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Beatrix Kiddo Andrew: 4/10/10 – 9/23/10

February 2, 2011

Beatrix

Beatrix Kiddo (aka Black Mamba, The Bride, etc)
Beatrix Potter
Bea
Bea Arthur
Bea-Bea
BB King
BeeBop
Justin Bieber
Beezie
Trixie
Kittenlicious

The nicknames went on and on. Anything as cute as Beatrix deserved an endless parade of nicknames.

My husband and I adopted Beatrix in July (read here). She was perfect in every way. Her vibrant classic tabby coat was as distinct as her personality.

Same model, different pose

Even as she struggled with FCV (Feline Calicivirus) and ended up spending a night at the pet hospital within the first week of her adoption, she charmed everyone; the veterinarians and hospital staff cooed over her vivid markings and sweet disposition. The receptionists always complimented her on her name and the vet techs all remarked how pleasant she was even when she had to do unpleasant things like x-rays and bloodwork.

Bryan did not take long to warm up to Bea. He was shocked by her disarming friendliness at first, but within a few weeks, they were napping together in their morning sunbeam.

Much to my dismay, they also formed a wake-up alliance and as a team, they were able to rouse me out of bed and into the kitchen to feed them at ungodly hours. Bryan had the muscle to jar me from my slumber; Beatrix’s methods, on the other hand, relied on her wit and dexterity. Within a few weeks, she was able to turn my iPod alarm clock on using her skilled kitten paws.

As with any new addition to a household, there was a certain amount of chaos in the Andrew abode for a few weeks after Bea’s arrival. I can remember waking up the first morning after we adopted her and feeling a little overwhelmed- I was sure of our choice to adopt her, but it was clear that life in our little apartment had changed. After caring for a sick kitten, I can only imagine how parents must feel after they have a baby.

The medication schedule that the pet hospital had administered to Beatrix was pretty intense- around the clock, I was dosing her with Chloramphenicol, Buprenex, and Metronidazole. I skipped a few weeks of photographing the Saratoga meet to care for her, but missing the country’s best racing to care for a kitten did not feel like a burden because she was in need.

Beatrix bloomed with good health after she kicked the Calici. Her increasingly nimble kitten feet took her all over the apartment, from the tiniest hiding spots to the tallest peaks. She honed her kitten-ninja skills every day, pouncing on toys, chattering at birds through the window, and leaping on Bryan’s constantly-wagging tail. And every night, the kitten ninja leapt into the bed and cuddled up for the night.

Our good times were achingly brief- little Bea got sick again within a few weeks. This time, she was diagnosed with Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), an incurable and fatal disease.

Reeling with the terrible news, I contacted the cat rescue to let them know. The director of the rescue had equally awful news for me- Acorn, little sister of Beatrix, had just died of the same disease a day ago. Apparently, the disease can be spread from a mother to her kittens and the disease can stay dormant for a few months before rearing its ugly head.

I’ve said goodbye to beloved pets before, and it always hurts, but there was something so terribly wrong with saying goodbye to such a young creature. While the loss of Alibar was devastating, he had lived a good, long life. Beatrix was just getting started. We thought she’d be in our lives for 15+ years and here she was, not even six months of age.

Even the decision of when to euthanize was horrid- her body was clearly failing her, but she was a kitten by appearance. This is one of the reasons I could not post about her passing on this blog until now. It stings every time I think of her.

My husband and I chose to say our final goodbye to her at home instead of bringing her back to the clinic. Pet Requiem treated Bea with dignity and compassion to the very end. Just as quickly as she had wriggled her way into our lives, little Beatrix had left us. It’s an incredible thing how something so small and so young can leave such a huge impression on the heart.

Beatrix Kiddo Andrew: 4/10/10 - 9/23/10

13 Comments leave one →
  1. Tricia permalink
    February 2, 2011 7:25 am

    Wow I had no idea that the poor girl had gone through two diseases. You have my deepest sympathy Sarah.

  2. February 2, 2011 8:24 am

    Oh! I am so sorry for your loss! How tragic. I think it’s hardest to lose the young ones. It’s the future that’s not to be which stings the most.

    The photos are beautiful.

  3. February 2, 2011 12:35 pm

    *sucks in breath*

    Oh Sarah! I am so sorry. At the moment the-kitten-I-did-not-want is terrorizing my home….screaming for her breakfast, annoying my dogs, knocking things off the coffee table for attention….and I am no longer bothered.

    Hugs to you and God Speed to Bea.

  4. Oregon Sunshine permalink
    February 2, 2011 1:03 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss, Sarah. However, you gave her a great life and she was blessed in her short life to have been adopted by wonderful people who loved her and provided her with the best care.

  5. February 2, 2011 2:33 pm

    What a heart breaking but beautiful story. The little girl was lucky to have you guys. She certainly was a looker and, from the sounds of it, very smart. I’m sorry you lost her.

    I rescued three two week old kittens in 2009, bottle fed them, and re-homed all to close friends. One died of FIV and I was scared to death that the other two would have it too.

  6. fizzgigk permalink
    February 2, 2011 10:59 pm

    thank-you for sharing those pictures – and your story. Now I have to dry my eyes and go hug my kitties….

  7. February 3, 2011 9:58 am

    Oh no. The love you poured into that lucky girl reverberated through this post. How lucky she was to have you, who gave her a charmed life. Thank you for being who you are. I feel so sorry about your loss.

  8. February 3, 2011 10:09 am

    What an amazing little cat, she was lucky to know your love. Thank you for the pictures, they are amazing and speak to her big presence. So sorry for your loss…

  9. February 3, 2011 6:50 pm

    I’m so sorry for you loss! Thanks for sharing her story and pictures with us. She was beautiful 🙂

  10. February 4, 2011 9:30 am

    Oh how heartbreaking. 😦 What a tough decision for you and your husband. I’m so glad little Beatrix the kitty-girl had you guys in her final days. She would likely have suffered terribly. They are such little treasures, little animals, aren’t they?

  11. February 4, 2011 4:31 pm

    If you don’t have one of these little purring critters – you know, the kind that seek every opportunity to be on your lap, and who want nothing more to be in your company – it may be hard to understand how quickly little kittens (and their grown up brethren) weave themselves inextricably into our lives and hearts. Bea had a good run with you and was lucky she found her way to you. I’m sorry that her time was so short.

  12. Lisa Hahn permalink
    February 5, 2011 9:00 pm

    Sarah – I lost my mother unexpectedly this past August, and she fed and adopted every creature that came across her path (especially in our backyard). If truly those we love go to a better place after they leave this earth, I hope Beatrix has found her way to my mom for lots of petting and being told how beautiful she is. And if there are some type of cat treats in the afterlife and my mom has access to them, Beatrix is also being gloriously overfed. My deepest condolences on your loss. – Lisa

  13. Jamie permalink
    January 20, 2013 9:06 pm

    I know exactly how you feel. We lost our Patrick at eight months old from the same disease. Or at least we think it was the same disease. He tested positive for the coronavirus and two different vets couldn’t tell us what was wrong with him, only what wasn’t. It was surmised after his death that it must been FIP. He was eight months old and beautiful and we left him very much.

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