Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Cissy 1989 - 2007

I miss my kitty.

One month ago today, my 18-year-old cat, Cissy, lost her battle with lymphoma.

She was diagnosed June 16th. She had been losing weight again. I had been afraid going in that it would be bad news. Weight loss in an elderly cat is never a good thing.

We went to see our vet and I got the bad news: cancer. Non-operable cancer. Well, I wouldn’t have put her through surgery in any case. Getting her teeth taken care of had been traumatic enough. Chemotherapy might help but it’s very expensive and there’s no way to explain to a cat why she feels so bad. So, I won’t torture her with that, either. I decide to simply take her home and enjoy that remaining time we have together.

I spend most of my time at my kitchen table. Cissy started out on my lap, lying across my legs while I watched TV and read blogs on my computer. I think she got tired of my leaning over her and eventually migrated to the end of the table between my elbows where I would type around her. She would purr and butt her head against my face or doze quietly.

I figured that as long as she was strong enough to jump into my lap, she was well enough to keep going. I didn’t want her to suffer unnecessarily but neither did I want to cut her life short.

Thursday morning, she wasn’t asleep in the living room. I looked around for her a bit but it wasn’t unusual for her to be elsewhere at that hour.

About 15 minutes later, she staggered into the kitchen from the dining room. She could barely walk. I picked her up. She was so little!! It really struck me just how much weight she had lost. Even her feet looked smaller. I gave her a snuggle and noticed that she had even stopped shedding.

That afternoon, I made her a vet appointment on the following Saturday. I knew this was probably it.

Normally, I put cats into a carrier for vet trips. This time, my SO drove and I carried her in my arms. She perked up a bit at the strange surroundings but didn’t meow as she normally does.

The vet confirmed my suspicions. She was down to only 4 pounds! I made the hardest decision in my life.

I’ve never seen any one die before and to watch someone I loved dearly go was very hard. She stopped purring only when she stopped breathing. She went very peacefully, giving no indication that she felt that last shot.

She had a very long, full life. Other cats, friends and men have come and gone but Cissy had been the one constant for a very long time. She was the only one who met all the players in my life. In fact, if I’d listened to my cat, my life would have been a lot happier. She was a terrific judge of character. She was terrified of almost all the men in my life except for my current SO. Him, she liked. We’ve been together over 8 years and he’s been very good both for and to me.

I have her picture in my mouse pad; paws tucked under, curled up in the SO’s rocking chair, looking at the camera. She had the prettiest cat-face and the softest fur I’d ever felt. She was the best mannered cat I’ve ever lived with. I never had to reprimand her for doing anything, even when she was young. She never climbed curtains or sank her claws into anything but her scratching post.

I miss her terribly. I have two other cats but neither of them is a ‘snuggler’. I’ve thought about getting a kitten but I don’t want another cat; I want Cissy back. Besides, my SO, who is not a ‘cat person’, is happy to finally be down to only two cats!

Cissy started life as a stray. Maybe the same fates that brought the two of us together will bring me another friend as well.

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