Saturday, June 25, 2011

Goodbye My Friend

I came home from my last trip out on the ocean for work two days ago and walked in the door to find one of my cats greeting me as always at the front door.  I sat my bags down and kissed Gareth who sat on the couch reading some office work.  I went to check on my little girl cat who was missing and found her sleeping under the sink in the kitchen.  This is a spot where she normally slept curled up in a big round bucket that was supposed to be used for cleaning, when I bought it, but she had other ideas for it and turned into a bed.   She lifted her head when she saw me and left out a soft meow as I patted her on the head and said hello.  I just figured she was tired or comfortable and would come see me later that evening when she was ready to stretch her legs.

As the evening wore on, I went to check on her and she wasn't in her spot under the sink anymore, but I found her in her other spot which is a little box tucked in the corner of the living room where she liked to sleep and hide.  I didn't think much of it because there were times when she slept alot and then would get up in the middle of the night and roam the house full of energy from all the napping she did during the day.  That night was no exception and when I heard her roaming the house and playing I just thought it was a normal night for her. 

The next day I went out to do some errands and Gareth was at work when I returned.  I was greeted by both my cats at the door as usual and it was feeding time so I got my boy cat a can of food and she has a routine to follow me to the bathroom where she climbs on the sink to get a drink of water after I wash up.  I noticed as she was drinking she had trouble swallowing the water and realized something wasn't right. 

As the evening progressed I noticed she stopped eating and drinking, so I gave her a little bit of vanilla ice cream that she always loved.  She ate it and I thought maybe she just had a sore throat or something.  I kept my eye on her throughout the night and noticed she kept going from spot to spot as if she couldn't get comfortable.  She also kept going into the bathroom to play with the water which she always done since she was a kitten.  This is one cat who loved water and would climb in the shower with me and get wet.  But as she got older, she grew out of that and would only play in the sink or wait til after I got my shower and then go in and play in the puddles left behind. 

Around 2am I noticed she still wasn't drinking water or wanting food and I started to get really worried.  She being almost 18 years old didn't have the strength to go that long without food and water.  At 4am, my other cat came and sat next to her as she laid by the back door.  They touched noses and looked at each as if comforting each other.  Around 6am she got up on the window seat and watched the sun rise and I sat with her talking to her and petting her.  I called the vet when they opened and made an appointment to get her in to be checked.  I decided to get a shower and as I was doing this she crawled into the tub with me, meowed, and not wanting her to get wet quickly turned off the water. She splashed about in the puddles as if she was a kitten again.  Then laid down out of exhaustion and gave me a sad look. 

At this point I was fighting back tears and telling myself they could give her some fluids and she'll be back on her feet.  But when Gareth got home and saw her lying in the tub I heard him whisper, "Oh no, its not good."  And it wasn't.  We took her to vets but she was diagnosed with kidney failure and as I held her in my arms, wrapped in her blanket, I talked to her of all the journeys we had been on and told her she had one more journey to make and that this time I wasn't going with her.  I told her I loved her and thanked her for the many years of love she had given me and the family.  She had been brought home from the humane society home by my mother and became the family pet.  When my parents died I took her in and she has been with me every step of the way through all my travels and adventures.  She was the last link of my current life to the past life I had with my family and the place where I grew up.  As we gathered around her, I held her in my arms as she looked into my eyes she passed away. 

Its been a full 24 hours now without her and I feel heartbroken and lost.  This is the first day that is she is not there when I look for her.  I expect to see her walking by on her way to something that interested her or tossing a toy around or crawling up on my lap to get a scratch.  There was a plant on the back porch she always nibbled at and I would yell at her to not eat the plant.  It still has the bite marks from her last snack attack. 

My other cat is now walking around just as lonely and lost and sad as I am.  He jumps into my lap and gives me such a sad look.  Every noise the house makes he looks excitedly as if she made the noise and when he realizes it was just a noise he lays down on the floor, head between his two paws and mourns for his friend. 

I can find comfort in knowing that I got to spend almost 18 years with my little friend.  Still, saying goodbye is never easy and when someone you love goes from being a part of your life to just a photo of a memory on a shelf you realize how fast time goes by and how short of time we have to spend with each other on this planet.   I'll never forget my little friends passion for life and how even on her darkest day, she found time to play in one last puddle and enjoy being alive one last time.  I love you, my dear friend.  Goodbye.

Hurling Semi-Finals

In the Munster Hurling Semi-final Tipperary's Lar Corbett scores third goal between Patrick Donnellan and Patrick O'Connor of Clare in Thurles, Ireland