Belle passed peacefully today. She was 16 and we had been treating her for ongoing kidney failure for the last year. We were feeding her special food and in August needed to start supplementing that with medications.
Up until the end she had a great quality of life. Starting in March she had most of our attention and once we started on the Loop she didn’t have any need to share us with anyone else. Because we couldn’t really get grooming done to get her the Lion trim she loved, she got weekly brushing and we found another way to bond.
Belle had acclimated well to the boating life. She had places to sleep while under way. She was sometimes confused about the locks: when we had to stop the engines, she thought the day’s trip was over. But once we started up, she would go and lay at the side of our bed and nap some more.
She knew our regular schedule, so days when we were still moving at 3PM she would come up and meow that it was time to find a place to stay. Belle loved to nap in the pilot house; with all the glass, there was always a sunny spot. But she never forgot her duties of making sure we got up on time. She would wait for Foster at the top of the salon stairs to receive her morning snuggles. When you come up a set of stairs and are eye to eye, it’s easy to stop for a few seconds for a quick ear scritch.
The trip made her much more adventuresome and a little more assertive. She spent more time outside in the last six months than she had in her entire life prior to the trip. While docked she would explore the bow and cockpit areas. She would join us on the fly-bridge when we had cocktails or dinner.
Belle got lots of kitty snuggles during the evening, sitting between the two of us on the settee on her blanket. Actually she had three blankets to help carve out spots that were hers. And she let us know if somehow we had left something in her spot. If there was something blocking her from jumping up she would bat at us with a paw to let us know she was ready to join us, or that something needed to be fixed.
Belle will be greatly missed because of her sweet disposition and because of the unreserved affection and love she gave us. 20 October 2014