Saturday, March 31, 2012

Losing a friend

Today I took my cat to the vet.  I knew what was going to happen, which is why I had delayed the visit in the first place. But she was thin - and though mostly she seemed content enough, she would not eat. She had renal failure, her kidneys were no longer working properly.

At 14 that's not unsurprising for a cat of her age. But today, I lost a friend. In the last few months of my life when I have started living a very different life, she was always there when I came home. I would call her as soon as I came in, and she would sleep on my bed and keep me company.

She didn't understand herself why she could not eat, and it was so sad to see her getting thinner and thinner; when she ate a little it was a small victory, but it really wasn't fair to keep her going in such a situation.

I took her to the vet who has always looked after our pets. Though retired, he still has a surgery next to his house.  After telling me what was wrong and what we should do - what I knew we should do - I held her and he injected her leg and she relaxed. Then he gave her the full dose and she fell into a deep coma. I put her back into the cat carrier and took her home.  She was deeply asleep - he thought she had already gone, but as I cradled her in my arms back at home, I knew she was still with me just for that last goodbye.

Her heartbeat was very, very faint. She gave a sort of purr, and then there was nothing. She was soft, warm, limp and so terribly thin. My poor lovely little Melissa - I shall miss you my friend. So will the children who have known you for a good portion of their lives. She and her sister Ace (who passed away a few years ago) brought us lots of happiness and companionship - and the odd dead mouse.

That's a cat's way. And we shall miss her very much.

I buried her at the bottom of the garden, and tomorrow I shall plant something above her grave as a lasting memory.

I keep thinking she will be there, on the top step, or on my bed, or in the kitchen round my legs. It will take a while for that feeling to pass I know.

She was only a cat, but she was my friend.
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