February 3, 2005 to September 22, 2013
I miss her every moment of everyday. Moxie died of feline triaditis. A pervasive disease that has three concurrent affects; pancreatitis, hepatic lipidosis, and inflammatory bowel disease. Only a highly educated and observant vet will have the wherewithal to diagnose and treat the disease. The problem is that by the time it’s diagnosed it is too late. As most cat owners know, cats barf all the time. It’s nearly a daily ritual that requires cat humans to accept this fact of life. This acceptance proved to be the reason Moxie died.
Moxie was the pick of the litter. Little did I know that orange tabbies are rarely girls, so she was already special. She was eight weeks old when I picked her. She was the most adorable little kitty, full of moxie. Moxie was a skittish cat and had difficulty socializing. She lived in my room, so this made it difficult to observe her behavior throughout the day. She stayed on a window perch or a cat tree I put in my room just for her. I forced her to allow me to hold her, and she eventually let me, and hang out with me, but I had to respect her boundaries or she’d be back in the bedroom. We moved from my apartment to my mother’s house for my health and financial reasons. She was just getting used to the freedom to explore the apartment without fear when the change occurred. The newness of living in the house was culture shock for both of us. My mother’s house is situated in a small town/foothill setting, with the Angeles National Forest just blocks up the street. The mountains is the picturesque view from our dining room window. With mountain living comes mountain living problems, and living in a house comes with it’s own set of problems. My first spring I was greeted with water bugs invading every entrance to the house, including my bedroom. I never experienced this in my city apartment, and even if I did the property manager was right there to solve the problem.
I knew the risks of spraying bug killer around the perimeter of the house, but what I didn’t realize is what happens after insects are infected with the poison….they seek a place to die. It’s not necessarily the poison that is toxic to animals if you spray away from areas where animals rest, its the insect. What didn’t dawn on me is that the poison attracts insects and the bugs seek a final resting place. For me it was under my bed, under my dresser, or bookshelf next to the door. I wouldn’t know they were there, but Moxie did. She torchered with the bugs and ate them. She died doing her job.
I wasn’t there when she died, which hurts me to this day. I wish I was there for her, so I could’ve breathed in her last breath, but I wasn’t. Moxie died in Dr. B’s arms. Dr. B cared for Moxie as if she were her own. The final 24 hours of Moxie’s life Dr. B made sure it was comfortable and most of all special. Dr. B took Moxie home and to bed with her. Evidently something she doesn’t allow her own pets to do. All I fear is that she was so scared and wondered where her mamma was.
There is nothing worse than realizing that her death could’ve been prevented, but I didn’t know any better. I did the best I could with the knowledge I had. It was an accident, a very heartbreaking accident. What I have learned since, is that I can’t keep beating myself up for the mistake I made, as difficult as that is. What else I’ve learned and will evangelize for the rest of my life.
Holistic remedies to fend off insects typically tell you to use some kind of essential oil with the herb or flower that specifically repels that type of insect. The problem with this is that essential oils are toxic to cats. So what do you do? Use tea bags.
Since California is experiencing the worst drought ever, ants are coming around. As water bugs, the ants are marching into my room. Ants hate the smell of peppermint, but using a peppermint essential oil was out of the question. Fearing any sort of poison or repellant to harm my other cats, and dog, I didn’t know what to do. That is until my mom came up with the idea of using peppermint tea bags. It was worth a try, since we only had the other animals to lose. I taped spearmint tea bags in four different places along the bottom of the doorway and waited to see. What happened in two days astonished me. The ants were GONE! At first they were kinda scrambling along but nothing unusual. Within 24 hours, a significant reduction in ants. Maybe a dozen roaming around. The second day they were all gone.
The lesson I learned. Poison attracts, herbs/flowers repel. The poison attracted the bugs but didn’t immediately kill them. They lived long enough to seek a place to die. The spearmint tea made the ants run away because they couldn’t stand the smell….and they didn’t die. Because I didn’t use essential oils, the other three cats and my dog didn’t get sick from it’s toxicity. I’m sure I didn’t invent something new, but after hours and hours of seeking a solution, I found nothing so simple as this.
If I just save one animal from toxicity by poison or by essential oils, this post has helped.
I will never get my Moxie back but her spirit is always with me and I will love her until the day I meet her beyond the Rainbow Bridge.