Yesterday was a hard day. Even now I get a lump in my throat thinking about it. Yesterday my long time pet, companion and friend died. She had been suffering for a while, and it was finally time to stop that suffering and let her rest. A hard day indeed.
Shortly after I started working for C3 Communications in 2000, I was approached by a co-worker who was looking for a good home for a cat that she had recently adopted. She was getting married and the new man in her life was "allergic" to cats. The way she said it implied to me that he was just a jerk and was being mean to the cat, and she wanted to find another home for it -- instead of finding another man.
I told her I was interested in the critter and was more than happy to take a look to see if we would get along. Well, she had brought the cat that same day, and had it in the back seat of her car in a carrier. Again, I got the impression it was me, or the pound.
Upon seeing this scared little kitty in a cat carrier, all sad and dejected, I was more than happy to give her a good home.
I took the rest of the day off and took her home. She was completely silent the whole way home, looking this way and that not knowing what was going on, clearly terrified.
When I got the carrier open she just sat in the back of it refusing to come out. I knew better than to reach in and try to get her too. I just let her sit there with the door open and spoke softly to her letting her know it was okay and she could come out whenever she wanted.
Eventually I just went about my business around the house. I put some food and water down, and put the catbox where she could see them all.
It took several hours, but eventually she came out and disappeared under the bed. hehe I honestly didn't see her for 2 weeks after that. Every morning before going to work I would put some more catfood down, clean out the box and leave. I'd come home and there'd be food missing so I knew she ate.. =) She was very scared and clearly had a rough time in her previous home.
There was no way for me to make her understand clearly that I wasn't ever going to hurt her other than to let her adjust in her own time.
She eventually did of course, and we were pretty fast friends. Eventually she was in my lap pretty much always demanding some lovin, which I was more than happy to provide.
I don't know exactly when it happens, but at some point in our relationships with our pets they go from being "Eh a cat", to a very important member of our family, a loved one. So of course it was very hard news to hear when I found out she was sick.
She was diagnosed with a hyperthyroid problem and given 6 months to live. We kept her on the medication the doctors gave us and even purchased special expensive food to feed her which was supposed to help her get better.
It didn't. In fact, nothing seemed to help. She was wasting away before our eyes, getting sicker and sicker. The final visit to the vet proved the medications and what not we had her own weren't doing anything and in fact the thyroid problem was an ancillary problem.
Babie had some how contracted feline leukemia, an extremely nasty virus that is basically "kitty HIV". I don't know where or how she got it as our cats never go outside. But now we have to get the other two captives.. er cats checked and make sure they are okay. I seriously hope they don't have anything -- this sucked.
By the end, babie was hurting. She was weak and unable to lift her head. She had lost a ton of weight, and couldn't keep any food or water down. She was having a very hard time breathing due to the leukemia and her liver had likely developed cancer. Her body was failing her. All around she wasn't her usual happy self, and it broke my heart.
At 2:45ish on Thursday Jan 17, 2008 she died.
Babie was an awesome cat. She was easily the best kitty friend I have ever had, and I will sorely miss her.
She was an extremely gentile soul, that just wanted to love and be loved by all those around her. Very sweet animal that I will never forget. Babie I love you very much, and I hope your life was a good one. You'll be missed.