|Birth: ||Jul. 25, 1984|
|Death: ||Aug. 14, 2000|
"I saw the most beautiful cat today ... its two front feet neatly and graciously together. Then it gravely swished around its tail to completely encircle itself. It was so fit and beautifully neat, that gesture, and so self-satisfied - so complacent." ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh, first American female aviator ~
After the loss of FancyBoy and JoJo, I truly grieved for eighteen months. I would awaken to Fancy's bark in the wee hours of the morning and actually look for him - his bark was that real. Yet I couldn't bear to find another dog to replace those two special dogs. My heart couldn't stand the thought of another loss.
All my life, I'd been around both dogs and cats, though I felt I was only a dog person; kittens were fun and so adorable, I felt cats were just too aloof for me. I wanted to be greeted at the door after a long, hard day at the office. I didn't want to come home to a cat, who I thought would merely be sound asleep or meowing piteously for his supper.
In the meantime, three cat loving co-workers began a daily work of art in convincing me what marvelous creatures cats are. Oh yes, I had great comebacks after their long tirade of pure praise of these creatures I couldn't see in my life.
It took about two months of constant badgering before I began to believe if I truly loved kittens so much, surely I'd fall in love with one and never realize he'd become a cat. So I began to check out the pet supply stores. I bought one of every cat item I could find. My kitten would have the best of everything. I bought for a solid week.
One of the trio at work told me about a lady breeder having a Siamese show cat who had managed to get out and have a litter. The woman was giving the kittens away.
On my lunch hour that day, August 10th, I drove over to see them. I was in a total state of shock. She kept all seven kittens in the yard without any shelter whatsoever. They would turn six weeks old on the 15th of August. They were flea infested, dirty and terribly thin. I wanted to scoop all seven up and take them away from that horrible woman. Especially after she began talking. There she was, trying to tell a country girl that her outside tabby had gotten to her show cat once. Those seven kittens had to have had seven different toms for fathers - for each one was totally different in color, fur texture, color of eyes and body shape.
After a few minutes, she said it was time to feed them. When I questioned the toasted bread squares, she said the kittens didn't need much since they were so small. I was absolutely astounded. And she bred show cats???
During the time the woman was trying to get the kittens fed, only one hung back. He was a tiny, tiny little thing with huge green eyes and a matted gray and black tabby-striped coat. The wee kitten had a blonde patch on the right shoulder. That little love stole my heart that day. I grabbed him up and tore back to the office.
I told them I was taking the rest of the day off. First on the agenda was to my vet ... the kitten yowling practically all the way and shredding my suit to bits. At last, completely yowled out, he tucked his head in the crook of my arm and fell asleep. I decided then and there, the kit's name was to be Cuddles.
Arriving at Dr Steve's, I found out Cuddles was a she. She was very malnourished (of course!) and had a bad case of intestinal parasites. I waited while the staff bathed, then dipped her. When she was placed in my arms thirty minutes later, I couldn't believe how different she looked. And when I got her home, how she ate! In no time at all, she filled out to become a lovely kitten.
It wasn't long before I realized just how many of us dog rescuers were in the area, but at that time, not a single cat rescuer was on my veterinarian's check list. I decided I would devote my life to cats - I'd given canines twelve years of my life so it was time for the felines to get a chance, too.
Cudz was always at the carport door waiting for me every evening, no matter how late I was at the office. I seldom went to bed before midnight; she and I would have our nightly romps around 11:00 pm - I'd chase her, she'd chase me. When bedtime came after our playtime, she'd lead me to the bedroom, jumping on the bed waiting for me to pull back the covers. She would sleep on my shoulder.
By the way, this reserved and timid little kitten became a reserved and timid little cat when I wasn't looking.
Nearly twenty-one years after my divorce, I met and married my soul mate, Craig Paul Bachman. At first Cudz hid from him. Three months later, I came into the bedroom to find her snoozing in the crook of his arm. My little girl finally found another purrson to love!
In November 1997 we came home to a message from our Pennsylvania vet. Cudz had a thyroid tumor and had been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and a heart murmur caused by the disease, enlarging her heart. We were devastated. She'd been such a healthy little cat all her life. She was thirteen years old and we prayed and hoped the human drug, Tapazole, would prolong her life. If the angels smiled, perhaps the tumor would go into remission. All we could do was keep our faith that she would be pain-free and continue to lead a good quality of life.
In January 1998 Cuddles' thyroid level dropped from 6.02 to .08 (too low, but she was out of danger of cardiac arrest). The angels did smile!! We began working on her drastic weight loss. She had dropped from 13 to 5 pounds in only a few months. But the Tapazole also helped her purrsonality. She was no longer so fearful as she became after her move to Pennsylvania with the other Kiddens and me. She became more sociable and had practically regained her old self.
The year 1999 was rather tough trying to get Cudz' weight up. Her thyroid level finally got to an even keel; she maintained 1.02 (normal) for two consecutive vet visits. Finally a visit showed that her weight went up at last. It wasn't much, but it sure beat 5 pounds for a nearly fifteen year old cat - she weighed 6.5 pounds. We were so ecstatic about this weight gain. In fact, the entire staff cheered as the techs spread the word. And we must heartily praise our wonderful vet, Dr Edward A Shelly of Little Gap Animal Hospital in Little Gap, Pennsylvania who diagnosed and treated her during the time we lived in Pennsylvania. Without his tremendous veterinary efforts and skills, encouragement and support, I know things could have been much different in giving Cudz additional comfortable years.
We thought that the move from Pennsylvania back to Louisiana caused Cudz much more stress, for her weight dropped nearly another pound since April 1999 - she went down to five pounds, thirteen ounces. Dr Steve did additional blood testing for diabetic evaluation and diagnosed diabetes. However, her appetite was good, she was still playful and socialized well (for her, that is). We prayed that we could maintain her good quality of health, for we learned that diabetes is not a death sentence for a cat.
The day before we lost our little black cat, Spook, in May, 2000, we took Cuddles in due to a "rattling" purr. We monitored her closely because she had so many health problems that could easily develop into very serious complications. She had bronchitis and a bacterial infection. Her thyroid was pretty much the same level; a bit above normal, but she was beginning to show signs of renal failure. All we could do was continue to closely monitor her health, keep her on her strict diet, and make sure we regularly gave her the various medications. She did gain a bit of much needed weight; she got up to 7 pounds, 4 ounces. Every ounce she gained was a major triumph in our eyes.
Keeping her quality of life good with no pain or suffering was foremost in our lives. We knew her days with us were more than likely very limited, so each day with her was deeply treasured.
Then, in August Cuddles refused to eat for three days. Force-feeding her was useless, for she would vomit it right up. She had been fighting the sub-ques for weeks. We knew when she hid out in the back bedroom's closet that chronic renal failure had set in. On August 14, 2000 I took her to Dr Steve for the last time. As quietly and gracefully as she entered my life, she left sixteen years and four days later.
I have much to be thankful to you, little Cud-Cat. For it was through you that I learned the beauty and dignified world of catdom. You were always there for me. No matter how lonely, frightened, or worried I was, I could always count on your musical purr, gentle gazes, and soft kisses on my face.
You will always hold my heart in your velvet paws.
A very special note was sent to me by Jeannie Dailey of PetRescue.com, Inc. that expressed her sorrow for the loss of Cuddles. She closed her email with these beautiful words that brought much, much needed comfort to my sorely battered heart:
I am truly, truly sorry. I can just imagine how devastating her loss is - especially as it follows so closely on losing Spook. She was such a beautiful little girl. I saw your tribute on your AngelKitties page and it made me so sad.
As you know, no matter how long they're with us, it's never long enough. Cuddles taught you how truly wonderful cats are. Every little soul that you bring into your home and into your heart is her legacy and her gift to you. God writes poems with words made of flesh and blood. Cudz was a beautiful poem that was completed, so God took her home.
FancyBoy Stallings Dog (1973 - 1983)
JoJo Stallings Dog (1967 - 1983)*
Cuddles Stallings Bachman Cat (1984 - 2000)
Kaitong Chang Stallings Bachman Cat (1984 - 1998)*
Danielle Stallings Bachman Cat (1985 - 2005)*
Spook Stallings Bachman Cat (1987 - 2000)*
Missy Hedge Cat (1991 - 2003)*
Samson Bachman Cat (1992 - 2002)*
Sylvester Bachman Cat (1992 - 2008)*
Autumn Bachman Stallings Cat (1994 - 2009)*
Lucky Jax Stallings Bachman Cat (1994 - 2005)*
Goblin Bachman Cat (1995 - 2009)*
JacquiLee Bachman Cat (1995 - 2002)*
Tigger Bachman Cat (1997 - 2005)*
Midnight Bachman Cat (1998 - 2009)*
RedBoy Bachman Cat (1999 - 2000)*
Penny Bachman Dog (1999 - 2011)*
Smut Bachman Cat (2000 - 2001)*
Breeze Bachman Cat (2000 - 2011)*
Spic Bachman Cat (2000 - 2012)*
Susie The Cat (2000 - 2002)*
Princess Bachman Dog (2000 - 2008)*
Puglena Bachman Dog (2001 - 2014)*
Rebel Bachman Cat (2004 - 2004)*
Skeeter Bachman Cat (2004 - 2004)*
Cheerio Bachman Cat (2005 - 2014)*
Sputnik Bachman Cat (2006 - 2015)*
Li'l Craigster The Squirrel (2013 - 2013)*
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Specifically: Ashes given to her parents, Craig and Suse Bachman
Created by: sniksnak
Record added: Jul 13, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 93561984