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Kerry's blog

Remembering Venus

Kerry See - Monday, June 26, 2017
Just a day after publishing "Venus gets one last miracle" in the mid-May newsletter, Venus laid her head to rest for the very last time. My gorgeous lioness passed a few minutes after 5pm on May 16th. She had spent another day with me at work. Her breathing that day vacillated between steady and rapid breaths. During an episode of rapid breathing, I stepped away after sitting with her for a few minutes thinking this was another episode. I figured I would hurry and return within fifteen minutes. I kissed my girl; told her i loved her and stepped away for just that, fifteen minutes. When I returned, I found her still. I called to her knowing she was transitioning. She was so peaceful. I scooped her up; pulled her to my chest and heard one last sigh as her life force left her.

My angel, my warrior goddess had joined the angels.

We would have celebrated our 6th anniversary together on May 25th of this year. Six years ago, I was on facebook searching for a black cat for a friend. I found two on the Pets on Death Row list on the eve of May 24th. I contacted the page administrator and told her I would be taking Mischief and JoeJoe through a rescue group I knew. Somehow I wound up taking Marbles, a siamese, because the rescue group had a home for him. I went back on the page and shared the good news about the 3 boys. Someone replied to me, "What about Venus?" I had to look through the listings to find her as this was back when there were anywhere between two to three dozen cats per night. I found her and notified the rescue and the interested woman I would be taking her as well.

Those first few weeks were very difficult. Venus hid behind a dresser; eating there and coming out at night only to use the litterbox or drink. She hissed, swatted and attacked when approached. I tried to treat her upper respiratory but I couldn't get near her. Venus had to have her left eye removed due to the severity of the infection.

One afternoon, I decided to put a cat dvd on, thinking it might relax her as it relaxes my other cats. Well, to my surprise, upon hearing kittens meowing, Venus came out from hiding in search of those kittens! She did not find kittens, of course. She did, however, discover Beebop. He needed a companion more than ever. His sister, Tumblina, had recently passed leaving him without a bed buddy. He and his sister had moderate to severe cerebellar hypoplasia. After Tumblina's passing, Beebop suffered a stroke and had become somewhat bedridden. Venus climbed right in bed with Beebop and for the next six years cuddled, groomed, protected and loved him til the day he passed. She would alert me if he was about to have a seizure or if he had gotten himself in a compromising position.

Venus was truly a mama cat. All my cats looked to her for love and comfort. They all respected her and returned the affections.

Not long after Venus came out of hiding, I discovered tiny pen tip sized growths on her abdomen around her mammary glands. I was told she had been spayed but I knew what those growths were. Venus had the entire chain of glands removed and was spayed shortly after the diagnosis of breast cancer was confirmed. She remained cancer free for about a year or so before more tiny growths appeared in another mammary gland. Venus underwent another radical mastectomy. About two years later, Venus fell very ill. Chest x-rays confirmed a mass in her lung. Biopsy only stated necrotic tissue. I thought my girl was leaving me. I looked her in the eye and said, "Don't you know I love you? You can't leave me yet!" Miraculously, she recovered! The mass was no longer visible on x-ray.

I thought we were in the clear. Venus enjoyed approximately two years of a symptom free life. She welcomed kittens, Rudy, Fig, Sonny, Aurora and Leia and snuggled with her many housemates, Mina, Nico, Stevie, Beebop, Patch, Dizzy and Roo. I think she even snuggled with Tucker and JoeJoe! She enjoyed "combies"; carrying her "babies" to me and eating grilled salmon and chicken.

We went for a routine exam in September of 2016. Her vet felt a mass in her abdomen. Honestly, I noticed her firm abdomen but was too afraid to accept the cancer had returned. Venus was diagnosed with liver cancer and given 6 months.

I called her my right hand woman. Stevie was always on my left; Venus was always on my right. She and Tucker took care of Beebop. Losing Stevie and Beebop within six weeks of each other leveled me. All of us were at a loss. Mina had been taking care of Stevie in his final months. Once he passed, Mina wouldn't leave Venus' side. It seemed even Mimi was keeping a close eye on V. The thought of losing her was overwhelming. How would we all get through losing the elder trio?

I really can't describe how I loved and respected my Mama V. She was elegant and strong willed. She didn't trust readily but once she let you in, she loved you deeply. She didn't like p.d.a.'s but she sure loved to lie next to you and revel in kisses when no one was looking. She took care of all of us. She fought her battle quietly and bravely. She spared me the pain of watching her transition but held on just long enough for me to feel her soul leave, to let me know she is at peace.

I will love her forever.

R.I.P. Venus DiMilo See, my gorgeous lioness.

May 7, 2006 - May 16, 2017

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