Seventeen’s a good number.
She almost made it to her Gotcha Day, March 10. I would’ve had her for 17 years.
As I’m writing this, she is sleeping by the sliding door with her head resting on her water bowl, too tired to finish drinking. I watch her chest rise and fall with every breath, praying it doesn’t stop.
I moved the water bowl closer to her heating pad resting area so she wouldn’t have to expend precious energy. Placed some kernels of food near her bed. Trying to make these last few hours as comfortable as possible.
She’s not here for much longer. I just pray she can last til tomorrow so we can bring her to Dr Magnusson. Less than 24 hours left with my girl.
I thought you were going to rally after the February 11th vet visit. Your abdomen was drained and on the way back home you were showing some feisty-ness you were rolling in your carrier and bumping your head against the mesh. It warmed my heart. The next couple days you did seem good, but then you started fading. I’m pretty positive it was the fluid build up. If only there wasn’t any leaking, you could’ve lived longer. If only…
My beautiful girl. You are a shadow of your former self. I will remember you as a strong-willed, fearless, diva cat. Attention on your terms. Always.
You lasted the longest of all our cats. I was blessed to have you for 17 years. The other two left so suddenly I didn’t have a chance to prepare for their passing. It’s different this time, perhaps a little easier. All my tears are up front, but I have no regrets. I know I loved and took care of you the best I could. There is no “if only I did this” to cloud any memory. The only thing I ever wondered was what kind of life you had before you came into my life.
You never did learn to eat properly. One kernel at a time. You also didn’t like human food except for the occasional chip or popcorn which you’d throw up anyway.
Drinking also was a struggle, in an amusing way. Circling around the water bowl, or pawing at the water surface, pawing underneath the raised water bowl, letting the water run over your head from the faucet, dipping your paw in the water bowl and licking the water off your paw, pawing at the water until it spilled over and then drinking it off the ground. Also, the water bowl had to be full. If it was even 3/4 full you’d give us attitude about it.
Any cup/glass containing liquid was fair game to knock over. It didn’t matter where we placed it, you’d find it.
Packing tape and plastic shower curtains. Those were a favorite to bite holes into.
Never liked being covered by a blanket.
You were so meticulous about being clean and were vigorous at covering up litter box messes. Even covering up after Marcus who never did learn your litter box habits.
At our Dearborn apt, no closet door ever remained closed. The linen closet was a favorite napping place.
Remember that one time you caught a fly in mid air? Amazing.
Remember the long drive from Dearborn to Boston? And how you wouldn’t be quiet for almost the entire trip. You finally quieted down the last 2 hrs, but your voice was probably going out by then. Also, remember how you pee’d on my lap on that trip? That was the only time I was ever mad at you.
You never did learn to get along w/ either of your feline siblings. I have a few pictures that might indicate otherwise, but we know the truth.
I remember when Jason was in London you’d sleep snuggled by my side, sometimes w/ your head on my shoulder or arm. I remember thinking as long as you felt safe I was safe.
I remember in the Waltham apt you used to watch me get ready for work and I’d dab my makeup brush over your face. You’d close your eyes, raise your head, and purr. I called you my powder puff girl.
You loved boxes. I think most cats do, but it went beyond sitting in them. You liked to be carried in them, pulled around in them, etc.
You never were a lap cat though. You’d come over and settle next to me, but never on my lap. Although, if you were in a box you’d let me keep the box on my lap. Weirdo.
You used to watch me shower and wait patiently for me to be done. So that you lick the water off the shower floor.
You used to randomly carry a sock in your mouth and meow weirdly loud looking for me.
You had many voices. You were the most expressive cat I knew.
Every vet thought you were a great patient. You only hissed and / or growled near the end of the visit and never escalated. Even when they drained your abdomen you just let them and didn’t need to be sedated.
You were my perfect cat, everything I wanted in a cat. A trouble maker with an independent streak in a white fluff ball. Little Miss Independent. Little Miss Give-Me-Attention-When-I-Want-It.
I could never forget you. My first cat (pet) post college. You were with me all those times we moved. Dearborn to Boston to Jersey City to Woodbury. A part of me is forever gone. A Mina sized hole carved right out of me.
It’s Monday morning and I called the vet and a time was set for 5 pm. Funny, I mentioned earlier I had no regrets. But now that the time is set I’m having doubts. I know her quality of life is so diminished she can’t live like this. But after some last minute reading for a last ditch miracle I read the chylous effusion has to be dealt with for the underlying cause/disease. She has had a heart murmur ever since she was young which is most likely the cause, although her last blood test showed kidney failure as well.
In any case, after reading several cases none were successful. They cited too exploratory. I always felt if she didn’t leak she would live longer. But I guess this is all part of the process. If she didn’t have a weak heart maybe she wouldn’t have chylous effusion which would mean she’d live longer.
So many emotions flooding me. Love, fear, doubt, regret, overbearing sadness,
I was blessed the last couple days (the weekend) was sunny. Mina got to enjoy lounging in the sun her last couple days.
It’s about an hour left before we leave for the vet’s office. You’re sleeping peacefully on the heating pad. I’m a wreck knowing the end is is near. It’s also stressing me out that you’re going to hate the car ride and being at the vet’s.
You stirred to eat a few kernels and I felt a thrill of hope. It makes me wonder are you rallying? Was it too soon to make the call? But then I see after two kernels of food you just want to rest. So tired.
It’s done. I think you knew on the car ride there. You’re usually vocal whenever we’re in the car. You were quiet in your carrier on my lap. I unzipped the front of the carrier so I could slip my hand in to pet you the whole way. I let you know you’d be fine it was us that’d would feel the pain.
Even at the vet’s you let them know you weren’t happy with them. But you calmed down when I placed you on my lap.
My mind was whirling w/ doubts in the milliseconds after we let doc know we were ready. Do I stop it? It’s not too late. I love you. You’re at peace now. It was over that fast.
We sat there with you in my lap for several long minutes afterwards. Me with my doubts and regrets. Jason logic-ing me down. Lots of tears shed by both of us. I finally got my lap cat ❤
The next day I wake up and the house is empty. You were pretty quiet the last few weeks, but you still had a presence. Even Jason feels the emptiness in our home. I open the blinds and stare at the sun spot where you used to lounge. I sit on the couch and remember how you sat on the ottoman to be near me. I look up at the bedroom doorway and imagine you walking through it. Everything has a memory attached to you. And my heart bleeds.
If I didn’t mention it yet, thank you for making it through the weekend. I was so scared you were going to leave Friday evening. I knew seeing you at the vet’s on Friday that your time had come. Actually, I must’ve known before because I couldn’t stop crying stepping into the vet’s office. I tried to calm down but when Connie asked how you were I could barely say you weren’t good and started crying. When Doc Magnusson said he wouldn’t recommend draining you I was hysterically sobbing I could barely say two words together. I knew the dreadful moment had come. I wanted Jason to be able to see you so I said I’d call to schedule the time. Doc said it has to be soon. I nodded. Connie told me they weren’t here Saturday so Monday would be the earliest. I said ok and took you home.
But you were in such a bad way Friday evening I thought you weren’t going to make it. There was mucus coming out of your left eye which never happened before. I cleaned you up. I placed a few kernels of food near you on your bed because you weren’t eating. I moved the water bowl closer but not on the bed since you like to splash water and tip the bowl over. You had every comfort including a heating pad on your bed for extra warmth. Your bed was right in front of the sliding doors so the sun could be on your face.
You could barely walk. You’d take a few steps and then lie down. You could barely breathe. Your breathing was probably partially blocked from the mucus. I cleaned your nose and eye area several times that night. One time you couldn’t make the jump to your bed (even though I placed a step in front of it you insisted the only way up was jumping to the chair first). So, I picked you up and placed you on your bed. The rest of the weekend I stayed near you as much as I could to make sure you were ok and to help you up to your bed whenever I could.
But you made it through the night. I told Jason if you didn’t eat anything by Saturday we were going to have to call the emergency vet because I didn’t want you to starve to death. But we didn’t have to make that call because you started picking at your food. Even if it was just a couple kernels at a time. You are a stubborn girl and I love you. I placed your food bowl on your bed and you picked at it some more. I was heartened to see you eat even a few morsels because that meant you could survive a little bit more.
Sunday you looked better and your left eye cleared up. I thought you were rallying. I always thought you were rallying, but never enough. I knew it would be enough for Monday so there was a sense of peace.
Thank you for letting us love you a couple more days before we had to say good bye ❤
My thoughts are brought back to today, the first day without you and the house feels empty. I’m going to try bake some macarons…
2 comments on “Seventeen”
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Thank you for sympathizing. It’s been achingly sad, but writing about the experience has helped me cope.