An Everlasting Love

It’s now been a little more than 24 hours since my boyfriend and I made the decision to put down our cat, Donatella.

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She was diagnosed with cancer about two weeks ago, and just had her first chemo treatment last Friday, but her quality of life had deteriorated so much within the past week, we both made the decision to let her go – and not be in pain anymore.

Our vet yesterday agreed with our decision, and allowed us to say goodbye to her one last time.

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The last few days had been torture watching her. Literally a month ago, she was full of life and playful, crying for food, and following us around our apartment.

She was about 8. And we both made the decision that we didn’t want to prolong her life, we just didn’t want her to be in pain, so if chemo worked for her, awesome. But I think her diagnosis was too late – she was frail and could barely walk. Her spleen somehow became enlarged so it was assumed she had lymphoma or leukemia. But the vet didn’t want to hurt her spleen unnecessarily, so treatment was the next step, and luckily, both cancers are treated the same way.

Donatella came into our lives about five-six years ago when one early morning I was awakened to my boyfriend saying “we have a problem.”

“Oh my God! Who died?! What’s going on?”

I followed him to the hallway where I saw our two other cats staring in confusion at me from my bedroom doorway.

I kept hearing “meow, meow, meow….” He opened the door to a small and frightened light brown and white cat sitting on a towel with a food and water bowl next to it.

“Awwwww hi.” My heart instantly melted.

For the next two days, it hid, and then I felt it move under the bed one night. Found it!

We took it to the vet for treatment where we found out it was a girl!

“Oh,” I cooed, “You’re a girl!”

“Of course I am you idiot!” she shot back with a disgusted look.

The next few days she was fed in our bedroom separately from the two other kitties and was slowly integrated into their lives.

And then she turned into a diva!

A few people at work suggested the name Donatella to me, so we named her that. It was very fitting!

At some point she learned that when my alarm went off in the morning, that meant I’d get up, so she learned she could get food at the same time! I can’t tell you how many times she’d be literally in my face whhhaaaaaaaying away waiting for me! And if I wasn’t fast enough, she lay down next to me and wait.

Whhhhhhaaaay!

No, she didn’t meow like other cats, she’d whhhhaaaaaay. And in a small, sometimes quiet voice. You’d have to lean in to hear her.

It was the same cry that melted my mother when my parents babysat when my boyfriend and I went to Burning Man a few years back. When we came back the first thing my mother said was “She’s gorgeous!” “Ma! She sucked you in!”

From that point on, every time I’d call her, her first question was not “how you my lovely daughter Kellene?” NO! It was “How’s Donatella?!”

Ugh!

I’m sure my mother was ecstatic yesterday when she saw Donatella enter heaven! Lord, I can only imagine her taking Donatella everywhere showing *my cat off to *her new friends! You’re welcome mom!

And I know when I die the first thing she’ll say to me is “Donatella’s fine!” “Thanks for asking about me.”

Even my father would tell me, “She’s beautiful.”

I was just happy we could love her and feed her and give her a warm home. She was spade, so I assume someone loved her before.

But when my boyfriend saw her, she was drooling, her fur was matted, her backbone was visible and she had a chipped tooth. She’d become a garbage kitty to survive, which still breaks my heart to think about.

But she lived up to that persona to her last day. She loved getting in our kitchen garbage and opening cupboards. I finally gave in and got babylocks!

No food would go unexamined.

She especially loved milkshakes! Want proof?

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She loved playing with chopsticks and beer bottle caps. Her adopted brothers had passed on a giant hemp rope fish, so when she came along I showed it to her and said she could play with it.

Within 3 years, it was stripped bare of rope, so I stole it to my dad’s house for “repair” (new rope.) It didn’t get fixed in time. Which was fine; she couldn’t stand up for more than a few minutes at a time by that point. She’d get up, fall against the door/wall and lay back down in the bathroom.

On her last day, I got up, picked out my clothes and put them on the floor in the bathroom. She cried, got up, walked on top of the clothes, and then peed on them. I got mad, and moved her, but it was too late.

I walked out, grumbled to my boyfriend and got new clothes, and put the others, including the only pair of Levi’s I have in the washer. He let me wear a pair of his button-down Levi’s.

He then got up, went to her and started to cry. He knew.

He lovingly placed her in a bath towel in his arms and held her all the way to the vet’s office. It was very sweet to see how much love he showed her, and showed me at the same time.

We made sure to give her lots of pets and kisses. I took one last photo at the vet’s office.

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I should be getting a call at any moment to pick up her ashes. She will be placed next to her two other adopted brothers, Plop and Sushi in the windowsill.

The day after her death I made a $100 donation to the Nevada Humane Society in her name. I wanted Donatella to live on, letting other kitties have the same opportunity she did. All animals deserve love.

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Balloting Begins for Oscars

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Oscar voters, start your ballots.

Voting begins Friday for 2014’s Academy Awards nominees. Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are invited to cast secret ballots for their favorite film work from the past year until Jan. 8, 2014.

The academy is offering electronic voting for the second consecutive year. It announced last week that 289 feature films are eligible for best-picture consideration.

Nominations for the 86th Academy Awards will be announced Jan. 16.

Ellen DeGeneres will host the ceremony when the Oscars are presented on March 2. (AP)

A&E Reverses Decision on ‘Duck Dynasty’ Patriarch

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The A&E channel said it’s reversing its decision to drop “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson from the show for his remarks about gays.

In a statement Friday, A&E said it decided to bring Robertson back after discussions with the Robertson family and “numerous advocacy groups.”

The channel had put Robertson on what it called “hiatus” following his comments in a magazine article about how the Bible informs his view of gays.

His comments were slammed by groups including GLAAD, the gay media watch organization. But A&E’s decision drew a backlash from those who said they supported Robertson’s comments and others who defended him on the basis of freedom of speech.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.)

‘Fast & Furious 7’ Delayed Until April 2015

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Universal Pictures has delayed the release of “Fast & Furious 7” for almost a year following the death of star Paul Walker.

The studio announced Monday that the “Fast & Furious” sequel will be released on April 10, 2015, instead of July. Shooting on the film was about halfway finished when the 40-year-old Walker died in a car crash outside of Los Angeles.

Walker will still appear in the film, though Universal has not said exactly how it will handle his unfinished performance.

Co-star Vin Diesel first posted the news on Facebook, telling his fans that, “He’d want you to know first.”

The franchise has been one of Universal’s most lucrative, grossing almost $2.4 billion worldwide since 2001. The last film, “Fast & Furious 6,” made $789 million. (AP)

Nirvana, Kiss, Peter Gabriel Headed to Rock Hall

Nirvana, Kiss and Peter Gabriel will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year.

The Rock Hall announced Tuesday that Hall and Oates, Linda Ronstadt and Cat Stevens will also be inducted April 10 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Among the first-time nominees are Hall and Oates, Gabriel, Ronstadt and Nirvana, nominated in its first year of eligibility. Repeat nominees Kiss and Stevens make the cut after being absent from the list for several years.

The Rolling Stones managers, Andrew Loog Oldham and Brian Epstein, will earn the Ahmet Ertegun award, a non-performing honor.

Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band will earn the award for musical excellence.

The 29th annual induction ceremony will be open to the public. Tickets go on sale next month.

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Online: http://www.rockhall.com (AP)

Pope Francis Named Time’s Person of the Year

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Time magazine selected Pope Francis as its Person of the Year on Wednesday, saying the Catholic Church’s new leader has changed the perception of the 2,000-year-old institution in an extraordinary way in a short time.

The pope beat out NSA leaker Edward Snowden for the distinction, which the newsmagazine has been giving each year since 1927.

The former Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected in March as the first pope from Latin America and the first Jesuit. Since taking over at the Vatican, he has urged the Catholic Church not to be obsessed with “small-minded rules” and to emphasize compassion over condemnation in dealing with touchy topics like abortion, gays and contraception.

He has denounced the world’s “idolatry of money” and the “global scandal” that nearly 1 billion people today go hungry, and has charmed the masses with his simple style and wry sense of humor. His appearances draw tens of thousands of people at a clip and his @Pontifex Twitter account recently topped 10 million followers.

“He really stood out to us as someone who has changed the tone and the perception and the focus of one of the world’s largest institutions in an extraordinary way,” said Nancy Gibbs, the magazine’s managing editor.

The Vatican said the honor wasn’t surprising given the resonance in the general public that Francis has had, but it nevertheless said the choice was a “positive” recognition of spiritual values in the international media.

“The Holy Father is not looking to become famous or to receive honors,” said the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi. “But if the choice of Person of Year helps spread the message of the Gospel – a message of God’s love for everyone – he will certainly be happy about that.”

It was the third time a Catholic pope had been Time’s selection. John Paul II was selected in 1994 and John XXIII was chosen in 1962.

Besides Snowden, Time had narrowed its finalists down to gay rights activist Edith Windsor, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Time editors made the selection. The magazine polled readers for their choice, and the winner was Egyptian General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who didn’t even make the top 10 of Time’s final list.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Over 2M Xbox One Units Sold in First 18 Days

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Microsoft says more than 2 million of its Xbox One consoles have been sold since the system’s launch 18 days ago.

That works out to an average of 111,111 units per day. And company officials say users have spent over 83 million hours with the games, TV, and apps on Xbox One since the Nov. 22 launch.

Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of strategy and marketing for Xbox, says demand is exceeding supply in the 13 launch markets, with Xbox One sold out at most retailers.

Its makers want the Xbox One to become a user’s main entertainment hub. It supplies a program guide for browsing what’s on TV and what’s highlighted in apps such as Netflix and Amazon. You can listen to music, view photos and make Skype video calls. (AP)