Welcome Kiwi

Posted on Mon 29 August 2005

Update: Kiwi passed away, aged 12.

KiwiA few weeks ago, our cat Hercule died. Kids wanted to fill the void he left quickly, so we started looking for a kitten as soon as we came back from vacation.

Yesterday, we visited a local association, l'école du chat libre (the school of free cats) which takes care of wandering and abandoned cats and acts to sterilize them to avoid proliferation. A lot of people bring them kittens which they don't know what to do with.

Among 40 or so cats, we found Kiwi, a 4 1/2 months old kitten. He was abandoned at the association's door 2 months ago, and didn't found a home up to now because of an umbilical hernia which made him less appealing than his colleagues. This hernia getting large, he got surgery to remove it a week ago. Everything is now in order except a little scar that should resorb quickly.

Why was he named Kiwi? Because kiwis are very energizing fruits with the vitamins they contain, and this cat is for sure over-vitaminated, running at an amazing speed and jumping like crazy at toys! He's also an impressive purring machine, sounding like a V8 engine as soon as you start carressing him. He spent two hours on our knees yesterday evening in obscene upside-down positions while we watched Lost (see picture)!

Time will tell, but it looks like we found a kind cat. Welcome to your new home, Kiwi!

Udpate: Kiwi passed away on 2017-05-05, aged 12

KiwiIt was Friday morning, I was working in my home office and Kiwi was – as usual – sleeping in a bean bag besides me. He suddenly cried and soon after became completely stuck. I brought him to the vet immediately, who diagnosed an embolism. Kiwi did not recover from the seizure: he fell into a coma in the afternoon and quietly passed away in the evening…

Kiwi wasn't just a cat. He had been a member of the family for 12 years, being with us almost every day. He was very ritualized, asking for cuddling right when I got out of bed (and I was using this time to read my Twitter feed), spending part of my work day in the bean bag besides me or on my lap, expecting his evening meal at 6pm sharp, and sleeping on my lap while we were watching TV.

We had a very close relationship, although he of course loved my wife and kids. After our grown up kids left home, he also filled a bit the void caused by the youngsters leaving the nest.

I decided to bring him back home from the vet's and bury him in the garden, just like I did with his predecessor Hercule. This was actually a good decision: his sudden departure left me in shock, and being active in this final phase plays a great role in the grieving process. Death rituals aren't for the deceased, but to help those close to him to accept his departure.

All this may sound like a silly first world healthy person's problem, and indeed it is. But loosing the friendly animal that has been your daily companion for 12 years hurts.

I'm writing this 2 days after Kiwi's death. We will certainly be looking for his successor after the summer holiday as hour house can't be without a cat. But it'll have a different position in the family, as Kiwi was our kid's cat while they went through their teenage years to adulthood, just as Hercule was their cat during their early childhood.

Farewell Kiwi. Your were a lovely and loyal companion…

Ocean, mountain and hopefully sun

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