Miss. Radar's Story
Miss. Radar was born sometime in 1991. She was found as a kitten by
some friends of ours. When they moved out of their home, Matt and I
moved in and she adopted us. We grew to love her and she became the most
loyal cat I have ever had.
She played the perfect hostess and warmly greeted all of our guests.
She was famous for making friends and family feel welcomed by jumping on
their lap and purring. In addition to being a wonderful lap cat, she
took excellent care of me whenever I was sick. She would stay by my side
and purr, making sure I felt loved and appreciated by her. She was one
of the best cold medicines I've ever had. At other times, she made sure
I didn't oversleep by biting my toes, thus receiving the nickname
"Toe Chomper." On the other hand, she was notorious for
causing me to oversleep. She would curl up next to my pillow or stomach,
and fall asleep along side me. She was the best kitty a person could
During the second week of June, 1997, she began showing signs that
she was feeling under the weather. On June 13, 1997 (Friday the 13th of
all days), I took her to my vet, San Juan Veterinarian in
Citrus Heights, California, where Dr. Talley diagnosed her with a mild
bladder infection. Unfortunately, this did not explain why Radar had
lost so much weight: from 8.7 pounds to 6.3 pounds. After receiving the
results of her chem panel, we discovered that she was suffering from
liver disease. For those of you who are familiar with the feline liver,
the chem panel showed that her SGPT was 892 IU/L (5 - 130 is normal)
and her SGOT was 422 IU/L (5 - 55 is normal). This was quite a shock to
us; she was only 4 1/2 and we expected her to be with us for another 10
years. For the next two weeks both Dr. Talley and Dr. Buntrock tried
their best to save her. Short of a liver transplant, all we could do
was give her vitamins, anti-biotics, fluids, and hope that she would
Her SGPT level dropped down to the low 200's, which was a positive
sign, but she still showed no desire to eat. At this point, she had
been in the hospital for 5 days. Because she had never been away from
home this long before, I took her home, hoping that a familiar
environment and our love would lift her spirits and encourage her to
eat. After another 4 days of forcing feeding baby food and fluids to
keep her alive, we decided that she was not improving; Dr. Talley,
Dr. Buntrock, the vet technicians (Carol & Sherry), Matt, and
myself were substitutes for a life support machine. Thursday morning on
June 26, 1997, Dr. Buntrock put her to sleep. We had her cremated and
plan to keep her remains.
I learned a lesson in all of this turmoil: the minute you suspect
something is wrong with your pet, may he be a cat, dog, or other
creature, take him to the vet. If I had followed my intuition early,
Radar may be alive today. Cats tend to hide their symptoms very well.
She had a tendency to throw-up after eating, which I thought was a sign
of a hair-ball, but in this case, her vomiting was probably indicating
something more serious. Until I took several days off of work for my
own illness, I didn't notice how lethargic she was.
We will always miss you, Miss. Radar. You will never be
Love, Flora and Matt
To A Cat
By Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909)
- Stately, kindly, lordly friend,
- Here to sit by me, and turn
- Glorious eyes that smile and burn,
- Golden eyes, love's lustrous meed,
- On the golden page I read.
- All your wondrous wealth of hair,
- Dark and fair,
- Silken-shaggy, soft and bright
- As the clouds and beams of night,
- Pays my reverent hand's caress
- Back with friendlier gentleness.
- Dogs may fawn on all and some
- As they come;
- You, a friend of loftier mind,
- Answer friends alone in kind.
- Just your foot upon my hand
- Softly bids it understand.
- Morning round this silent sweet
- Sheds its wealth of gathering light,
- Thrills the gradual clouds with might,
- Changes woodland, orchard, heath,
- Lawn, and garden there beneath.
- Fair and dim they gleamed below:
- Now they glow
- Deep as even your sunbright eyes,
- Fair as even the wakening skies.
- Can it not or can it be
- Now that you give thanks to see?
- May not you rejoice as I,
- Seeing the sky
- Change to heaven revealed, and bid
- Earth reveal the heaven it hid
- All night long from stars and moon,
- Now the sun sets all in tune?
- What within you wakes with day
- Who can say?
- All too little may we tell,
- Friends who like each other well,
- What might haply, if we might,
- Bid us read our lives aright.
- Wild on woodland ways your sires
- Flashed like fires;
- Fair as flame and fierce and fleet
- As with wings on wingless feet
- Shone and sprang your mother, free,
- Bright and brave as wind or sea.
- Free and proud and glad as they,
- Here to-day
- Rests or roams their radiant child,
- Vanquished not, but reconciled,
- Free from curb of aught above
- Save the lovely curb of love.
- Love through dreams of souls divine
- Fain would shine
- Round a dawn whose light and song
- Then should right our mutual wrong --
- Speak, and seal the love-lit law
- Sweet Assisi's seer foresaw.
- Dreams were theirs; yet haply may
- Dawn a day
- When such friends and fellows born,
- Seeing our earth as fair at morn,
- May for wiser love's sake see
- More of heaven's deep heart than we.
Last Words To A Dumb Friend
By Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)
Pet was never mourned as you,
Purrer of the spottless hue,
Plumy tail and wistful gaze,
While you humoured our queer ways,
Or outshrilled your morning call
Up the stairs and through the hall--
Foot suspended in it fall--
While, expectant, you would stand
Arched, to meet the strokin hand;
Till your way you chose to wend
Yonder, to your tragic end.
Never another pet for me!
Let your place all vacant be;
Better blankness day by day
Than companion torn away.
Better bid his memory fade,
Better blot each mark he made,
Selfishly escape distress
By contrived forgetfulness,
Than preserve his prints to make
Every morn and eve an ache.
From the chair whereon he sat
Sweep his fur, not wince thereat;
Rake his little pathways out
Mid the bushes roundabout;
Smooth away his talons' mark
From the claw-worn pine-tree bark,
Wher he climbed as dusk embrowned
Waiting us who loitered round.
Strange it is this speechless thing,
Subject to our mastering,
Subject for his life and food
To our gift, and time, and mood;
Timid pensionor of us Powers,
His existence ruled by ours,
Should--by crossing at a breath
Into safe and shielded death,
By the merely taking hence
Of his insignificance--
Loom as largened to the sense,
Shape as part, above man's will,
O the Imperturbable.
As a prisoner, flight debarred,
Exercising in a yard,
Still retain I, troubled, shaken,
Mean estate, by him forsaken;
And this home, whild scarcely took
Impress from his little look,
By his faring to the Dim,
Grows all eloquent of him.
Housemate, I can think you still
Bounding to the window-sill,
Over which I vaguely see
Your small mound beneath the tree,
Showing in the autumn shade
That you moulder where you played.
On the Death of a Cat
By Christina Rossetti
Who shall tell the lady's grief
When her Cat was past relief?
Who shall number the hot tears
Shed o'er her, belov'd for years?
Who shall say the dark dismay
Which her dying caused that day?
Come, ye Muses, one and all,
Come obedient to my call;
Come and mourn with tuneful breath
Each one for a separate death;
And, while you in numbers sigh,
I will sing her elegy.
Of a noble race she came,
And Grimalkin was her name
Young and old fully many a mouse
Felt the prowess of her house;
Weak and strong fully many a rat
Cowered beneath her crushing pat;
And the birds around the place
Shrank from her too close embrace.
But one night, reft of her strength,
She lay down and died at length;
Lay a kitten by her side
In whose life the mother died.
Spare her line and lineage,
Guard her kitten's tender age,
And that kitten's name as wide
Shall be known as hers that died.
And whoever passes by
The poor grave where Puss doth lie,
Softly, softly let him tread,
Nor disturb her narrow bed.