The Cat Cabin - Starting again... with heavy hearts

Welcome to The Craft-E-Kittens Cabin : Rainbow Roots & Moonshadow Cats.

My heart is heavy with sorrow right now so I'll have to work at this page and featured sections over the coming months / years..
Right now the important facts are :

We lost all four of our beautiful furbabies, one by one, literally a month between each other this year.

Beany died 1st March 2019 after a sudden relapse of existing illness, he died peacefully in his sleep happy and quite literally surrounded by his fur-siblings. We (myself and Johnny) had been beside him all day and he was fine (a little sleepier than usual but it wasn't out of the norm for him during a bout of FIV flare-up).. we nipped indoors to finally grab a little food and some rest meaning to go back out at 2/3am but we overslept until 8am and as if by fate - were detained with orders to complete before we could make it back out to the cabin - finally getting there at 10am... to find our beauty had JUST passed (still vaguely warm - but ... firm).
Something that still haunts my thoughts - are the WHAT IFs ... what if we had woken up earlier, what if I had for once in my stupid plans thought NO sod the orders for a few hours, the cats need us first... (that IS my primary concern after all, but I'm so terrified of bloody eBay's status system all the time) but would our beauty have had those final hours with us in our arms or would he simply have... panicked more with us beside him and not sought the comfort of his fur-sisters as he did in the end?
The worst flashbacks of guilt I have are of earlier that day telling him off (in a "mummy knows best" kind of way) for not eating his food and instead going to flop across the sofa beside me with his paws outstretched like all he wanted to do with lay and hug :-(

Pumpkin couldn't cope emotionally without him and her health deteriorated - I would say "rapidly" but she held on for a month, putting up with us spoon feeding her, cleaning her eyes, clearing her nose as she developed a slight breathing issue ... and all the time was searching and crying out for Beany :'(. She passed 5th April 2019 in my arms in the small house (she was laying across her favourite board with furry material on it and I had my arms as much around her as possible. She panicked ever so slightly and had a mad five minutes of charging around the house as if saying "I REFUSE to leave without my Lil Smushy (beany)" but then laid down with her head on my hand and looked directly into my eyes saying it was time... if I could stay with her and show her how she had to ... go.
The cd player had been playing for some time - I wasn't really paying much attention but suddenly it seemed to "seep into my ears" and I heard the words - in disbelief I mumbled (through slightly moist drippy snuffles) "could you hit replay on that song Johnny and come over here now - it's time?!"... It turned out to be Sophie Ellis Bextors "Shoot From The Hip" album and song "Nowhere Without You". Even months afterwards I hear this on my playlist and... I'm right back there holding on to our beautiful Pum-Leigh Panda and trying to send her images of peace, happiness, tranquility and how to find her Daddy-dog and Beany in the meadow just over Rainbow Bridge....
One of the hardest things I thought (at that point) that I'd ever have to face... was keeping a calm voice and steady breathing while bawling my eyes out - so that she wouldn't panic as she slipped into the pre-sleep on her journey where we couldn't follow.  It was as though Pum waited for me to call Johnny over and for him to say a few words to her... moments later she used the last of her strength (gods know where that came from - as she couldn't have had much energy left)... to lift her head towards both of us in turn and blink ... to say her goodbye and thank yous.. She turned her head to face front again... then did an odd thing. She - while fully flat on her left side RAN (all four legs motioned at though she ran at top speed to meet someone who she'd not seen in such a long time - her little legs couldn't get her there fast enough.... ) then she was gone... We sat with out hands on her side for at least ten minutes before I said I had to go indoors... wanted the camera. :-(.

Chewie took the loss of Pum and Beany so close togeher the hardest... she couldn't bear the loss of so many family members over the years.
She was the last one standing from (the first generation) Beary, Puppy and herself... Then Wolfie and Pum came in 2012 when Puppy died. Wolfie died in 2016... just two short years after Beany & Eggy joined the family too. But now here we were again losing family - Beany and Pum. Chewie adored Eggy obviously - but was never particularly CLOSE to her as Eggy loved from a distance - except with Pum (Eggy LOVED snuggling with "pretty").
Chewie sent thoughts to me of yearning for more family to coach and... rely on for comfort in her senior years.  We struggled for over 9 months before we even lost anyone this year to contact the "most common" rescues to enquire about various cats needing our help but with no luck - It was a little painful as you could see Chewie get her hopes up and then withdraw a little each time we waited to hear back but would be told "sorry - no" or simply never hear back... but she would quickly be back to herself while the others were around her - happy listening to music or helping me draw / write the diary out.
The real troubles started after Beany left to meet Wolfie at Rainbow Bridge as Chewie, Pum AND Eggy all went through a huge withdrawal stage pining for him and regarding mealtimes and hugs as pointless interuptions while he was nowhere to be found within the cabin (yes, that did hurt then and does now to remember it). Thankfully she snapped out of it (or seemed to) and tried to encourage Eggy to eat meals again - although as I recall it now (I am writeing this several months later on 4th November 2019 as I've found it hard to recount it) from then onwards each mealtime became a case of dishing out their favourite pouch or can, having a teaspoon ready to help encourage them to slurp up foods and then making scribbled notes of how much each ate at what times just so we could later check that in one day they had at least eaten X amount. Our hearts were swarmed with pain and sorrow after Beany obviously but when Chewie realised that something was very wrong with Pum she withdraw a little more and was nervous each time Pum left her food. It came down to it where Pum HAD to eat "Something" before Chew would accept even kibble from our hands. As you can imagine, this didn't even occur to us following Pums burial that Chew would then NOT eat because ... that's how things had been for the month since Bean left. She jumped out of the house, climbed (wobble-y?) up to the microwave where she always ate then sat waiting and ... waiting... staring at us as she wondered why we weren't feeding Pum first. I can't quite remember HOW we managed to get her to eat that night, nor the nights following but somehow over the coming weeks we began cooking Chicken, Beef & Lamb for them. When it became apparent that something was getting worse with Chew we didn't really have any form of "help" we could offer her, she was comfortable - happy and content - just ... aged and emotionally scarred from losing everyone. We knew that no help could be sought medically as it was "final stages" and we all know there's only one option there. She wasn't suffering - not that way. There is a post of this stage on our facebook page that even now I can't read without crying through - perhaps head over and read it?

The last few weeks we had with Eggy are documented mostly over on our facebook pages or personal profiles. I'm sorry but for now this will have to be updated at a later date. :(
Eggy withdrew massively once she was entirely alone, We tried our hardest to stay out in the cabin all the time but obviously with orders to process, listings to do - general chores and then there was the cooking Chicken for Eggy - we had to be indoors sometimes. You could feel to tension rise in her each time we said we had to go in now but would be back as soon as possible... 
Somehow we managed to get through day after day and she began to perk up once we finally took the plunge to rescue KITTENS (read facebook posts for this update). There are many "what ifs" surrounding Eggys final months / weeks / days but one of her main problems turned out to be the heatwave in late June that given her already asthmatic / erratic breathing then caused her to struggle moreso. Humidifiers were on pretty much all day and night to cool and aid her but we could just... tell that no matter what - she wanted to just be with us until it was HER choice to go. It may sound crazy but we are certain that she waited until we had everything... in place... for the newbies. We certainly know that we wouldn't have found the courage or strength to do any of the new things if we had waited until.... the final days had passed :(. 

We do for the cats, what any parent would do for their child. It astounds me how anyone could look into their scared, tear filled eyes and say "You just don't deserve to be alive" because they may need a little extra care, support and love.

Kitty Johnson, Founder & Co-carer. The Craft-E-Kittens


Note From Kitty

I would like to thank you for taking the time to look us up, read a little about our cause and hopefully help us with our fundraising.
If you have any unanswered questions, I would be happy to hear from you.
Warm Regards
Founder, Mamma & Carer Of The Craft-E-Kittens