Chrystal - 'Catstory'

Name: Chrystal
Aliases: Chryssy, Chryssy-hissy-missy-kissy-sissy, Miss Mew, Minew
Age: 19
Birthday: June, 1992
Born in: Ottawa, ON, adopted from the Ottawa Humane Society
Euthanised: September 24, 2011
Euthanised in: Toronto, ON
Breed: Domestic Brown Tabby
Eyes: foresty green
Colouring: brown with black strips
Favourite Canned Food/Cereal: Frisky's, any flavour as long as it's different each day
Favourite Human Food: Olives, cheese, chips, lettece, canned tuna
Favourite Chewtoy/Plant: Fern, palm, cat grass, any type of flower

The cat in this picture is the star of this website. She is the very reason that this page was developed, so that many others could bask in her glory, and see what a pretty cat she is. This should be the first page you're seeing here. This is the brief biography of this fiesty feline. She has led a full life, there is no doubt about that. She has seen two different cities and has had two different homes. She had been out about in the first neighbourhood she lived in, and she is a little fighter too. She has proven in the times that she slipped outside that she is not only a good fighter but one little naughty kitty - best known for picking fights whether with cats or the neighbour's dog.

She never always lived as the only cat in the house. Her brother, a little hot-headed male tabby, Rocky, dominanted for a long time, before she finally figured out how to kick his ass. Needless to say, that was a sad for him. His ego got terribly bruised. This was also when she developed her fighting spirit and figured out how to fight and stick up for herself regardless of who she was taking on. Though, ironically, she would never use her claws against her owners, always very gentle.

She was adopted from the Ottawa Humane Society about 19 years ago, during June, when she was no more than 6 or 7 weeks old; she was the tinest one in the cage she was sharing with other poor abandoned kittens. She had been hiding in the corner when I saw her and decided that she was the one I wanted to give a nice warm home to. A couple of days before, we had acquired another kitten from the same place. The male, Rocky, was only a week older than her, so, they were young enough to be taught on how to share the house and get along in a domestic environment. The first night they were together, they were so cute. They got along very nicely. In fact, for about 6-7 yrs they got along wonderfully, even though Rocky sought to be the dominant one and pushed her around just because she was smaller.

After she learned to push him around, the tables turned in her favour. She was no longer the victim, she was now the bully. It was also at this point that she begun to pick fights with the neighbourhood cats. We couldn't even bring her out with us unless we knew that there were no cats around for her to pick a fight with. If we didn't check and turned our backs very briefly, she'd sniff the others out, and she would zero on some innocent cat ambling peacefully along the road, not seeking a fight.

Then, in 2001, I decided that I wanted to go to school in another city, and the others were fed up with Ottawa, so, with the cat and our possessions, we packed up, sold the house and moved south to Toronto and into an apartment, much to the disappointment of Chrystal, who was no longer at ground and didn't have a ledge to perch on and watch the people and cats walk by; she only had the birds and squirrels to watch. Though, in the winter, there is much less for her to do. She now spends most of her time on our laps, especially when we have guests over, sitting at the computer or just reading. She has windows still, but, somehow it doesn't to be quite the same.

Age has not made her quiet, if anything she's learned how to make noise, whether it's meowing loudly at the door when I've left, or in the middle of the night for no reason other than she is just bored. She just meows loudly. Some times her meowing was aimed at nothing in the bathroom, or when I was going out, she would meow at the door. She could be heard downt he hall at the elevator.

Although she was older, it didn't mean she couldn't learn new tricks. She was taught and successfully used her kitty condo for scratching, never once touching my furniture after I moved out of my father's hour. Although she objected at first, she came to accept that the leash meant some freedom for her and that if she had to go out, she wouldn't have to go in the cage.

Another habit, besides the louder meowing and demanding attitude she acquired in her old age was the need to go outside into the apartment hallway. At first she timidly clung to the walls, but she eventually grew bolder. She needed to be watched because some of the neighbours had dogs and preventing an encounter was important, especially since she had previously attacked a neighbour's very passive, very gentle albeit big dog. It was fortunately the only incident of that sort.

Despite anything bad written above about her, she was a very good cat who loved people. It took one sniff of your hand and she'd cuddle it and begin purring for you. However, at the end of the day, she really just wanted attention from me, the person who adopted her from the humane society, picking her from the back of the cage where she hid. For me, she always purred the loudest and the longest. As I loved and cared for her, she was loyal toward me, even to the end.

The decision to euthanize is never an easy one. A cat can never truly tell you when it's time. You have to realise it through the way they behave. I spent the last month watching her carefully. I knew her time was coming. I didn't imagine it would arrive abruptly when it did. She had been on a special pill for almost 7 years to control a thyroid condition which quickened her metabolism and caused her to feel hungry frequently. The pill gave her extra years she wouldn't have had. Despite the need for the pill, she was a happy cat and thrived. When she could no longer jump because the ligiments in her back legs were too badly damaged, I realised it would soon be time. Time was, when she was still able, she would arch her back when stroked, but she was no longer able to and the slightest touch must've been sensitive because her back would sink down if I pet her too far down her back. However, she still purred; she would always purr if she was petted, even if just on the head.

Those who are reading to the end, know this, when I put her down on Sept. 24, 2011, I was losing my best friend of 19 years. But I didn't leave the room until she was truly gone. I stayed with her until the end. I held her in her last moments so she wouldn't die alone in the dimly lit vet office. The only way she deserved to pass in was in dignity being held by the owner who cared for her, her entire life. The hardest part was when she no longer purred for me. But she still had her dignity.

I love you, Chrystal. You were a great cat.

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