Queen Sox

Ok so technically she wasn’t royal, but she thought she was.

H.R.H Queen Socksy Annie Jean Malone to give her full name as she had become known came into my life on February 16th 2006. I had just returned from a holiday and on entering the kitchen saw this tiny tabby run along the garden wall. Not recognising her as a local cat I went out to say hello. She seemed very friendly and was soon purring away. She wandered along the garden path and in the back door.

That day she loitered in the garden as though casing the joint before disappearing. Thinking she was just another cat visiting the garden I thought no more of it.

The next morning she was sitting on the garden table waiting to come in, I let her in briefly and then she went back out. When I came back from work that evening she was again sitting on the garden table. Thinking she was perhaps lost I went and bought some food and offered it to her, she gobbled it up. Then went back out. This carried on for the next few days, I enquired around the area asking if anyone knew this cat or had heard of a lost cat. I advertised a cat had been found but never got any enquiries.

On mothering Sunday that year she came in that morning and stayed all day and night. I bought her a pretty pink collar and she had officially moved in. She was just a young kitten maybe 4 or 5 months old. 

We quickly bonded and became the best of friends. She followed me around like a lapdog. Even if I went to the toilet she would follow.

She became extremely spoilt and really thought she was royalty. She spent most of her time in the garden. Her favourite spot was a small patch underneath a very old rosebush that had pink Oxalis growing beside it. We named it her nest as that’s just what it looked like. She loved the pink Oxalis and was always sitting beside it. Ironically the seeds were planted on the grave of one of our former cats from when I was a young child.

Like me she had an obsession with crystals, she was fascinated by them and would listen intently as I showed her my latest finds and what they could be used for. Sox was always more buddhist. She was very into Buddhism and enjoyed buddhist music. I would often find her sitting beside a crystal, sitting upright, eyes closed. I’m sure she was meditating.

She was a popular cat in the neighbourhood and befriended two beautiful Maine coons called Billy & Ted. The three of them were inseperable. Her boys as we called them were always around her. They acted like her bodyguards, they would escort her home each evening and would wait for her in the morning.

I remember one year Sox became unwell with cat flu. She was so poorly she spent a few weeks in my bedroom. She never left, she had her litter tray beside her, I fed her in there. In true Sox style she needed waiting on hand and paw and spent some weeks recuperating.

One afternoon I was sitting with her, we heard a noise outside and Billy had somehow managed to get up onto the first floor windowsill and was looking through the window for her. She looked up to acknowledge him and I’m sure they had a little chat.

When she was better then went outside and they were both there to greet her.

A few years later Billy and Ted moved away. Sox took it bad, she would go to their house and wait but once she realised they weren’t coming back she lost all interest in going out and became an indoor cat. She was so depressed for a long time and it took her a while to become her happy self again. She never regained any interest in going back outside. As long as she was happy I was happy. 

 Everything with Sox was a drama, one time she came in having lost in a cat fight. I bathed her wounds and left her to recover in her bed. That evening she got up and then collapsed. I rushed her to the vet where she magically got up and went running up their stairs. I was so embarassed there was me thinking she was severely sick and the little madam was perfectly fine. Just being dramatic.

It got even worse when a new vet took over the practice. Sox liked him a lot and I felt like I was always in the vets. She would be so dramatic and then perk up as soon as we were there.

One funny time was when she hadn’t pooped for a few days, It was really unlike her so I took her to the vet. She was as happy as could be and had lovely cuddles and a fuss and before her vet could even examine her she jumped down onto the floor and did a big poop right on the consulting room floor. I could have killed her.

This became an ongoing thing with her, the slightest thing she was do dramatic I thought something was severely wrong and all along she just wanted to see her vet. The nurses at the clinic had all fallen for her charm and tricks and she was always so spoilt when she went there.

In 2014 she had to go in for a procedure on her ears, they had become so blocked with solid earwax she had gone deaf. She had a great day, she was spoilt, had lots of cuddles, selfies. When she came home she wasn’t happy. She turned on the dramatics and back she went where she stayed for the day. I know she just wanted extra cuddles form her vet.

In 2015 she started to become unwell. She was vomitting a lot more then normal. She was diagnosed with IBD and was given medication. Which seemed to manage it well.

Later that year she developed flu like symptoms. Antibiotics weren’t effective and we thought it was a viral condition. She had so much congestion and it wasn’t getting any better. She was given a second course of stronger antibitoics and that seemed to work. Within days she was back to her old self, eating, playing and much more like my baby.

The symptoms soon returned but returned with a vengeance. We carried on with the antibiotics and she was having fluid treatment at the vets. At home she was unable to eat because of the congestion so I began syringe feeding her. Between feeds I was doing steam inhalations with her. My life became all about caring for her. She was on medication, syringe feeds throughout the day and steaming.

By Christmas 2015 she was very unwell. She was getting weaker by the day and I increased the feeding. Even stopping my Christmas dinner in the middle to do her a feed.

On December 29th her vet took her to a 24 hour hospital for a CT scan as it had gone on long enough (almost 6 weeks) and we wanted answers. He took her home with him that night which she loved. I don’t think she wanted to come home.

The next day the results were in. I was in the pet shop treating her to a new bed, I was just at the checkout when I got his call. It was bad, he asked me to go in.

When I got there I could see in his face it wasn’t good. Sox had Lymphoma. She had a tumour in the soft tissue at the back of her throat. Due to the location the tumour was inoperable.

She was started on chemotherapy and every other day fluid therapy. I was commited to keeping her comfortable as long as she needed me to be. I had discussed Euthanasia with her but this was not something she wanted at that point. I told her I would do all I could for her. As well as the chemotherapy I continued to use alternative therapies with her. We used crystal healing and aromatherapy. I needed to syringe feed her every two hours, I was blending cat food into a liquid and was giving her special recovery food from the vets. She was happy, she was still getting around the house, using her litter tray, and enjoying the things she usually did. She had good days and bad. 

Sox had always wanted a kitten. I promised her if she got better and strong she could adopt a kitten. We both picked the name Starla for her kitten. One night whilst doing one of her feeds I said to her

Do it for your Starla”

But I’m Starla” she responded.

I thought she was getting confused and told her Starla was her kittens name. She then told me this wouldn’t go on for much longer and she’d be leaving on Tuesday.

I noticed her begin to deteriorate again over that weekend. Her vet was on holiday for a week. On Monday morning he was back, Sox seemed happier, she was going in for her chemo and fluid therapy. He kept her in for the day and called me that afternoon. Her vitals were dropping. When I saw her she was a different cat. I could tell it was time. In a matter of hours she had gone from being my happy purring cat to a severely sick cat wrapped up in towels on a heat pad. I had never seen such a rapid deterioration. We all decided Euthansia was the kindest option at this point. I was not prepared to let her suffer. Our vet told me to take her home for the evening, spend time with her and take her back the next morning. The Tuesday.

I took her home at 4:30pm and laid on the bed beside her. She was huddled up close to me wrapped in my favourite jumper which was also her favourite. I stayed there with her all night just talking to her, cuddling her. I didn’t leave her side once. At 2:36am Tuesday morning she tapped my shoulder and let out a little cry. I held her closer and kissed her and told her to let go. At 2:38am she took her last breath and her little heart stopped.

I felt an instant relief, she was no longer in any pain, and was free.

I was devastated, my whole world had shattered in that one moment.

The next morning I went to see her vet before he started his morning consults, he told me to take her in at the end of clinic. I told her she had already passed. He couldn’t believe it and burst into tears. Together we cried in the consult room.

Loosing Sox was the hardest thing I ever had to go through. We had another cat Vixen at the time who also took it hard. I went back to self harming, had a total mental health relapse and went off the rails. I promised her I would always help other cats. She promised me she would return.

Sox was a star cat, I learnt from her that she was a star cat from Sirius, which explained why she was so spiritual and into the alternative therapies. The night she passed, Sirius was very close to earth and could be seen from the back door. I know it was to take her home. The strangest thing of all, she passed on February 16th 2016 exactly 10 years since she first came into my life.

Shortly after her passing I had a dream where she told me she would return to me as Starla but wanted to bring another cat with her, a boy called Cymmi and would I agree to be his mummy too. Of course I agreed. She told me to look for the star.

Sox is now back with me, with a new body and new name. I call her Starla.

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