Tuesday, December 20, 2011

WeeBit 1999 - 2011

WeeBit 1999 - 2011
We must now say fare well to yet another of our cats. This one hurt - not that they don't ALL hurt when you lose one, but every now and then, it somehow seems to hurt worse than usual. This one did.
12 years ago, I adopted a little kitten that I named WeeBit. She was a tiny bit of fluff, a black midnight calico or properly a Tortoiseshell , with a gorgeous white ruff and glorious orange accents all over her. She was a ball of lightening fast energy, with 2 speeds - full bore all out, and passed out sound asleep and God did not remotely install a reverse gear in this cat. She could literally jump from one side of a room to the other in one leap, no touch down (and did, constantly). I used to put a little kitten play toy ball in a card board box and toss her in to play, hoping she'd wear out before I had to go to bed, because EVERYONE must play when the WeeBit was awake. She was sweet and feisty in a rolling boil of a mix and she loved life. (Somewhere, I have pictures of her as a kitten, which I will post when I find them.)

WeeBit, with her fluffy tail, BeeWit.

She grew into a lovely small cat, with medium long fur, still a rambunctious bundle of energy. And she evolved the craziest relationship with her tail that I have ever seen in a cat. Basically, she didn't know WHAT that fluffy thing at the end of her butt was, and it was obviously out to get her. Her tail would twitch and flip randomly and WeeBit would jump, and stare at it and then do her very best to catch the obviously demon possessed thing following her around. I remember watching her chase her tail at high speed for hours up and around and through and over the back of a metal folding chair in a never ending circle, determined to GET that...that...thing. She never did figure out that it was HER tail, and an actual part of her...the last week of her life she was still trying to catch the darn tail. This resulted in the tail acquiring its own name...the BeeWit. If we posit that BeeWit really was a separate entity, I don't think it was any more resigned being attached to WeeBit as her tail than she was, and it appeared to torment her deliberately.

WeeBit mothered a number of kitten litters before we managed to get her spayed. Three of her offspring are worth mentioning here - one was a TINY kitten that got named Snuggles because that was all the kitten wanted to do - snuggle. Now...99.9 % of the time, calico's are female - the coloring is linked to sex. (Everyone once in a long while a male calico will be born, but is sterile, and then in an even smaller number than that, a fertile male calico will be born, which is like winning the sweepstakes at Vegas odds.)  Snuggles unfortunately, was not a very healthy kitten though extremely cute - he was the only calico kitten she birthed that had her tortoiseshell coloring. Snuggles had a recurring problem of his - yes, HIS -  front legs popping out of socket - you'd look up and there would be Snuggles, limping and staggering, and you'd have to pick the kitten up and gently pop them back in, which never seemed to upset Snuggles, however much it distressed us. So I had Snuggles in my hand one day, gently easing the front leg back into place and did a double take. Snuggles was a male calico! I couldn't believe it! Unfortunately he had other problems as well, one of which included a soft spot on his skull that instead of closing as he grew, spread wider and wider. And I think there were probably other internal problems as well. Sadly, he did not live much past 6-8 weeks. But we've never forgotten him either.

Lugh and Persephone - WeeBit's Kittens, now grown adult cats.
WeeBit's other memorable kitten litter is quite the story. I was cleaning house one day about 6 years ago, and moved a piece of furniture to mop under it. Um. There were two baby-just-born-kittens curled up there together. Insanely healthy, happy well fed chunky kittens. We didn't even know one of our cats was pregnant, let alone who! What the...! So I called Dreamweaver at work and I said "You're not going to believe this, but we have kittens."
Her response: "WHAT!?!?!? How? Who's the mother?"
"I have no idea!" All I could do was settle in and watch, to see who showed up to nurse them, as we had several unspayed lady cats at the time. Sure enough, WeeBit strolled over after getting some food and water and plopped down to nurse. Congratulations! Gave a whole new meaning to the term "stealth pregnancy" - heck, we never realized she'd gone into heat! One was a little all black female kitten, the other was a tabby and white male. We named the little girl Persephone and the little boy Lugh - and they are to this day two of our most amazing cats. Its like Weebit split her personality - Lugh has all her tender sweetness and Persephone has all the vinegar and feistiness. These two kittens incidently provoked the memorable phrase from a friend of mine - "Little wee WeeBit bits with with little wee BeeWits" - say that five times fast.

Lugh and Persephone were the last "wee WeeBits", as we managed to get WeeBit spayed after that. She grew older, over the next six years, as we all do, still able to leap high kitchen cabinets at single bound and sleeping on our bed with us...until about 2 months ago we noticed that she was showing distension in her abdomen. We took her to the vet and that was when we got the shattering diagnosis of Feline Infectious Peritonitis which is fatal. She had the  fast moving kind and the vet told us gently to take her home and make her as comfortable as possible - as long as she had good quality of life, we were good, but we would have to decide when she would have to be put down. Her prognosis was only a matter of weeks, though the vet said doubtfully that she might live a little longer. Heartbroken, we took our little WeeBit home and proceeded to set out to spoil her rotten...er...rottener.

A few weeks went by and aside from distinctly waddling a little from the distension in her belly, she was fine. She was happy...she ate and drank, and slept on the bed with us, demanded being petted and chased the BeeWit routinely. A month went by. She was still in her mind a quite going concern, and very pleased with her world. A few more weeks went by and we began to be in awe of her resiliency and tenaciousness! We would get up every morning and call "WeeBit!" And her head would pop up from where she would be curled up on the foot of the bed and she'd go "Yes? Whats up?", bright eyed and attentive. Two more good weeks passed, where we would check in with her every morning, and go, OK, she's good, we have another good day! Two months of this - both happy and sad and bittersweet.

WeeBit on a pillow in my lap. 
And then, this past Thursday, we could see the downshift. She grew quiet, and began to struggle to get from place to place in the house, and her breathing became labored off and on. She was still eating and drinking and affectionate, but the fun was going out of living, and that was our line in the sand with this - we would not let her suffer into a decline. We had researched vets and prices, so I placed the call and got an appointment on Saturday morning to have her euthanized. We spent Thursday evening and Friday redoubling the spoiling factor - that cat got steak and turkey! She remained affectionate and interested in food, but became increasingly distressed by her inability to make it to the litter pan. She insisted on being near us, preferably in our arms, and cried so piteously when I tried to set her up a nest box on the floor so she could make it to the litter pan, that I gave up and put her back on the bed with us with some towels down for her. Dreamweaver had taken her into the bed room, as I was finishing up on the computer for the evening, when I looked up and saw her - jauntily! - trotting back from the litter pans in the next room, going "Look! See! I can too still use the litter pan!" Sadly, about half way back to the bed room her steps slowed as she ran out of breath and she had to lie down. I picked Weebit up gently and took her to Dreamweaver, where she curled up in her arms.

Dreamweaver held WeeBit for the first part of the night Friday night, and then passed her to me to hold and  cradle. If we put her down for a second, to go to the bathroom or something, she would cry until we picked her back up. Around 2:30 AM, she suddenly mewed a little, and snuggled down closer in my arms....and then simply, quietly, quit breathing. She went in her own time and her own way, curled up with us, and we never had to take her to be put to sleep. We did decide to have her cremated, so I took her body on to the vet anyway to be dropped off for this service, and they were so kind to me there.


So we come to the end of our twelve years with WeeBit (and BeeWit!) - a long and happy life that we were blessed to have shared with this very special cat. There will never be another like her! Blessed be, WeeBit - see you in the summer lands!


  1. What a beautiful story. Thankyou for sharing that part of your life with those of us who follow you. You ALL were most blessed to have each other. Blessed Be!

  2. Farewell, WeeBit, faithful cat! Small in stature, mighty in spirit.

  3. Beautiful passing for a special kitty. I am so glad the timing worked out exactly like it did. Thinking of you.

  4. Ah, beloved, it's heart breaking. Losing WeeBit is like loosing a bit of ourselves. While all of our furbabies are special, WeeBit was absolutely unique. Loving, sweet, happy. I look up at "her" perch and can't stop thinking of her. I'm grateful she lives on in Lugh and Seph.

  5. I was already reading this when you linked it to me. Aw man. I am so sorry to see this. I'm sure she was very sweet and wonderful. <3 *hugs*

  6. Thanks to everyone for their kindness and words! What is remembered, lives!