She’s been such a trouper, hanging in there & remaining happy & healthy for 18 years, despite the fact that her tiny body began to fail her. To be honest, I thought I was going to lose her five years ago, at the age of 13, soon after her brother passed away. But she rallied & kept right on truckin’.
I’m so proud of her & was always willing to be right there to help her with whatever she needed. Yes, she sometimes missed the litter pan. She woke me every 2-3 hours almost every night to feed her or just give her attention—& sometimes she woke me by patting my face with her little paw, but since her claws no longer retracted, that meant I got scratched more often than patted. But by damn, I loved that little girl, & would have continued to nurse & baby her for another 20 years, if I could have.
Last weekend, however, her back legs started to give out on her. As much as she tried to behave normally, they just weren’t working & she had to drag herself everywhere she wanted to go. And as much as I tried to deny it, I think I knew it was the beginning of the end. She was still eating, but just tiny bits at a time, & of course without the use of her legs, she’d become completely incontinent. I mentioned on Facebook, & I’ll say it again—I would never euthanize a pet for that alone; after all, that’s what pee-pee pads, OdoBan, & plastic sheets are for.
I was hoping for a turnaround, that somehow by the end of the weekend her legs would start working again, but by Sunday night, I knew I needed to call the vet. Was there something he could do for her—a cortisone shot or such? Or was it time to let her go? And when I called the office Monday morning, I had every intention of taking her to see the doctor. But as soon as I got off the phone, I looked at her… I held her… I looked into her eyes… And I knew. My sweet baby girl may not have been ready to die, but she was tired & ready for the suffering to end. I don’t think she was in pain, but she just wasn’t able to live the way she deserved.
As agonizing as it was, I did—as Madame Mommy Dearest put it—the last kind thing I could do for her. The night before, she slept beside me & I was able to keep a hand on her all night & tell her how much I loved her, how much I’ll always love her. Then on Monday, I was able to wrap her in a soft, warm blanket & hold her all the way to the vet’s office…while they gave her the shots…& while she quietly passed away in my arms. And watching her in those last moments, when she didn’t fight it, when it was almost as though she understood what was happening, I knew I was doing the right thing. Even though it hurt like hell.
I held her all the way home again, & for a while after that. Then, when I was ready, I buried her in the flowerbed beside the garage, which I can see from my bedroom window. Precious spent nearly her entire life in my bedroom, so looking out will help me feel as though she’s somehow still here. I hope.
But I have to admit, I’m feeling a little lost. Not just sad & grieving—though those are there in spades—but Miss Precious has been with me for nearly half my life. For the past 5 years, I’ve dedicated myself to her every want & need. I’ve gone nowhere & done nothing that would take me away from her for long; partly because she needed so much TLC & partly because I never would have forgiven myself if something had happened to her while I was away. My bedroom—& my life—feels so empty without her. And even though she was the only reason I have a litter pan, mini-refrigerator, food/water station, & three sets of pet stairs in my bedroom, I can’t bear to remove them yet. It’s too much like taking away all the things that remind me of her.
Of course, I’ll never actually forget her. Who could forget such an adorable little face? Or her bright green eyes, her sweet little meow, those cute down-turned whiskers…?
She’s in Heaven with PopPop (my dad) & her brothers & sisters now, her frail little body is young & healthy again, & she’s probably chasing butterflies or mousies, which was always her favorite.
And I know she’s okay because MMD & I have both gotten signs. As jealous as I am that I wasn’t the recipient of a similar vision, the night Precious passed away, MMD dreamed that my dad was holding Precious & telling her they were together & both fine. Also on Monday night, every time I looked outside, the motion-activated light over the garage service door was on, very near the spot where I buried Precious. That light hardly ever comes on unless you’re directly under it, but every single time I looked out, it was on; then it would go out while I was watching…& the next time I looked out, it was on again. I know it was Precious telling me she was all right. And in case you’re wondering, nope—that light has never again popped on without reason. So even though I’m still incredibly sad, I’m at least comforted by that.
I love you, baby girl—rest in peace until I can be there to hold you again.