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2nd Revision Tribute to Zeus

2nd Revision Tribute to Zeus

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This is a story to celebrate Zeus, my former cat's short life and the fun memories.
This is a story to celebrate Zeus, my former cat's short life and the fun memories.

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Published by: Christine Chris Ambrosini Bronstein on Jun 14, 2011
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02/27/2013

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A Tribute to Zeus

(May 27, 2003-June 4, 2006)

by Chris Bronstein The day we brought Zeus home was a day we will always cherish. He was a 14-week old lilac kitten with white paws. We wanted a male kitten that was going to mature into a very large cat, so after corresponding with a lady whose cat had kittens, my husband and I were sold. When I picked him up, he responded to us immediately. After we got home, the poor little thing was so scared that all three pounds of him hissed when we took him out of his carrier. As we finally fell asleep, we felt a little patter of small paws on the edge of the bed. I had to be at work in less than six hours, but our kitten was well worth it. When I went to work that following Saturday morning, all I could think about was rushing home to spend time with our new kitten. We decided that the kitten needed a strong, masculine name such as Spartan, Hunter, Frisco, or other names that would suit his personality. After a week, my husband and I both decided that since the kitten liked having run of our place, we named him Zeus after the Greek god. As a kitten, Zeus was one defiant little brat! For the first year we had him, we’d barely get any sleep. He had this thing about climbing over our heads and pouncing on us while we were asleep. We almost didn’t need the alarm clock with Zeus waking us up every morning. He looked like an angel during the day, but the moment we’d lay down, Zeus would be like a tiger on the prowl. Little did we realize that having a kitten was like having a toddler. Drapery strings had to be secured to the wall; open sockets were plugged; and we had to make sure that nothing that the kitten could put in its mouth was on the floor. We used a deterrent spray, Bitter Apple, on all wires, cables, and phone cords so Zeus wouldn’t chew on them. At the same time, Zeus was so

sweet that it was impossible to stay mad for long, no matter what he did (which was how Pie became one of his many nicknames). Zeus also had a thing about sleeping on rock-hard surfaces. We found that out after buying one of those beautiful, plush kitty beds that almost any cat would like. Nonetheless, Pie wouldn’t touch it. Deciding he was too spoiled to appreciate it, I returned it to the pet store a couple of days later. Everyone knows that nothing in life is perfect, but anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting Zeus would think otherwise. He had the most beautiful crystal blue eyes I’d ever seen. The way he would gracefully strut showed a proud, well-bred cat. He would purr whenever we scratched him behind the ears and held him over our shoulders. One thing he did which really melted my heart was tilting his head in one direction when we talked to him. It was as if he understood exactly what we were saying. It wasn’t until our first time taking him to the vet that I learned Zeus was living on borrowed time. Although he appeared healthy and normal, the vet diagnosed him with a large heart murmur. I was literally in tears after I got back home. My husband felt as if the woman we got him from ripped us off, and that he should be put down right away so that neither he nor we would suffer. However, given that he was behaving like a normal kitten, we decided to enjoy the time we had with him, no matter how short it might be. As annoying as it often got, it was a relief when Pie was being “naughty” (like thinking that my long crinkly skirts were toys when I was getting dressed and attacking shadows on the walls at two a.m.). There were many times we thought we had a baby tiger instead of a nice kitty. He liked hiding in paper bags, attacking the Christmas tree, and jumping on the dining room table- the latter two were what got him “sent to his room”. He kept up this kitten craziness for over two and a half years. Unfortunately, nearing three years of age, Zeus’s health was rapidly deteriorating. He still had a hearty appetite and could jump up onto the bar and table the last few weeks of his life. But for the last couple of days before his passing, the difficulty in his breathing became labored. He no longer greeted me with his meow, and he lied on the floor instead of his usual place on the bar and had a loss of appetite. That was when I knew it was time to take him to the emergency vet. Never would I have thought that this was the last time I was going to ever see or hold him. After the vet looked at Zeus and returned, I knew the news wasn’t good. He had fluid in his heart, which also had gotten into his lungs. He had a genetic defect called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), and was going into heart failure. When the vet and the technician took me back there to see him, I knew Zeus had taken a turn for the worst. I don’t think I ever prayed so hard in my life as I had before Zeus was put down. I was a total wreck after I got back. A week later, I picked up his ashes. When I spoke with another attending vet, she had said that Zeus would have died within a couple of days regardless of what kind of life he had. The crematorium gave us a beautiful poem that referred to a place called Rainbow Bridge, which was my anchor. I am still deeply saddened over the loss and will miss Pie when Christmastime comes. There is no longer a furry friend to play “mommy” or Santa Claus for, or to greet me when I come home from work and walk through the door. No matter how many cats I have in the future, there will never be another Zeus. Knowing that I had done everything possible and that Zeus knew nothing but love in his short life helps me a lot. I smile as I recall the first time I had taken him to the vet; she affectionately called him a spoiled brat after numerous toys spilled out of the carrier.

After turning my focus back to God, I realize that I could be bitter about Zeus’s passing, or to see the situation as follows: Our Creator entrusted Zeus in our care to give us a lesson in unconditional love, and to be grateful for the short time we had gotten to enjoy with him. I believe God had a bigger plan that wouldn’t be possible with Zeus still in the picture, but the little precious creature somehow had a key role in it.

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