In Memory of Angel

1981 - 2 November 1998

Writing this is going to be hard...even tho Angel has been gone for many years now. She left on the 2nd of Nov, 1998. But let me go back to where she entered my life. I had just moved overseas to The Netherlands, down near Brunssum. I got there in September and settled into my house in late October. The couple who had been my sponsors went out of town one weekend and asked if I would pet sit...sure, no problem. What it stirred up was a problem. Reminded me that I was alone. So, I got with the local national that was our receptionist in the office and she and I headed off to the local animal shelter. I needed her to translate for me, but once in there I needed no translation to know that Angel was the one for me. I had had tortoiseshells before and knew that they were almost always female and I prefer female cats to male ones. Anyway, she asked about Angel, they told us she was 18-24 months old and had been found wandering around. In The Netherlands, pet ownership is a very grave responsibility and if a pet is found wandering they will put them in the shelters. If the owner can be located they are fined for not being a responsible owner. And Angel had just come up for adoption after her waiting period. I was allowed to care for her in my home after she had seen a vet and been spayed. Three days later I was allowed to get her and bring her home. In the meantime I had also been given a male which I had named Devil...He was so mean to Angel that I gave him back.

Now you know how she entered my life, let me tell you something about her. She was a British Shorthair with all the typical features...squarer features and build...She had green eyes and was VERY intelligent. Her favorite words were *now*, Me(at) (N)ow, and a look that could shred you into little slices. She also had the ignore look down pat.

But the picture on the right says it best. She was a very laid-back kitty and the alpha female in the house. She ruled the roost. Every morning, one of us had to clean and refill with cool water, a mug that I had decided was safer than the glass they kept knocking over from the coffee table. And if you weren't fast enough, she would get up there and *NOW* at you. My husband has a very favorite memory of her. We had settled into our place in Roswell, GA. It must have been cleaning day, which meant we all helped. I was cleaning the kitchen, he dusted and vacuumed. Well, it was time for the vacuum monster to come out.

He started up the beast and proceeded to chase her around the dining room table...she just could not get he wasn't going fast but it meant she had to get up and move and if you can imagine a 20 lb cat with *belly- waggle* moving quickly around the place you would have howled with laughter like we did.

Anyway, that night as we got in bed, she jumped on the bed toward my knees...actually she had her body over his knees standing on mine. And she would look at him and then look at me and meow, she did that about 4 times...Charles' comment was that he must have been told on. She was telling *her* momma.

Things went along without too many problems and then one day, I noticed that she was walking stiffer than before, that getting up on the sofa and stuff was getting harder. I ended up taking her to the vet who concocted an arthritis medicine since cats don't have one. It was actually a bit of pain medicine in a vitamin base. Angel HATED it with a passion and it got to be a daily struggle to get her to take it. But I would have continued if two other things had not happened. She started having problems cleaning herself esp after litter box trips and she started losing major amounts of weight and her spine was not padded any longer.

My husband was away on a contract job and after talking to him on the phone and online, we decided that she deserved to be at peace...she was hurting too badly. Every time I touched her she gave a pitiful meow. I told him to come home over Halloween so he could say goodbye to her...then on that Monday, the 2nd of Nov, Pam and I drove with her to the vets and we stayed while she was put to sleep. I wish I could get the scared look I last saw out of my brain but it was the *scared of the vet trip* look not of what was happening that particular trip.

Afterward, after crying for about 30 mins, I pulled myself together enough to go home. And I immediately felt the void she left. I still feel it. As I told Pam on the day she and I left GA into SC to move to PA, I said, that we were leaving a part of us behind...because Angel and Smokey were still there. Angel was 18+/- when she died... and for 16 years gave me unfailing companionship. She humbled me and gave me love that asked for only a little in return, a warm bed, cold plentiful water, food to eat, and my unconditional love which she got. She was hard to lose but that is one of the problems with having a pet in your life...the knowledge that their lifespan is not the same as yours. Don't let that stop you for loving them.

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