I have loved many cats in my lifetime and each of them have been special in their own right. Each of them have been deeply loved. But Bowie was special in ways that mere words could never properly convey. Bowie found himself at New York City Animal Care and Control in Manhattan in early December 2018 after a "friend" of his owner surrendered him on their behalf. He was estimated to be between 15 and 16 years of age, with his once long and silky coat now severely matted. There was no indication of the reason for him being surrendered and after having almost 18 months with him, I still cannot fathom how anyone of sound mind could ever let this boy go. He was devastatingly handsome and filled with enough love to make a senior cat lover out of anyone. Bowie had the typical "ginger cat charisma", but he was anything but typical. He was my heart and soul.
As you can probably guess by now, I found Bowie through a Facebook post and there was something about his shelter picture that drew me in. I knew immediately that he was special and I couldn't get him off my mind. After all of the losses over the prior year, I wasn't emotionally ready to adopt a senior cat with significant medical issues...I just didn't feel strong enough. But Bowie was listed only as possibly blind and that I knew I could handle so I reached out to a Facebook friend that volunteered at the shelter and inquired about him. I admit that I cried when she replied back to me that Bowie had been reserved by a rescue already and wasn't available for me to adopt. After all, my gut told me that this cat was supposed to be in my life, so how could he become someone else's cat? But my friend urged me to leave my contact information with the shelter because sometimes things fall through and maybe...just maybe...that would happen with Bowie. I begrudgingly agreed, not really expecting the outcome that I was hoping for.
But within a few hours, I received an email from Bunny Hofberg of Frankie's Feline Fund (an amazing senior cat rescue based in NYC) that read "The shelter just emailed me that you were interested in [Bowie]. I haven't gotten him out of the shelter yet. How would you like to proceed?". Yeah...I cried again, but this time from sheer joy and excitement. Before the end of the day I had agreed with Bunny that I would adopt Bowie from her rescue after she had him vetted. And 5 days later, he was home with me after being shaved to relieve him from the awful matting. He was very skinny and Bunny advised me that her vet determined he had an arrhythmia so a Cardiologist visit would be needed soon.
Bowie's vet visit that next week revealed an enlarged heart (a "valentine" heart) and the Cardiologist we saw later that week confirmed the arrhythmia and tacked on "congestive heart failure". He was put on a litany of heart meds that he would be required to take for the rest of his life. But none of that mattered because he was a true light in my life. Bowie slept under the covers with me every night and gave me love bites and head butts with gusto. He was playful, happy, loving and sheer perfection, all rolled into an 8.5 lb furry body. He was my reason for rising every morning, and every day with him was a blessing. But after almost 18 months, his heart disease progressed and kidney disease reared its ugly head (exacerbated by the daily Lasix), putting us in that impossible position of trying to balance heart disease protocols with kidney disease protocols. It all took a toll on my boy's body and he started to decline in early 2020. Despite not wanting to for purely selfish reasons, I helped Bowie cross over on June 3, 2020. It hurts every day, but I was the luckiest girl in the world for just under 18 months because I was his "Mom". I will forever be grateful for that.
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