would keep her for her own, seemed to change her mind and wanted Princess to stay away from the deck. The woman carried the cat back to Katrin, and as soon as attention was diverted from her, the stubborn Princess would again return to the woman and her deck, causing ever increasing emotions from the woman who threatened all sorts of repercussions if Princess were allowed to return again to her deck.

So...Katrin asked me to take the cat -- which would be "no trouble, as she simply wants to stay outdoors". Well, this was in August, and I took Princess in. As when she was with Katrin, at my place, she would go to my neighbor's deck and spend her days there. Fortunately, my neighbor put up with this, although if truth be told, the little old cat presented no problems anyway.

The days and nights of August and September made it possible for her to stay outside most of the time, but I still had to go get her and bring her inside for breakfast and for dinner. Although she ate a lot, I had to bring her inside, or else she would not have access to the food.

She was away for almost a week during Hurricane Irene. We have no idea where she went, and we assumed she had gotten lost and would likely never return. But, one morning, she came walking up the drive, looking even skinnier and raggier than when she originally came to Animalkind. Hamoud (who is good at this sort of thing) carefully shampooed the dirty cat and once she was into the blow dry stage after the wash, seemed to really enjoy.

As the weather became colder, it was apparent I would have to keep her inside more because when she went out, she would often disappear for 4-5 hours which is a long time in cold weather for a thin-haired cat like Princess. (She was a long-hair, but due to age, her hair was very thin and whispy, and clumps were always falling on the floor). Unfortunately (for me) despite my cleaning, 3 litter boxes 2 times a day, she often urinated on the kitchen and bathroom floors Well, fortunately in a way that she did not use the carpeted rooms to urinate!

She drank water profusely, and I had to refill her large water bowl several times a day.

Now it is over. No telling where, how and with whom she spent her kitten years 20 years ago.

Tomorrow.....I bury her in Catskill.

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Animalkind Inc. is a not-for-profit welfare, protection, rescue, rights organization dedicated to the  compassionate care and humane population control of abandoned, feral and stray cats in Hudson, New York (Columbia County) and the surrounding area.  We promote non-lethal  prevention of an unwanted litter or litters of kittens through trap, spay, neuter, release (return), (tnr, TNR).  An altered cat or kitten is released into a managed colony. Felines living in such colonies are assured kind daily care.  Adoption to  homes providing love and care for cats and kittens is encouraged.   We also provide low or no cost spaying and neutering assistance to low income pet owners and help increase public awareness and education through the media, special events, and publications to promote compassion, respect, and kindness towards all animals. 

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The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation
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