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Forever Autumn without my sweet Rafiki

Rafiki

Site Supporter
I met Rafiki when she was 4 weeks old and I was instantly smitten. This scrappy little kitten soon won over her Pixie Bob furbrother Jammu and her daddy Steve who initially kept wondering why I couldn’t just get a “normal” cat. She was my baby girl, my BEST girl. With a scary growl and an even more terrifying hiss, she did not have a vicious bone in her body. She was always naughty but sweet. And she always smelled so good – we called it that good kitten smell.

I named her Chui Rafiki (leopard friend in Swahili) and she became my best friend. She slept on my right side at night. If she came to bed and I was turned the other way, she would nip my shoulder blade so that I would roll over and cuddle. She would follow us to the bathroom in the morning and do her sign language for “I want” so that we would pet her. She loved to suck and chew on our fingers. She sat with us in the catio for morning coffee. When I would come home, I would hear the loud thumping of her running to greet me as she flopped over on the landing and did her “I wants” for pets and cuddles. All day long, she was my shadow. In the evenings she would hang out with us in the catio as we enjoyed our wine. She loved stealing Steve’s chair and he would accommodate her and sit on a cushion on the ground. She was a fiend for parmesan cheese and bread. Little goof ball loved In-n-Out burgers but she liked the bun with burger juice. Before going to bed at night, she would jump up on the counter so that I could help her use her toothbrush and then brush her fur.

At 2 years old, she developed liver fibrosis and she battled it for over 6 months. Many times, we thought that we would lose her. She had a bad reaction to a medication and temporarily lost strength in her back legs. She battled pancreatitis. I would feed her food off my fingers and beg her to eat. I lost track of how many nights I slept on the floor when she slept under the bed. The doctors said that it would be a miracle if she saw her 5th birthday. But my girl battled on and along the way, I developed a bond to this cat like no other.

Then on Jan 12, 2019 came the horrible diagnosis of lymphoma. It was small cell but the tumor on her liver was 5 cm, another on her spleen and a 3rd in her chest cavity. She was given less than 2 weeks without treatment and 2 months with. We pursued CHOP. Most of the protocol did not work. One of the side effects of the chemo was that she developed a grade 3 heart murmur. She developed fluid in her chest and we had it tapped twice. Then a miracle happened when an ultrasound showed that the tumors in her belly were gone. We had a treatment. Rafiki initially had chemo 1x/week, then eventually 2x/month as she continued to do well. We had just moved to a schedule of 1x/6 weeks.

My girl was taking anywhere from 8 to 10 pills a day (mostly for heart) so we had to find a routine. One of the challenges we faced was that Rafiki was on a raw diet – contraindicated for a cat on chemo so she took antibiotics after chemo. I would compound the meds into capsules along with some herbal remedies that Kristin and Deanna researched for me that the oncologist approved. She would receive 2 capsules twice a day. Before their meal, Rafiki would run to the corner and flip over. That was my cue to love on her and give her butt rubs. Then I would scoop her up and kiss her belly and her little face. I would set her down on the counter, give her the 2 capsules via a pill shooter, lots of lovings again followed by freeze dried meat treats. And then food. We were able to turn something that cats despise into our special moments.

In June, we did a full workup including the cardiologist. Her enlarged heart was back to normal size and function! We weaned her off the heart meds but kept her on the blood thinners. She was doing fantastic. The doctors and the techs were all in love with her, including one tech who was initially terrified of her and kept up a mantra of “Nice Savannah, BIG Savannah but nice Savannah!”. Everything was looking wonderful and my world was full of hope.

Thursday began like any other day. I never knew how shattered my world would get. At 9 am, she came to find me because she did not feel well. She threw up her breakfast. She used her litter box soon after but when she came back upstairs, something was clearly wrong. She was shaking, breathing rapidly and drooling. I rushed her to the ER but there was nothing that they could do. She threw a blood clot that went to the brain. Despite Covid, they allowed us into the facility so that I could hold her when she passed. She was only 7. Feb 4, 2013 – July 30, 2020

Forever Autumn

like the sun through the trees you came to love me
like a leaf on a breeze you blew away

a gentle rain falls softly on my weary eyes
as if to hide a lonely tear
my life will be forever autumn 1 breath.jpg 3 leg.JPG 5 nose shelf.jpg 7 security blanket kittie.jpg 10 collection.JPG 12 catio steve.jpg 15 hanging with peeps.JPG 16 cat stand.jpg 17 hammock.jpg 20 belly.jpg 21 helens house.jpg 21 i want.jpg 22catio.jpg 23 asleep finger.jpg 24 toothbrush.JPG 24 waterfall walk.jpg 31 gazebo.JPG catio.JPG 27 nose.JPG 30 rafiki loves jammu.jpg
‘cause you're not here

jeff wayne, justin hayward
 

Vito

Site Supporter
I met Rafiki when she was 4 weeks old and I was instantly smitten. This scrappy little kitten soon won over her Pixie Bob furbrother Jammu and her daddy Steve who initially kept wondering why I couldn’t just get a “normal” cat. She was my baby girl, my BEST girl. With a scary growl and an even more terrifying hiss, she did not have a vicious bone in her body. She was always naughty but sweet. And she always smelled so good – we called it that good kitten smell.

I named her Chui Rafiki (leopard friend in Swahili) and she became my best friend. She slept on my right side at night. If she came to bed and I was turned the other way, she would nip my shoulder blade so that I would roll over and cuddle. She would follow us to the bathroom in the morning and do her sign language for “I want” so that we would pet her. She loved to suck and chew on our fingers. She sat with us in the catio for morning coffee. When I would come home, I would hear the loud thumping of her running to greet me as she flopped over on the landing and did her “I wants” for pets and cuddles. All day long, she was my shadow. In the evenings she would hang out with us in the catio as we enjoyed our wine. She loved stealing Steve’s chair and he would accommodate her and sit on a cushion on the ground. She was a fiend for parmesan cheese and bread. Little goof ball loved In-n-Out burgers but she liked the bun with burger juice. Before going to bed at night, she would jump up on the counter so that I could help her use her toothbrush and then brush her fur.

At 2 years old, she developed liver fibrosis and she battled it for over 6 months. Many times, we thought that we would lose her. She had a bad reaction to a medication and temporarily lost strength in her back legs. She battled pancreatitis. I would feed her food off my fingers and beg her to eat. I lost track of how many nights I slept on the floor when she slept under the bed. The doctors said that it would be a miracle if she saw her 5th birthday. But my girl battled on and along the way, I developed a bond to this cat like no other.

Then on Jan 12, 2019 came the horrible diagnosis of lymphoma. It was small cell but the tumor on her liver was 5 cm, another on her spleen and a 3rd in her chest cavity. She was given less than 2 weeks without treatment and 2 months with. We pursued CHOP. Most of the protocol did not work. One of the side effects of the chemo was that she developed a grade 3 heart murmur. She developed fluid in her chest and we had it tapped twice. Then a miracle happened when an ultrasound showed that the tumors in her belly were gone. We had a treatment. Rafiki initially had chemo 1x/week, then eventually 2x/month as she continued to do well. We had just moved to a schedule of 1x/6 weeks.

My girl was taking anywhere from 8 to 10 pills a day (mostly for heart) so we had to find a routine. One of the challenges we faced was that Rafiki was on a raw diet – contraindicated for a cat on chemo so she took antibiotics after chemo. I would compound the meds into capsules along with some herbal remedies that Kristin and Deanna researched for me that the oncologist approved. She would receive 2 capsules twice a day. Before their meal, Rafiki would run to the corner and flip over. That was my cue to love on her and give her butt rubs. Then I would scoop her up and kiss her belly and her little face. I would set her down on the counter, give her the 2 capsules via a pill shooter, lots of lovings again followed by freeze dried meat treats. And then food. We were able to turn something that cats despise into our special moments.

In June, we did a full workup including the cardiologist. Her enlarged heart was back to normal size and function! We weaned her off the heart meds but kept her on the blood thinners. She was doing fantastic. The doctors and the techs were all in love with her, including one tech who was initially terrified of her and kept up a mantra of “Nice Savannah, BIG Savannah but nice Savannah!”. Everything was looking wonderful and my world was full of hope.

Thursday began like any other day. I never knew how shattered my world would get. At 9 am, she came to find me because she did not feel well. She threw up her breakfast. She used her litter box soon after but when she came back upstairs, something was clearly wrong. She was shaking, breathing rapidly and drooling. I rushed her to the ER but there was nothing that they could do. She threw a blood clot that went to the brain. Despite Covid, they allowed us into the facility so that I could hold her when she passed. She was only 7. Feb 4, 2013 – July 30, 2020

Forever Autumn

like the sun through the trees you came to love me
like a leaf on a breeze you blew away

a gentle rain falls softly on my weary eyes
as if to hide a lonely tear
my life will be forever autumn View attachment 27933 View attachment 27935 View attachment 27936 View attachment 27938 View attachment 27939 View attachment 27941 View attachment 27942 View attachment 27944 View attachment 27945 View attachment 27946 View attachment 27947 View attachment 27948 View attachment 27949 View attachment 27950 View attachment 27951 View attachment 27952 View attachment 27953 View attachment 27954 View attachment 27955 View attachment 27956
‘cause you're not here

jeff wayne, justin hayward
So very sorry to hear of Rafikis passing, my heart breaks for you, what a fight the poor lass put up, at least she had you there throughout her life, and lived life to the full. I genuinely feel your pain, having also been there. Hold on to all the memories & good times. God bless you both, R.I.P Rafiki,
 

WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
Tears running down my face. My heart is breaking for you Linda. Having followed Rafiki and you on this journey, I know she received the very best care and an abundance of love from her human family. I can't believe she's gone. Peace and healing to you, your husband, and Jammu.
 

Moggiesnewmom

Savannah Super Cat
I know how much you loved her and how you did everything humanly possible to help her regain her health.... I am so sad for the huge hole this leaves in your heart. Seeing her pictures and reading her stories you shared, I feel like I got to know a bit of how beautiful and amazing she was. I am so sorry for your loss...
 

Ninja-n-Bear

Site Supporter
Crying as I read this thread. After all the won battles... deepest condolences. I am so glad you got to be with her at the end. Hope you are taking care of yourself as best you can. Hugs.
 
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