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Balentine the Cat, 1993-2010

May 6, 2010
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Balentine and Blueberry, Winter 2010

These two cats never were great friends. But when the weather got cold, you could often find them edging closer together. Here they are, almost touching but not quite. Balentine is the yellow one. Over the years he was a little bit of a bully to Blueberry, stealing her food at times and chasing her. So she avoided him a lot. Then when he got old, she turned the tables on him, and I sometimes caught her eating out of his dish.

Balentine died 24 hours ago at home, at the age of 17.  He had been declining for the past year, his kidneys failing. But up until just last night he was still going through his usual routine, eating and drinking well, getting up on my lap in the evening for a cuddle. And then late last night I found him lying in the hallway, too weak to make the walk to the living room. I comforted him for about two hours until the end. I was glad I was able to be with him as he made his transition.

We lost our only emergency veterinary clinic late last year. But even so, I don’t think anything more could have been done for him. And fortunately he didn’t have to suffer too long.

I wrote yesterday’s post without mentioning this because it was still too fresh. Tonight it still is, but this is my life as of this moment, and so there it is.

So many changes this past year. This too will end up in my art.

Balentine and Blueberry, Circa 2005

55 Comments leave one →
  1. May 7, 2010 12:37 am

    Hi Martha,

    Thanks for sharing this with us all. My thoughts are with you as you learn to deal with Ballentine’s passing. Hopefully Blueberry will step up and give you extra love. 🙂

    Is it just me or does Blueberry really have blue in her fur? Both pics look like she does. They are both such beautiful kitties.

    Hugs to You!

    • May 7, 2010 6:39 am

      Itaya, I wrestled over whether to write in my blog about it. But I know I’m not alone, and if we have pets we all understand. Thanks for that.

      Blueberry might have blue fur if you turn the light just right, but it’s actually just black and gray. She got her name because my husband thinks he’s clever. Going through names for her, the name Muffin came up. He thought Blueberry would be just a little more unusual than a plain Muffin.

  2. May 7, 2010 5:26 am

    O Martha,
    I feel for you. This is too close to home. Our Popeye is 21 this month and it could be his last summer. I am giving you a long distance hug.

    • May 7, 2010 6:42 am

      Thanks for the hug, Melody, more than you know! We had a cat once who lived to be 21 too. For me the bottom line is that I hate having to give them up, but I would hate more for them to outlive me. That would be my worst fear.

      I know Popeye is in good and loving hands. He must be a very happy cat.

  3. May 7, 2010 5:57 am

    My heart goes out to you. It’s so sad to lose a beloved pet.

  4. Mary permalink
    May 7, 2010 6:07 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss of your cat. Losing a pet is very difficult. Mary

    • May 7, 2010 6:49 am

      Thank you Mary. That’s the worst part of having a pet — knowing that you have to say goodbye eventually. But they bring so much joy to our lives that they are worth it.

  5. May 7, 2010 6:07 am

    Martha, I am so sorry to hear about Balentine passing. There are no words to ease your pain. He was a handsome cat.
    We helped Kelly cross over this past January and I still miss her so much, even as we foster Mr.Bojangles.
    Sending you many hugs and thoughts my dear friend. xo

    • May 7, 2010 6:51 am

      Thanks for that, Joyce. I know you understand. And I know how you must miss little Kelly. It takes time. She was so precious.

  6. May 7, 2010 7:24 am

    My condolences Martha! I know just how hard this is…but yet, it’s harder to live life without pets, no? Here’s hoping that you have lots to do for the next couple of weeks to help distract you a bit when the heartache is at it’s freshest…

    • May 7, 2010 1:13 pm

      Thanks so much, Candy. You’re so right that it’s even harder to think of life without them. I do have plenty to keep me distracted, thank goodness!

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