November 21st 2015 8:13 am
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Our cat Smitty was scheduled to be put to sleep at home on Friday, the day before Halloween. It was very peaceful. It was basically everything I was hoping for. I offered and even encouraged the other cats- October and BadCat to come and be there, but they seemed very against it. Afterward I sat with Smitty for a period of about an hour and a half and BadCat came and without me prompting her, lay down beside her and was like, keeping vigil over her body as I prepared her. BadCat stayed with me the whole time.
We fed the cats and left later in the evening to go to a party. I figured I needed it after the kind of day I had. The next morning we came back early. BadCat hadn't eaten her dinner from the night before and when I offered her fresh food she didn't care for it. I knew from the past few months of testing that she was having worsening kidney problems. She had this pus coming from her vagina that was this awful mystery goo that 4 different vets "didn't seem to think was an issue" and couldn't find a real cause or cure for. (As it is I still have yet to hand wash these gross little spots off of 2 of our chair cushions.) She had anemia that one vet was very wishy-washy about what to do for her- she wanted me to feed her raw liver, which I did for awhile, but then I figured I should get her on the drug Winstrol. That was a whole 'nother debacle I'm not going to get into here.
I picked up my baby cat and I looked at her. She made her choice. She spoke to me silently, said "Smitty looked very restful and comfortable yesterday. I want that too." Her third eyelids were covering part of her eyes. I had told both of them a few weeks before that Smitty going first would make losing BadCat easier on me. I just came home. It was 10 in the morning. Why couldn't I have had my one great last day with her where she ate whatever she wanted to and we played and we enjoyed being outside? Why couldn't I have one last night to have her sleep on a pillow above my head and listen to her purr me to sleep. Why couldn't we make a home appointment? Or video her getting a giant jar of peanut butter "stuck" on her head because she was nuts for peanut butter.
But all of those are selfish thoughts. And my BadCat needed me to be strong for her and needed me to make the choice to help her along. She needed me to spend a few hours enjoying her company for the last time. I held her in a baby blanket. We went outside and had some fresh air. She perked up a little, but I still knew it was the right decision, and most of all I knew it was her decision. I took a lot of pictures. Last pictures. I will put them up at a later point. Then we went to the vet.
I tried so hard not to cry on the way. She usually yowls during car rides, but this time she was silent and mostly peaceful.
It wasn't great at the vet. They put a plastic muzzle on her to get a catheter in. I wish they had just done what the vet at the home euthanasia had done and injected her with a IM sedative first. WHY do they force an elderly cat to get a F-ING IV catheter for their last vet appointment? JUST DO IM SHOT AND BE DONE WITH IT. Ok, whatever. I had no control over that part of it,but I made sure to give her enough time to settle down before I let them come back into the room for the last time. She and I were there together, she was heart-to heart with me. I realized in the moment that it was meant to be that way, not any other way that I had imagined it. And I took her home to let the other cats smell her. I brushed her. I made a pawprint on a heart. I kissed her a lot and I cried. Oh I cried. And I took her back to the vet to be frozen for a few days until I could get to the SPCA where they do cremations for $45 instead of the $250 the vets office charges. I never had to do this before, so all these feelings were new to me. I didn't want to leave her. I didn't want to take her back. Strange as it seems now, I almost understand why someone can live with a corpse and just want to hold onto their loved one. I was ALMOST at that point with BadCat, but I knew there would be a time for us to separate, so I took her back.
THEN I had to pick her up, which was almost just as hard. THEN I had to drop her off at the SPCA, which, after seeing her again and petting her until her ears thawed out and unmashed from her head... that was also very very hard to do. It helped that I knew the girls, as I had previously worked at the SPCA. I knew she was in good hands. I'm going to go pick her up today. I guess we'll see what that's like.
BadCat was my heart-cat. Pretty much no cat will ever be BadCat. That doesn't take a lot of smarts to figure out, but I know that for a VERY VERY long time there will be a fuzzy-butt shaped hole in my heart...and yet I know I will love enough pets- mine and other people's- in my life that that hole will just have to get filled with small pieces of many other animals. I'm fostering a kitten now and I already think I know a different kitten I'd like to adopt.
I like to I think BadCat's with Smitty looking down on me, with my mother, all of them proud.
February 23rd 2014 2:43 pm
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There's a contest to win cat treats. I love cat treats! Go look it up in section where all the cool articles are and find it. They're giving away a cat food bowl and 2 bags of treats, but be sure to leave a comment saying how you spoil your furry baby and which bowl and treats you'd like to get if you win!
August 24th 2013 6:33 am
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I write with and for BadCat most of the time because the opposable thumbs make it easier. Thank you all for choosing BadCat for Diary of the day!!!
I have to say, she is doing "as well as could be expected". I am doing my internship at a veterinary hospital and after lengthy talks with the Drs, they understand my own medical knowledge and trust things that I say, which can be hard to convey in the time frame of even an HOUR long appointment with our "regular vet". She also doesn't have a lot of experience dealing with nasopharyngeal polyps, and somehow we got lucky enough that this vet in particular is "really good at finding them and getting them out", according to the practice owner- veterinarian of 25+ years... maybe SHE just doesn't want to do it. Anyway, she is going in to the sweet Dr Evans and Platt in about 5 days, on Wednesday and we're going to fish around in her throat and in her ears and see if we can't find a polyp.
We're also going to request lab reports from the other vet, because they didn't seem to want to tell me whether the lump grew back or whether they just were not able to get it all.
August 22nd 2013 5:25 pm
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I guess the first thing I should write is that I know you're not "bad", not really. You're food obsessed, you're chatty, you have very specific things that annoy you to the point of complete intolerance, but in all of those ways, you're actually a lot like me, and I'm not "bad". I know you're not bad. Your name was supposed to be ChinaCatSunflower. I don't know if that name suits you, or if I had named you that if your worldview might have been different. But you pissed in my mom's potted plants day in and day out when I was just 17 and had no idea how to actually train you. You remember the time- the time in the kitchen I saw you squatting, the sweet satisfaction on your face because you'd finally found a place to relieve yourself, and I yelled at you for probably the tenth time "BAD CAT!" Your tiny fuzzy face looked up at me and I thought to myself "Oh dear, she thinks that's her name." So it stuck. Odd how these things happen. I think you're actually the best cat I've ever owned. So very in tune with me.
I remember when I was away from home for a year at school and when I called my family I would ask them very specifically, "Where is BadCat?" "When is the last time anyone saw her?" because my family are not responsible pet owners and they would let you outside. And your favorite place to be? The awesomely warm road surface, of course! Oh how I'd scold you when I saw you relaxing there!
Do you remember that time when I was taking photography and I did a little black and white photo session of you? That was because I knew that your life and love, so precious, is a fleeting thing in the span of mine, and though I wish I could keep you with me forever, you're 14 now, and getting sick and I can't even bring myself to look at those photos because you're still here with me. I only have one photo of when you as a kitten, you were about 3 or 4 months old, and it's not even that good because the picture itself fits on my thumb. How I wish I had more of them from when you were just a little ball of fluff. You were just so cute, completely irresistible.
Do you remember when we found each other? It was so perfect. You had no idea what my life was like before you came into it. The first love of my life gave me the first heartbreak of my life, and I skipped school. I skipped school a lot that year, but this was the best day, because I came home with a kitten. It was roughly mid-December and I was talking with two other students who were also skipping school. A light snow was falling and we were watching a cargo train pass by. A man came down the concrete steps of the overpass and you, a small as you were, must have jumped the steps one by one, looking for someone to bring you in from the cold, looking for someone to pick you up, hold you, love you, and feed you.
The man, an older black gentleman in a long coat spoke, "Does this kitten belong to one of you?" and just as he did, you noticed there were people standing nearby. If the man hadn't picked you up, surely one of us would. Though there were three people standing there, you must have known then, with your inborn cat-wisdom, that I was, and still am, one of those suckers. You bee-lined right for my feet. I don't remember what I said; likely something along the lines of "Oh my god how cute are you!" or if you were cold or skinny, I just remember how darn fluffy and cute you were, that you were likely more fur than flesh, and that my parents might not let me keep you. But I tucked you into my jacket, where you were rather content, and brought you home. I worried you might wiggle or try to get away from me, but you didn't. You purred a lot, the deal, sealed, at least for the two of us.
So in we went, just a few blocks down the road, to my home, to my room. I didn't even have food to feed you, or a litter box, but you didn't seem to care much. We fretted some over what to do, but you fell asleep on my chest and I was cat-paralyzed, so I quickly went to sleep too. Then my father came into my room and I begged and pleaded with him. Oddly enough, he was a pushover, probably because you were cute, fuzzy and sleeping. We decided that mother should see the cuteness for herself so that she would say yes as well. I had a steady job at the time, and maybe, despite being bad, uninvolved parents, they knew I needed you, that you would mend my broken heart.
And you did, many times over. When my mother died and I cried alone in the apartment, the loud wails of grief, you came to me, to make sure I was okay. Even now, when I am laughing, you always have to check to see if it's crying because to a cat, they must sound sort of similar. And now that you're starting to go deaf you don't hear my crying, and when I cry over the thoughts of losing you, I try to shield you from hearing it, as you're usually sleeping, and I don't want to disturb you. You look so comfortable just sleeping.
Do you remember when my wife came to spend the night for the first time, you brought us a mouse. In the 3 or 4 years we had been together, you never brought me a mouse! You caught it, brought it up into the attic and with it dangling in your mouth, yowled loudly until we awoke, turned on the light and then of course, you let it loose. We laughed and went back to sleep. And then you did it again! That was the best thing- you caught it a second time. I came and pried it out of your grasp and let it go outside. He was unharmed. Since then you've been an indoor cat and no longer do we live in places where mice also dwell, which sometimes I think is a shame. I want you to know that when you get a perfect day I have considered getting a mouse for you from the pet store and putting it in the bathtub for you to play with and then eat. I want to so badly because I love you so much, but I think it's unfair to the mouse, I really do. So I want you to know that I love you so, that it did cross my mind.
Do you remember when you were very small and my brothers tried to microwave you? That really freaked me out but I don't think you knew what was happening.
Do you remember when my friends at the SPCA microchipped you for me? I was so happy. You were not as thrilled.
Do you remember when my mom was sick and you tripped her? You didn't really trip her, I know that, but she seemed almost convinced that you meant to. I'm sure somewhere deep down she knows you didn't mean to lay in the middle of the walk way in the dark, but boy did she make a thud when she fell. And you helped me be more compassionate because of that, because despite the sort of mother she was, she was my mother, and everyone only gets one, so I helped her up and made sure she was okay.
Do you remember the first time I took you to the nursing home? I don't remember that, but man, we went there so many times after that too. It was nice. I know you meant a lot to a lot of different people. It's kind of nice to think that when the time comes you'll see a lot of familiar faces that will keep you company until I meet you at that legendary Rainbow Bridge.
And I hope you make it long enough to go to some nice 5Ks with me this year. The first one I ever went to last year, I took you because I thought I would be bored. You in that cute pet stroller that you love, if the weather's nice. We walked the 1 mile walk and it was nice. I got to show you off and tell everyone how old you are and how you love to go in the stroller and how I taught you how to sit even at the age of 13! Now I want to take you to every track that allows for a stroller.
It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter to you. Last night I said to my wife "I'm going to go get BadCat, because now she's on borrowed time, I really just want to soak up this time with her." My wife replied with "But aren't they all?" My wife and her darn existentialism. Yes BadCat, we are all dying, but I am now pretty sure that you will be the first of us and the 4 cats. And I have no plans to get another, since 4 was already 1 too many. But you were my first cat. I paid for your spa, your ear mites and the resulting painful and ugly yet adorable hematoma, and when you got a bladder infection from the stress of attempting to move with me the first time. Now you're less expensive, but only because the Dr doesn't know what else to do with you. The ectopic thyroid growth is too covered in blood vessels and nerves, and is very close to the jugular. We all want to keep you comfortable, and I won't watch you suffer. We may go to a specialist, in time, but there really is no cure for old age.
I'm sorry your brother picks on you. I'm sorry I don't know how to make you better. I just want you to be with me forever, but I know that's not a reality. We've been through so much, and I know you might not understand, but I have to follow the advice I have given many pet owners, as a shelter worker and as a vet tech: I have to watch you closely and determine when your good days are outnumbered by bad, but it's hard because I've never had to do this before. Until that day, I will do what I can for you- pick you up and put you on the bed, take you with me when and where I can, treasure this time with you, do homework with you on my lap, but I have piles and piles of homework and house chores and soon I will be doing an internship that will take me away from you during the day. I love you. Take that with you always. And when that day and time comes, and I have peanut butter for you because you'll swear off all bets for peanut butter, and I am holding you and crying, know that I will be whispering in your ear as I have told to some of the people at the nursing home, "When you get there, tell my mother I love her and miss her", but you have to promise me you won't trip her.
September 16th 2012 6:21 pm
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I don't know why but little mom brought a bloody dead squirrel into the house awhile ago and it was great. October brother was licking it, Smitty didn't really care for it, but Orbit, the big bully that he is, was scared of it! I wanted to eat it, but mom didn't let me. Then she screamed when there was a flea crawling on it and quickly took it back outside.
She was on the porch with a friend and they were talking and laughing and then she looked into the screen door and me and October were staring up at her. Then she opened the door a crack and let us smell a squirrel paw. October wanted to play with it because he is such a baby, but I wanted to eat it because I'm A PREDATOR! I successfully batted at it until it fell out of mom's hand and then she grabbed it away from me before I could do anything else to it.
More time passed and they came back inside and mom had the squirrel tail. She gave it to October and he was smelling it like he was interested in it, but he didn't do anything more. I got tired of seeing him smell it, so I went over and took it away from him.
Mom was at the kitchen sink laughing with her friend and it was awhile until she turned around and saw me gnawing on the exposed meat part of the squirrel tail. Mmm, tastes like mouse! She yelled at me and chased me. I got really low to the ground- I always do that when I know I am in trouble, but she pried it away from me. I was growling at her because I am SUCH A WILD HUNTER CAT! (I hardly ever growl.) Oh squirrel, tasty squirrel. I won't soon forget you.
(For anyone reading this, my landlord shot the squirrel- I do not condone being a moron- ie: shooting an animal because you are not able to outsmart it. I made sure he didn't die in vain, so my friend and I butchered it and he ate it, apparently, with barbeque sauce.)
July 10th 2012 6:01 pm
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It's funny to make the humans guess what I am talking about. I stand in the middle of the room and meow very loudly. After doing this for a long time I walk up to her and stare at her intensely until she looks at me. Then I meow in a pitiful manner. Usually she meows back, sometimes she stands up and walks around the room while she talks to me. She says "what is it? Take me there Lassie". And then we walk into the kitchen, sometimes we take a small tour of the apartment, talking to each other the whole time. I don't know why we do this.
Yesterday she took me out in the stroller all day. I met a husky dog that wanted to play with me, so I hissed. I met a few people who petted me. Lots of places even let me in their stores in the stroller. We went into a bistro, the Walgreens, the insurance place so the insurance lady could pet me and mom could talk to her too.
I THINK IT'S SWELL TO BE IN THE SPOTLIGHT.
July 1st 2012 12:21 pm
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Janelle-mom sure does love me. She takes me out for walks in the stroller and lets me sit on her lap. Sometimes she bugs Jess mom to let me sleep with them. Then I get picked up and put on the bed if I sit on the floor and meow a little bit.
I know my moms try to keep me healthy as I age, but I am sort of feelin tired and slow from time to time. Geesh, getting older sure isn't easy.
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