I lost part of my family September 28, 2000. Her name was Priscilla and she had been with me for almost 15 years. Her death was very violent, senseless and tragic. The guilt I continue to feel is unbearable. I continue to live the nightmare of what happened to my Prissy on a daily basis. I have joined several groups to help me cope with the loss of my sweet friend, but nothing seems to help. What else can I do? Will the pain ever end ? Priscilla, please forgive me.
Priscilla was with me through the good times as well as the bad. Prissy was with me when my mother-in-law died of Alzheimer's disease, and then six weeks later when I lost my middle sister to terminal cancer. She was at my side when my son Jamey left for the army; I think I would have really lost it if it hadn't been for her.
Priscilla was the type of cat that liked to be outside. She had problems with arthritis and laying in the sun felt good to her. I could never get her to come in unless it was chilly or very cold. So in the last few months of her life, I got into the habit of picking her up and just bringing her in whether she wanted me to or not. September had been fairly warm and knowing that she did not want to come in, I thought "what the heck" she would be OK. Well, I thought WRONG!!
I keep blaming myself for her death, if only I had brought her in she would still be with me...her death was violent and senseless and very undeserving for this wonderful creature. On the morning of September 28th, my Priscilla crossed Rainbow Bridge. She was attacked and mauled by a wild raccoon, possibly infected with rabies. To this day I can still hear my husband Ray screaming...Judy get up, Prissy has been attacked by a raccoon she's hurt!!! I don't even remember my feet touching the floor; all I could do was run. By the time I got to her Ray was beating this savage animal off Priscilla. I remember the sound, that horrible sound and the blood. Prissy was covered in blood and trying to crawl away. By the time I could get to her, I knew we were too late. I could feel and see her pain, and her eyes were so empty now. Oh God, what have I done? Why did I not bring my Priscilla in?
Ray rushed us to an emergency vet, little did I know at the time that I still was in my PJ's, barefooted and covered in blood. All I cared about was my Priscilla. I was hysterical, crying, holding on to her and begging for help. All I could remember is that Ray had to pry her out of my arms so they could see how bad the injuries were. I lost all track of time. All I remember is that I could not sit in that waiting room. So, I went outside and sat. I was so numb and scared. Scared because I knew deep in my heart that I had held her for the last time, and I prayed...I prayed for my Priscilla and for forgiveness, her forgiveness. Ray came and got me. By the look on his face I knew it was really bad. I can still hear Ray saying, Judy you have to make this decision. I had to make the decision to help Priscilla cross Rainbow Bridge. I knew I had to help end her pain. My Priscilla crossed Rainbow Bridge that morning.
Ray took Priscilla's death very hard also, but he is a lot stronger than me. I think he is grieving in a different way. He seems to think if I would let her go, my nightmares and guilt would end. It's here when I am sitting alone in the house that I can actually hear her calling for me, begging for someone to help her. I have many friends on the other side of the Bridge, but Priscilla's death has affected me so deeply and has left a void in my heart. Priscilla has 6 other family members that depend on me, also some strays. All of my cats are strays that no one wanted, just like my Priscilla. I have a picture of Prissy that I keep by my computer, and at times I can still see her outside my window sitting in the sun.
I have always been an animal lover, especially when it came to cats. My other love besides cats is working with the geriatric group, older generation of people.
Priscilla came to me as I was working in long term care, one of my co-workers was going to take her to the pound, and she was no more than five or six weeks old. All I can remember is looking in the box and seeing this small black and white little creature of a kitten. She was so scared and trembling, and was just able to meow. Her eyes were as gold as the sun, her fur as soft as cotton. What was I to do? We bonded so fast. She rode home on my shoulder in the car. Even though she was tiny she was taking in all aspects of the world around her. My family was so thrilled and amazed by her size and personality. She bonded with my family and became part of my family that day. It took us awhile to come up with a name, instead of kitty no name. One of my friends and co-workers became terminally ill and passed away, kitty no name then became Priscilla, after my friend. Priscilla only had one litter of kittens, and amazingly they were all just like her. Sadly, only two survived and when they were old enough I found them good homes. After that litter I took Priscilla to see the vet for spaying along with her other sidekick Clyde Cadiddlehopper for a neuter job. What a site to see, both Prissy and Clyde riding in the back window, and I really don't know who sang louder that day. They were both happy to be home.
Now for a real cute story that I would love to tell. Cats like to play with things that roll, balls, toys, pecans and such. Well, somehow a wild squirrel got into my house. This squirrel was in the closet that houses the hot water tank. A friend of mine and I came home for lunch and we kept hearing this real strange noise, like a scratching against wood sound. My friend kept telling me that my house was haunted, and I also noticed that Prissy and Clyde were also acting kind of strange. It was enough to make the hair stand up on the back of your neck strange. Well you should have seen us, me and my friend creeping through the house. Prissy and Clyde were close behind us. We were holding on to each other as we crept into the kitchen. We stopped dead in our tracks; there was that scratching sound, only louder. I remember Prissy's fur was all fussed up, Clyde's too. Well needless to say when I opened that door, that wild squirrel shot out of the closet and hit me head on and attached itself to my leg. My friend started screaming and falling all over herself, trying to get away.
What was I to do? Priscilla and Clyde came to my rescue. This squirrel did not want to turn loose, but one look at Prissy and Clyde and that joker went flying through the house with both of them on his tail. We had one of those old type heaters in our living room with just enough room for a squirrel to escape to. Well, things get even better, I had to call for reinforcements, my husband, my father-in-law, and told them what had happened. Prissy and Clyde kept a vigil outside of the heater but that silly squirrel would not come out, and why should he? Back to rolling things, Prissy and Clyde had this thing for batting around pecans on the floor. Looked like a feline soccer game. Anyway, these pecans most always ended up under the heater. This squirrel wasn't budging; he had plenty of pecans to keep him fed. I know this is long but its well worth the story. My husband Ray came home and I informed him of the squirrel. His reaction was "you've got to be kidding". So Ray takes the broom and tries to make the squirrel run. Wrong...this squirrel takes off again in the wrong direction with Prissy and Clyde on his heels. Ray and I are chasing cats to try and rescue the squirrel. At that time I had a tile floor that had been waxed, the poor little squirrel ran onto that wax floor and lost traction. Well, Prissy and Clyde couldn't get any traction either. But they were doing their best to catch the little thing. I was finally able to get the front door open. Ray hollered look out, all I could see was that silly squirrel coming at both cats and me on his tail. The squirrel was running so fast he couldn't slow down and hit the front porch wall head on. I think it just stunned him for a second because he was up and running again. He cleared the steps and ran up the tree and started squawking at all of us, Me, Ray, Prissy & Clyde.
As Prissy started getting older we nicknamed her Granna Cat, she was like a surrogate Mom to a lot of kittens that are now my other cats. When we found Miracle in the front yard, she was I'm guessing a couple of days old. Prissy stepped in and helped, we fed her around the clock with feeding and Prissy did all the mother type things like bathing and cleaning. They both slept on a heating pad till Miracle got a lot older. At this time my Mom-in-law had been very ill with Alzheimer's disease, we would sit on the front porch together. Mom got very agitated at times and I believe that Prissy knew. (Mom was a big cat lover) she would sit in her lap and Mom would calm down. I could tell you a lot more but there's way too much to share. But these are my most cherished memories of what we had together. Thank you for remembering her.