Real Life Rainbow Bridge Stories

'My Visits With Kahnsu'

by Tanya
(Canada)

We got our Seal Point Siamese cat when I was eight years old. We had just put our dog Snoopy down (he was a Rhodesian Ridgeback). We had had him for years and his mind started going, he became overly protective of both my mother and I and almost attacked my dad late one night.

Anyway, mom knew we were upset and she and I had always wanted a cat, so she talked to a friend of hers who's cat had just had a new litter. I don't know if you know anything about Siamese breeds, but they tend to be aggressive, possessive and very moody by nature. Well, we got the runt and most quiet one of the bunch. Because she was Siamese my brother's got out the encyclopedia and decided to pick a name that would suit our cat. They found the word Kahnsu and it stuck.

She was a very mild tempered, easy going cat. I was told from the very beginning not to let her sleep in my bed... did I listen? Of course not, within a week she was sleeping under the covers by my legs. She was very playful and would run around a lot at night. I can't tell you how many times she ran down our hall, slid on the carpet (which wasn't tacked down) and hit the wall. She loved to be outdoors, especially in the summer, and would spend hours either sunning herself on the street or sleeping in the shade of my mom's flower bed.

Khansu was six months old the first time she went into heat. The Vet said she was too young, "Put her outside, she's too young to be in heat". WRONG! The first batch of kittens came 3 months later. That was when I found out that cats (especially females) can be quite promiscuous. She gave birth to a black kitten, a brown kitten, an orange striped kitten, a white kitten and a little gray one...each one with her blue eyes. We gave those kittens to my cousins who lived on a farm and she yowled like crazy for about two weeks afterward. She had her next litter at about 15 months and then we got her spayed.

She was my "best" friend growing up. I have many friends, one of which I have been friends with for over 30 years (we're almost like sisters), but Khansu was my "true best friend." She was there for me when my friends all had dates and I was home alone, she was there with me when my Grandmother passed away, she was there with me when my mother had emergency kidney surgery when I was sixteen, she was just always there. If I got scared in the night, or if I was sad, she would let me hold her and tell her my most inner most thoughts and feelings without voicing an opinion.

When I was 21, I finally moved away from home to go to school. She, apparently was lost without me. My mom had to sleep in my bed with her that first week to keep her from crying. The first weekend I came home, she ignored me for the first hour and then came over and sat on my knee all evening, purring so loud you could hear it in the next room.

Later that same year, mom and dad decided to move into an apartment. They were taking over as manager's and even though the building had a no pet clause they were told they could take the cat, but then they would have to change the policy. They decided to get rid of her, they asked if I wanted her... I couldn't take her I lived in a house and no pets were allowed. They couldn't find anyone to take her and decided to put her down. That's when I called my cousin, who was and still is a cat lover, and she took her in. Mom and Dad drove the cat into Regina and that's were she stayed for the next few years.

The transition was hard for her, being an outdoor cat, and it took her a few weeks to get settled. The first time I saw her in her knew home, she was fat and content but didn't seem to know who I was. She wouldn't come to me anymore and would run away when I tried to pick her up and pet her. But, one night when I was staying there, I started playing a game with her that we had always played and then she started purring and sat with me for hours, she even slept with me that night.

I got the phone call about a year later, she had been getting sick a lot, had been urinating all over and was lethargic. My cousin had taken her to the vet and found out after numerous blood tests that she had feline leukemia and it was just a matter of time before she died. We both knew that the best thing was to put her down.

I never knew how hard it would be. My husband, he was my boyfriend at the time, and I picked up Khansu and my cousin and drove to the vet's office. We didn't put her in her kennel it freaked her out, so I held her all the way. I knew she was sick when we got into the office and the sight of another cat didn't even make her flinch... she didn't seem to care.

The three of us went into a private room with her, where they gave her a sedative to put her to sleep before they administered the final medication. She looked at me, started purring, and as I petted her head and back she put her paw on my hand and closed her eyes. They gave her the final shot and she was gone within a few minutes. We were told that we could sit with her until we were ready to leave. It was hard for everyone, but we all knew she was in a better place.

After that I got on with my life, but not without her visiting me. I would go home, which was now an apartment, to visit my parents and go to bed and sometimes in the night I would/could feel her curling up on top of the covers behind my knees. I would feel her laying on my chest and sometimes I could feel her nuzzling my hand and arm. When I would go back to school and I was lonely, I could feel her jump on the bed and sometimes, out of the corner of my eye, I saw what looked like a cat sitting on the floor.

The last time I really saw or felt her was when my mom died 10 years ago. We were all home for the funeral and I went to bed late the one night. I was laying in bed crying and I swear I felt her jump on the bed and I could feel her laying there. Usually, when it had happened in the past, it would last a few seconds, this time it lasted the whole night. I would roll over and I could feel her there, she was with me, at one point I thought I could hear her purring. It was very comforting.

Since I've been married and have had children I've been too busy to notice anything, for the most part. But, every once in a while, I will wake up and feel that warmth behind my knees or her weight on my chest and I know she's watching over me.

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