Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Goodbye Kittykins

Yesterday was the day we “put my cat to sleep.” I had adopted Kittykins about six months before I met my wife Jennifer and at the time we guessed her age at about two. So we estimate that she was about 16-years-old. That translates to approximately 80 in equivalent human years. She was feisty right up until the end. On her last day of life she escaped from the backyard (which is fenced) to the front yard (which is not) three times. She was the only cat that was allowed to lounge outside in the sunshine. She’s also the only cat we have that has had her portrait painted. She still has two eyes in the painting, although she lost one of her eyes to a some mysterious ocular degenerative disease. Most of her teeth were gone, although she sometimes would grab a hunk of our dog Molly’s food to chew on. She was always picked on by our two male cats Bobby and Lyle, but she stood her ground. She didn’t take any shit from anyone.

It was tough letting her go yesterday. I knew that her kidneys had been failing for a while. My hope was to have Jen bring some euthanasia solution home and we could let Kittykins go, while she laid in the sunny backyard. Unfortunately death sneaks up on us. All of a sudden yesterday Kittykins was noticeably worse. Jen took her into the local emergency clinic and found that her kidney values were horrible. We could perk her up with a couple of days fluid and rest and then have to give her sub-q fluids daily and even with those measures we could only hope for a few more months of life. I didn’t want to see her suffer, so I made the decision to end her life before she went downhill any more. Hell, she only weighed five pounds yesterday! So, I said my goodbyes and left the exam room before the doctor injected the euthanasia solution into the IV catheter.

Now the house seems so quiet without her meow. She used to sit on the dining room table and beg for canned cat food, only to eat a few nibbles. And I keep looking for her out of the corner of my eye, feeling like I should let her inside before it gets dark. She was my cat for fifteen years. I’m going to miss her.

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