A tribute to our beautiful Winnie

A tribute to our beautiful Winnie

We never set out to be a three cat household, but in June 2014 I happened to see an article that Multnomah County shelter had too many cats. This was before it was pretty much the constant reality that it is now, though I know things have never been ideal. We went out there the next day to pick one but the scene there was chaotic and we did not see any cats that fit our criteria. Our only criteria was a black, adult female. I took Shaun home and set out to Cat Adoption Team solo, hoping to come home with a new friend.

I told them what we were looking for and they took me to Harissa, who was in a kennel and very reserved. They said she had been there for a year, usually overlooked because she was not outgoing. I gave her a few pets, which she didn't really seem to care about and I said I would take her. She had originally been from Multnomah County, named Junebug there, she had been brought in under unknown circumstances, having just raised kittens. They said she gets along with other cats and had previously been in one of the larger rooms they have there with a few other cats. I signed the paperwork and took her home.

Turns out she does not get along with other cats, though I suspect Chips bold and nosy demeanor had something to do with that. We tried everything to get everyone to get along or at least just coexist, but the harder we tried, the more she wanted nothing to do with Chips or Sunday. Over the course of the next few years we tried and weighed a lot of options. Put her on kitty Prozac, considered rehoming her (we had a person who was willing to take her but when it came down to it, we could not let her go), etc. We put up baby gates in the room she primarily stayed in so all the cats could still see each other, in hopes they could learn to accept each other eventually. But everything was a no-go. During this time she also was not a big fan of us, often lashing out and just generally being annoyed with our presence. 

We stopped trying to make it work out with everyone and just gave her what she wanted, to be an only cat. She has spent the last many years in our bedroom, happily lounging in one of her many beds, on our bed or in one of the two windows in there. Most days, I would let her out and then put Sunday in our bedroom and Chips in the bathroom (if Chips was in our bedroom unsupervised he would pee on the bed). She never seemed overly interested in the rest of the apartment, except to inspect and nibble on the plants we had out there. She really did just seem most content in the bedroom, especially if her favorite person, Shaun, was in there. 

Over the years she warmed up to us quite a bit, Shaun in particular though. He spends a lot of time in the bedroom and she would very often fall asleep on his chest or right next to him. They also had little games they would play which she loved, she had turned into such a happy kitty. She had her happy little sounds, we called them "beeps." She would usually beep at us when we came home or would pace in a circle beeping before wet food time at night. She was just the cutest little thing. 

She loved Costco rotisserie chicken and carnitas and Backyard Cookout Temptations. She loved a good sunny window, which they actually told me at the shelter, which is why we renamed her Winnie when we got her home. She enjoyed leaping on top of the fridge and beeping at me when she was having her rec time. I got one of those petting gloves last year or so and she really liked being pet/brushed with that. She was a girl with simple wants and I am happy we were able to figure out what those were over the years. 

Over the last year or so, she started seeking me out more and we somehow ended up in a routine of her sleeping on my chest every night for hours and hours. I had to learn how to fall asleep on my back which I never had before, but she was pretty adamant it had to be this way, so I made it work. I will cherish all those nights with that tiny little creature using me as her own personal bed. 

Her health problems started in late November and she just was never really herself again. Ultimately we do not know what was wrong with her, but it became apparent over the last week or so that it was her time to go. I am so incredibly grateful this is an opportunity we are able to give our beloved pets, the ability to move on peacefully and with dignity. 

We will love you forever, Wins. 


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