(by Judy, expanded from my Facebook page)
We said goodbye to Tejitu today. We adopted her as a kitten in spring of 1997, and the last few months she looked her age - but for most of her almost-20 years, she looked like this. Rest in peace, beautiful Teji.
Here she is in her role as Calico Jack, one of the main characters in Charlie's song and children's book
Three Kitties Set Out to Sea.
We adopted two little kittens (about 8 weeks old) in the spring of 1997, five days apart. Tilahun was the older one (by a week) and first adopted, and Tejitu joined her five days later. They never were best buddies - but figured out how to share our house and us for almost 20 years. And this is a time when I really hate symmetry - we said goodbye to Tilahun today, just 3 days after Teji.
Teji had been having health issues for at least 6 months, finally confirmed as a tumor in her tongue, and seemed to do OK with that, except for a lot of drooling, until last week. Tilahun had looked and acted fine until a couple of weeks ago, when she began to have some issues eating, and her face looked a bit off - and the vet confirmed what was clearly a fast-growing tumor in her jaw - and sadly it grew fast enough that Tilahun was not able to eat this weekend, and was in pain if anything touched that area of her face - so we knew it was time.
This is Tilahun a few years ago - her name means "my shadow" and she chose me the minute I walked into the kitten room those many years ago, though she was happy to accept Charlie as another person who could feed and brush her. Rest in peace, little Meep.
Tilahun was also featured in Three Kitties Set Out to Sea -
here she is as Coal Black Rose:
Charlie's mom gifted me with a painting of them twelve years ago. Tejitu and Tilahun weren't best buddies so we have very few pictures of them together, and I don't think Dahlov had met them yet when she did this - but she caught their personalities! Teji was actually bigger, almost the reverse of the apparent sizes in the painting, and her hair was longer - and they both really did have huge fluffy tails!
I think we've all heard that bad things come in threes - and it was definitely true for us - Charlie's mom passed away four days after Tilahun. Dahlov was healthy and busy until she died, and would have been 100 in November. And the fact that we were cat-free for the first time in almost 20 years meant we could bring her beloved Chelsea Girl home with us. This is a picture Charlie took a couple of days later showing Chelsea snoozing on a throw on the back of the futon in our office, under a painting Dahlov did of a scene she saw through her bedroom window.