Miss. Radar's Story

Miss. Radar was born sometime in 1991. She was found as a kitten by some friends of ours. When they moved out of their home, Matt and I moved in and she adopted us. We grew to love her and she became the most loyal cat I have ever had.

She played the perfect hostess and warmly greeted all of our guests. She was famous for making friends and family feel welcomed by jumping on their lap and purring. In addition to being a wonderful lap cat, she took excellent care of me whenever I was sick. She would stay by my side and purr, making sure I felt loved and appreciated by her. She was one of the best cold medicines I've ever had. At other times, she made sure I didn't oversleep by biting my toes, thus receiving the nickname "Toe Chomper." On the other hand, she was notorious for causing me to oversleep. She would curl up next to my pillow or stomach, and fall asleep along side me. She was the best kitty a person could have.

During the second week of June, 1997, she began showing signs that she was feeling under the weather. On June 13, 1997 (Friday the 13th of all days), I took her to my vet, San Juan Veterinarian in Citrus Heights, California, where Dr. Talley diagnosed her with a mild bladder infection. Unfortunately, this did not explain why Radar had lost so much weight: from 8.7 pounds to 6.3 pounds. After receiving the results of her chem panel, we discovered that she was suffering from liver disease. For those of you who are familiar with the feline liver, the chem panel showed that her SGPT was 892 IU/L (5 - 130 is normal) and her SGOT was 422 IU/L (5 - 55 is normal). This was quite a shock to us; she was only 4 1/2 and we expected her to be with us for another 10 years. For the next two weeks both Dr. Talley and Dr. Buntrock tried their best to save her. Short of a liver transplant, all we could do was give her vitamins, anti-biotics, fluids, and hope that she would pull through.

Her SGPT level dropped down to the low 200's, which was a positive sign, but she still showed no desire to eat. At this point, she had been in the hospital for 5 days. Because she had never been away from home this long before, I took her home, hoping that a familiar environment and our love would lift her spirits and encourage her to eat. After another 4 days of forcing feeding baby food and fluids to keep her alive, we decided that she was not improving; Dr. Talley, Dr. Buntrock, the vet technicians (Carol & Sherry), Matt, and myself were substitutes for a life support machine. Thursday morning on June 26, 1997, Dr. Buntrock put her to sleep. We had her cremated and plan to keep her remains.

I learned a lesson in all of this turmoil: the minute you suspect something is wrong with your pet, may he be a cat, dog, or other creature, take him to the vet. If I had followed my intuition early, Radar may be alive today. Cats tend to hide their symptoms very well. She had a tendency to throw-up after eating, which I thought was a sign of a hair-ball, but in this case, her vomiting was probably indicating something more serious. Until I took several days off of work for my own illness, I didn't notice how lethargic she was.

We will always miss you, Miss. Radar. You will never be forgotten.

Love, Flora and Matt

To A Cat
By Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909)

Stately, kindly, lordly friend,
Here to sit by me, and turn
Glorious eyes that smile and burn,
Golden eyes, love's lustrous meed,
On the golden page I read.
All your wondrous wealth of hair,
Dark and fair,
Silken-shaggy, soft and bright
As the clouds and beams of night,
Pays my reverent hand's caress
Back with friendlier gentleness.
Dogs may fawn on all and some
As they come;
You, a friend of loftier mind,
Answer friends alone in kind.
Just your foot upon my hand
Softly bids it understand.
Morning round this silent sweet
Sheds its wealth of gathering light,
Thrills the gradual clouds with might,
Changes woodland, orchard, heath,
Lawn, and garden there beneath.
Fair and dim they gleamed below:
Now they glow
Deep as even your sunbright eyes,
Fair as even the wakening skies.
Can it not or can it be
Now that you give thanks to see?
May not you rejoice as I,
Seeing the sky
Change to heaven revealed, and bid
Earth reveal the heaven it hid
All night long from stars and moon,
Now the sun sets all in tune?
What within you wakes with day
Who can say?
All too little may we tell,
Friends who like each other well,
What might haply, if we might,
Bid us read our lives aright.
Wild on woodland ways your sires
Flashed like fires;
Fair as flame and fierce and fleet
As with wings on wingless feet
Shone and sprang your mother, free,
Bright and brave as wind or sea.
Free and proud and glad as they,
Here to-day
Rests or roams their radiant child,
Vanquished not, but reconciled,
Free from curb of aught above
Save the lovely curb of love.
Love through dreams of souls divine
Fain would shine
Round a dawn whose light and song
Then should right our mutual wrong --
Speak, and seal the love-lit law
Sweet Assisi's seer foresaw.
Dreams were theirs; yet haply may
Dawn a day
When such friends and fellows born,
Seeing our earth as fair at morn,
May for wiser love's sake see
More of heaven's deep heart than we.

Last Words To A Dumb Friend
By Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

Pet was never mourned as you,
Purrer of the spottless hue,
Plumy tail and wistful gaze,
While you humoured our queer ways,
Or outshrilled your morning call
Up the stairs and through the hall--
Foot suspended in it fall--
While, expectant, you would stand
Arched, to meet the strokin hand;
Till your way you chose to wend
Yonder, to your tragic end.

Never another pet for me!
Let your place all vacant be;
Better blankness day by day
Than companion torn away.
Better bid his memory fade,
Better blot each mark he made,
Selfishly escape distress
By contrived forgetfulness,
Than preserve his prints to make
Every morn and eve an ache.

From the chair whereon he sat
Sweep his fur, not wince thereat;
Rake his little pathways out
Mid the bushes roundabout;
Smooth away his talons' mark
From the claw-worn pine-tree bark,
Wher he climbed as dusk embrowned
Waiting us who loitered round.

Strange it is this speechless thing,
Subject to our mastering,
Subject for his life and food
To our gift, and time, and mood;
Timid pensionor of us Powers,
His existence ruled by ours,
Should--by crossing at a breath
Into safe and shielded death,
By the merely taking hence
Of his insignificance--
Loom as largened to the sense,
Shape as part, above man's will,
O the Imperturbable.

As a prisoner, flight debarred,
Exercising in a yard,
Still retain I, troubled, shaken,
Mean estate, by him forsaken;
And this home, whild scarcely took
Impress from his little look,
By his faring to the Dim,
Grows all eloquent of him.

Housemate, I can think you still
Bounding to the window-sill,
Over which I vaguely see
Your small mound beneath the tree,
Showing in the autumn shade
That you moulder where you played.

On the Death of a Cat
By Christina Rossetti

Who shall tell the lady's grief
When her Cat was past relief?
Who shall number the hot tears
Shed o'er her, belov'd for years?
Who shall say the dark dismay
Which her dying caused that day?

Come, ye Muses, one and all,
Come obedient to my call;
Come and mourn with tuneful breath
Each one for a separate death;
And, while you in numbers sigh,
I will sing her elegy.

Of a noble race she came,
And Grimalkin was her name
Young and old fully many a mouse
Felt the prowess of her house;
Weak and strong fully many a rat
Cowered beneath her crushing pat;
And the birds around the place
Shrank from her too close embrace.

But one night, reft of her strength,
She lay down and died at length;
Lay a kitten by her side
In whose life the mother died.
Spare her line and lineage,
Guard her kitten's tender age,
And that kitten's name as wide
Shall be known as hers that died.
And whoever passes by
The poor grave where Puss doth lie,
Softly, softly let him tread,
Nor disturb her narrow bed.

Back to Flora's Zoo or
Back to Flora's Hideout

Click to contact me.