After the divorce, my 3 year old and I moved into a low rental appartment.
I was now divorced and my ex husband had returned home to his country where
extradition treaties between Barbados and Canada. As a result, I
to get any child support and furthermore, I had lost my job.
Though the appartment was a blessing f
or me due
to my limited income it did have
a big downfall
as no pets were allowed.
clause was very hard for me to accept. I needed the appartment because
I was a
struggling single parent living on welfare at the time. But how could I
deprive my three year old of the joys that that I had all my life?
How could I deprive my young son the priviledge and enjoyment obtained
from having animals?
couple of years we did live animal free and I was very lonesome for a pet.
I had had dogs all of my life and now for the first time, at the age of
25, I had none.
best girlfriend, Coreen, was also a single
and she always had both dogs and cats. We were always at her house
and my Steven, loved her cats. Coincidently, her beautiful, black
cat just had just had a litter of six kittens and she was giving them
She asked me if I had wanted any
course I said no. I couldn't have
in my appartment, and I was a dog lover anyhow. I really was not
that fussy about having a cat. But she kept urging and Steven kept
pleading and I gave in. Still, I had to let my six year old at the
time, know that if the landlord said we had to get rid of
it so be
it. He agreed and we ended up coming home with not one kitten but
We did have Mercy and Fancy for about
trouble free. Then out of the b
walked into the living room one day and just died in front of my eyes.
The whole thing took about 2 minutes. Steven was not yet home from
school and I didn't know what to tell him. When he came
had a burial for our Mercy and I said a little prayer over her grave.
was so heart broken, I suggested that Fancy could have a litter of her
could keep one kitten from that litter. Besides easing my little
boy's pain, I felt it was important that my son witness
experience just like I had when I was a young girl.
was a beautiful black and white long haired cat who looked like his grandmother,
the black cat that Coreen owned. We had Fancy, the mother, and Chino,
known as Chi Chi, the son. Fancy was a quiet cat but her son was
very energetic. At the time that we named him, we did not know that
chi is the chinese word for energy, and our cat was exactly that, chi chi;
double the energy.
inevitable caught up with us. The inspectors for our public housing
came by and saw that we had cats, and gave us an ultimatum - get rid of
the cats or we get rid of you. My son who was by this time about
old took it in stride, he knew that the day may come that this would happen.
Two years later, the public housing
had relaxed their rules about animals in the appartments. Apparently
taken too many tenants to court and had lost too many cases over it.
However, I still did not have animals at the time nor was I planning on
getting any. Steven, however, had different plans in
me. He was now 15 years old and still loved cats. And one day,
This cat was a beautiful calico coloured
six months old from what I could tell. I asked Steven who's cat was
she and he said that he had found her scrounging in the garbage cans.
She was apparently scared to death and trembled when he tried to pick her
up. When she got to our house
literally screeching. I didn't know what to do. I told Steven
that we obviously couldn't keep her as she appeared to be scared to death
of us. But when I tried to take her back outside she clung to me
and screeched even louder. I knew then that
had been traumatized by the
and it was better to let her stay in the house with us until we could find
The screeching had stopped about
later, but she hid from us for about
Then gradually she started coming out to see us. She would let us
pet her but she would not let us pick her up. This was strange for
us because Fancy and Chino were loving cats that we picked up and
like babies. Tao would have none
Yes, you guessed it, we never
owner She was definately abandoned and we were going to keep her.
How could I say no to my son!
I named her Tao after the chinese
of the Tao, and sort of a tribute
to my Chi
Chi at the same time. Tao was either called Tao, or Tay Tay which
was the nick name that Steven had given her. Though she became used
to us and loved
us in her
own way, she always remained fearful of people. If visitors came
to the house she would run and hide! She also
fearful of the outside and refused to leave the house. It took her
about five years alone just to be brave enough to venture upon the balcony
We did notice
other piculiarities about our cat. She had no balance whatsoever
and when she would jump to a piece of furniture she would always miss and
fall to the ground. She had no sense of smell and she literally had
to see you put food down for
she would go to it. She seemed
a shorter attention span and could not understand simple instructions that
our other cats had absolutely no problems with. In fact the only
thing that she understood was "are you hungry" and when she heard
would run out to the kitchen to
her food which as I said before she literally had to see you put down before
her eyes. It was obvious to me that this cat
But she was lovable nonetheless.
she would run from Steven's room to my room, spending a bit of time
of us while we slept. Though we couldn't hold her as she wouldn't
let us, she was always in a room with one of us.
Tao preferred to be the only pet in the
but she had to contend with sharing her house with the various animals
that we had after her. There were other cats, and dogs as well.
When a new cat came into
she would hiss at it but within a week the new cat became the dominant
animal in the house. As far as dogs were concerned, they wanted to
play with her
would have none of it. When we moved to the new appartment two years
ago, she was the only animal in the house and she became more affectionate
than she had ever been. She now would lay in our laps and purr but
still, it was very rare that she would let you hold her.
Tao was aging, she was now 15
and I was starting to worry
health. Her shiny coat was
she was drinking less and less. And she was becoming skinner and
skinner. It was getting to a point that she was always hungry but
when you fed her she ate only a mouthful or two. I knew that I needed
to take her to the vet for a check up but I had
I had been struggling to keep a job for an entire year - working here and
there for a month or two at a time. The bills were piling up rapidly
but the money was
to pay them.
On June 17, 2002, I had had a particularly hard day at my new job.
I came home and went to bed for a nap. When I woke up
evening I noticed that I hadn't seen Tao yet that day. I asked my son who
was just on his way out the door about her. He told me he saw Tao
earlier during the
she was not doing well. Steven left to go out with his friends, and
I immediately looked for Tao. I found her in my bedroom
floor. There was blood from one end of the room to the other. Obviously
Steven had not seen this or he would have told me immediately. I
called to her and though she tried she could not lift her head. I panicked
and my heart broke, I couldn't bare to see my poor beloved cat like
this. The pain pierced my heart like a sword.
desparately to find a vet that was open after hours and one that I could
travel to in a bus because I had no other means of transportation.
I finally found one and I pleaded with her over the phone to see my cat
and not to charge me a fortune because
had $40.00 in the bank and I had to wait for two more weeks before I got
pay cheque. I cried all the way to the vet with my poor Tao, wrapped
up in a blanket in my arms. Tao never even moved and if she had been
well she would have
escape because she did not like to
nor did she like the outside.
When I got there, the first thing the doctor said was that
she looked like she got hit by a car. I explained to her that that
happened because Tao would never go out of the house. Upon examination
Doctor Chapman told me that Tao had a broken eardrum, an abcess in her
ear, and was suffering from head trauma. She said that she could
possibly treat her with
but with her advanced years,
not tell how long she would live. She said she had no way of knowing
if this was Tao's time to go. I then made the decision that my beloved
cat be put to sleep. I could not bear to see her this way anymore.
Chapman, did not charge me for the consultation, nor the cremation, she
me only for the euthanasia. In
even gave me a 15% discount on that. The entire bill came to $36.00
which left me with $4.00 in the bank. I owe a lot
wonderful doctor who took pity on a
old woman crying over her beloved cat.
I cried all the way back home as my
ached for my cat. I had left a
of me back there in the vet's office. It is still hard for my son
and I to be without her. Every time we use the can opener we expect
to hear her meowing for food. When we open the fridge or cook we
as we turn around but she is not there. When I come home from work
I expect to see her there at the door waiting for me but of course she
is not there. In the middle of the night I still feel for her to
is in bed but of course she is not. My now 25 year old son and I
both know that I have made the right choice. My beloved
finally in her resting place free from the trauma of this world.
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