This is a post I should really have written about a week ago.
Back in November I wrote about Kooky’s diagnosis with kitty breast cancer. We had made the decision not to operate – wanting her to enjoy whatever time she had left without the trauma of a major operation with no guarantee of success. Her age (14) made it an even easier decision for us to make.
Unfortunately two weeks ago things started to deteriorate. She lost her appetite, and didn’t eat for the better part of three days. She would come and lay next to us, wanting to be near us, but would be constantly wagging her tail as if in pain and didn’t want to be touched. She was also very lethargic – sleeping far more than normal. She suddenly looked every one of her fourteen years old, despite normally behaving like a kitten.
So on Thursday 19th I made an appointment for us to go to the vets the following day.
It got to Friday morning and she seemed much more herself – she wanted cuddles and snuggled with Trev all morning – and felt better to the extent where she asked for food and was able to eat half a pouch.
Unfortunately this just looked to be her way of putting a brave face on things. Trev noticed that the skin around her ears and head was going yellow – a sign of jaundice and most likely liver failure brought on by the tumours.
When we got to the vets on Friday evening, we had already agreed in our own minds what had to happen, so we were relieved in a way when the vet told us that it was probably the beginning of the end. If we’d been told that she would recover and had to take her home, it would have been unspeakably hard to watch her deteriorate further. As it was, it was encouraging to know that we knew her well enough to recognise when things were starting to go downhill for her and that we were doing the right thing.
So they shaved a little bit from her front leg and found a vein. Unfortunately we didn’t get to hold her as she passed as she fell asleep before the injection was fully administered. As hard as that was, it’s perhaps a sign that she was ready to go and was, in its own way, comforting.
We made an odd sight, leaving with an empty carrier – walking around Waitrose collecting comfort food – both of us crying. Goodness knows what the poor girl who served me at the checkout must have thought.
In the days since it’s been very weird. Not walking into the bathroom to find litter under my feet. Not hearing a mad exit from the bathroom and up the stairs, knowing that she’d just been in the litter tray (does anyone else’s cat go mental once they’ve used the loo?) The crazy games she’d play with Trev – he taught her to bite on command and she had this cute habit of nibbling your arm when it was somewhere she wanted to be. The fact that a ball of yarn used to scare her – it made her the perfect knitter’s cat. Not having to shove her off my chest in the night when I want to roll over in bed. Not seeing her curled up on her beanbag by the radiator, lifting her head to say hi when I walk through the door.
It’s funny how empty the house feels without a cat – even though she slept most of the time. I’ll also miss having someone to share my birthday with – we were both born on the 28th September, although I’m an unlucky thirteen years older than her.
I could go on and on about how weird it feels and all the things I’ll miss and I know it’s the same for Trev. She was a great day-time companion for him when he was at home and she had been there for us both during some really tough times.
Even though we only had her for four years, I’m grateful for every day (even the ones where she would throw up on the carpet or manage to miss the litter tray). It’s in a cheeky nod to her that the first thing we did the day after was to go out and buy new carpet – something we would never have dared to do if she was here, as she would probably have puked on it inside the first half hour of it being laid.
So I’m more sad than usual this Monday as I look back, but thankful for the memories.
Bye Kooky-bear x