This loving white calico came into my life when I met Tracy. Right away Tracy explained to me how she got her name; one of her eyes and the base of her tail had trauma from abuse as a kitten, so the shelter people named her Iris. I loved her right away; she was a lap kitty and I had an empty lap after I lost my lap kitty in the divorce.
She would crawl up onto Tracy’s lap and bury her face in the crook of her arm. “Hide your face, Iris.” Soon enough, she would come to me, too, and do the same. She usually didn’t stay long; just long enough to get her pets in and shed white fur all over you.
If it were winter, her favorite place was by the fire. Like, as close as she could get. Tracy told me as a kitten she would have to pull her paws out of the fireplace. We have a gas fireplace now and a bed for her to lie in and she could be found there, almost too hot to touch. She loved the warmth of the fire.
Her meow was loud and very guttural; if you didn’t know her and heard it, you’d think she were hurting or warding off a predator. She would meow when she heard someone coming over to where she was napping. She would meow as Tracy came downstairs, asking for food.
Because she could only see out of one eye, she had a problem with depth perception. To drink water, she would either touch her nose to the water or dip her paw in the water and lick her paw.
She always knew when it was dinner time. At 5:00PM every day, she would quietly sit by her bowl and wait while we got her dinner ready on the counter. Once she knew her dinner was imminent, she stopped reminding us with meows.
Every once in a while during the summer, we would let her outside. She loved to rub her chin on the cement and nibble on the grass. Then she’d be done and be ready to go back inside.
When we got Maggie (the tan a white kitty on the right in the photo above), things got a little interesting. Occasionally Maggie would get a hair across her ass and decide to chase Tabitha (calico on the left) or Iris. Iris would run for a few feet, but then stop, turn around and hiss at Maggie. Which stopped Maggie in her tracks. It was almost like Iris remembered she was the crotchety old lady and that she didn’t have to run. And then Maggie backed off, “Oh, yeah, ok ok, sorry.” It was funny to watch.
Yesterday, Iris was acting very strangely. She hadn’t eaten well in several days and with the change in behavior, we decided to take her to the emergency vet. Over the last several months, she had been slowly losing weight, but I know that often happens to older cats; Elizabeth is almost 15 and is much thinner than she used to be. We had some labs drawn and an x-ray taken; she had massive ascites. Not enough room for food or water. We don’t know what the cause of the ascites was, but the vet said it wasn’t good and was likely something that couldn’t be fixed.
We could tell she was suffering. She wasn’t lying by the fire anymore. She wasn’t by her food bowl at dinner time. She had stopped coming to our laps. So we made the difficult decision to give her a good death.
And now she is in heaven, lying by a fire, getting white fur over everything, and finally is able to see clearly out of both eyes.
Iris (Papyrus) 2001-2/18/2017