Garbo Dying

When my mother was a young married woman (before she had kids), she worked in a bank in Hollywood. She tells us that she looked forward to seeing one of her bank’s shyest customers, the lovely silent film star Greta Garbo.

Twelve years ago, my family adopted two striped gray kittens with huge green eyes and black eyelids. Their eyes reminded me of the movie makeup of the silent film stars. So, we named the kitties Greta Garbo and Rudolf Valentino, or Garbo and Tino for short. Here are photos from last year:

Garbo Cat           photo: copyright 2006 John Plocher
Garbo and Tino:
Garbo and Tino Cat           photo: copyright 2006 Katy Dickinson

In 1995, we rescued these two as kittens abandoned at Donner Pass (elevation 7,085 feet). We were driving home from a week of camping and had stopped for coffee. While we waited, we saw a tiny gray kitten playing among the barstools. The bartender said that the kitten and her brother had been left by the highway the week before. They were sleeping in the woodpile, hiding out from the racoons. This was in early September and snow was due within two weeks. We took the kittens home, cut the pine tar out of their fur, and added them to our family.

When we came home from vacation last month, Garbo was clearly very ill. We have been taking her to the vet for weeks but yesterday she was diagnosed with incurable, inoperable cancer. We are trying one last medicine but even if that works, it will at best give us a few months before Garbo dies. We may have to ask the vet to put her to sleep this week if the medicine does not help.

Garbo and Tino are enjoying canned tuna (their special treat) and lots of combing and loving in the time we have left. Even though she feels bad and has much of her fur shaved off for the medical tests, Garbo is a sweet and lovely cat. This is my small tribute to our loving pet. We will miss Garbo.

Images Copyright 2006 by Katy Dickinson and John Plocher


Filed under Home & Family

2 responses to “Garbo Dying

  1. Vicki Tan

    Hello Katy,
    So sorry to hear about Garbo’s cancer diagnosis. We lost our dear pup last year to cancer also. While it seemed the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life back then, now that I look back on it, I see it as my final gift to my boy, He’s healthy, beautiful and no longer in pain and who wouldn’t want a border collie guardian angel?

  2. Alvin

    I’m very sorry. My little Sylvester passed in 2004, and I can’t describe what it was like for my first real pet to pass on. I avoid using the phrase “lose my pet”, because, even in my private thought, I think the distinction is important.

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