Our house is very quiet these days.
Our last cat left us in November 2010. (We have lost 3 of our 6 cats in November; what's up with that?) We are not going to be getting any more cats for quite some time . . . we both work late, we have a 2nd house in Baltimore, we take a lot of mini-vacations. We don't have the time, the energy, or the desire to take care of a new crop of cats, at this stage in our lives. When we are semi-retired (or outright retired), we will get a couple of cats. But for now? I'd rather just enjoy the memories of our wonderful furbabies. (We still "talk" to them . . . maybe they even hear us. Ya never know.)
But, my point - and the title of this post . . .
I am cleaning up my work computer, as I'm getting a new one. I ran across this essay I wrote in November 2002, when we lost Mocha, aka "The National Fusscat." Reading it brought back a lot of memories. Oh, my, yes . . . lots of memories.
So, here are my thoughts from nearly a decade ago.
* * * * *
The Cat Who Would Not Be Silenced is finally quiet.
But, not really . . . because we will hear her in our hearts, and will remember her with great love (even though we sometimes got exasperated with her for being so LOUD).
How did she get that nickname, The Cat Who Would Not Be Silenced? It's because she almost died when she was 11 . . . she developed a gall bladder infection and became severely ill. Intravenous antibiotics and other treatments (tube feeding, etc.) were tried to no avail, and finally she needed emergency microsurgery to clean out her gall bladder and reposition the duct (cats need their gall bladder, unlike humans). She pulled through, with a couple of setbacks, and lived another 8 years. We nearly doubled her life (and her chances to scream early and often!).
The vets referred to her as "the miracle cat" but Jeff and I knew that she pulled through because she was The Cat Who Would Not Be Silenced.
It was really hard yesterday, taking her to the vet. But she had grown very old and feeble, with hypertension, blindness, senility, blood in her stool, kidney failure. She hated her subcutaneous fluid treatments, so I stopped doing them . . . why torture her, when she had so many other problems? What were we really prolonging her life for? So we decided, on Thursday as she continued to have more "accidents" outside the litter box, it was the right time to say goodbye to her.
No details -- I will say that the vet's office was very kind, gave us a private room, tissues, etc. and also gave her a preliminary shot to take her "out of it" before the final shot. We got to hold her the whole time. I know she knew we were there. She didn't purr, but was quiet, without any yelling.
We're going to keep her ashes, and I'll say "good morning" to her every day. All of our cats are special, but she was extra-special.
We got a 21-mile ride in Saturday afternoon, after leaving the vet's office. It was good to get out and work off some tension. Saturday was a complicated day for another reason, too -- Mom fell again, not that badly, but enough to make her ribs hurt and for her to call and complain (and complain to those around her . . . she's not a habitual complainer, it's just that she just can't remember that she'd told people about it before). I fielded several calls from her residence, her nurse, and from her, before and after Mocha's final appointment.
Sunday morning we got 18 miles in; it was a warm morning (55 degrees) so we biked to breakfast at Bob Evans. It was a good outing and we returned in good spirits.
Saturday night was weird. Mocha lived alone in the bedroom for about 8 years, because our big male cat Bose, after Mocha's gall bladder crisis, decided she was 'prey' and tried to kill her whenever he encountered her. So, she lived in her own "suite" and the rest of the cats had the rest of the house, except for our other male cat Magellan, who got to join her at night. On Saturday, we reopened the formerly-closed bedroom. All three of our cats slept with us, at various times during the night, and I think they're happy the whole house is theirs once again . . . except perhaps Magellan, who formerly had us to himself at night and now has to share our bed with Bose and Kyoto. You see, Mocha had to be shut away in the basement bathroom at night in her later years, because she cried waaay too much, especially toward the end, for us to get any sleep. Not even Prozac helped. (No, no -- for her, not for us . . .)
We will get used to a much quieter house, I guess . . .