As you all know from my blog 15andmeowing, I had 15 cats, had is the key word here. From September 2015 through April of this year, 3 of them have passed away. Now I knew as anyone who loves a pet knows that heartbreak is inevitable being their life spans are so much shorter than ours. I will always take the sadness and pain for the joy of getting to have them in my life for however long God allows. I just had never thought about so much pain so close together.

LucyI knew my time with Lucy was running short, she had turned 16 and seemed to be getting thinner. I took her to the vet often and had blood work run several times with no significant findings. An ultrasound wasn’t discussed until it was too late. She was full of cancer. By that point, she didn’t want to eat. I wanted her to stay with me and tried prednisone to give her a little more time, but after 2 days on it there was no improvement so I made the choice to let her go instead of letting her slowly starve to death.

Lucy was one of those kitties that I was deeply bonded with, some call them heart cats. She was a little grouch and usually mean to the other cats and sometimes me too. She was my lapcat though and she always slept with me. Every time I had to stand up, she hissed at me. For being so moody, she was an amazing model and would tolerate hats and clothes long enough for me to get photos.

In my head, I was always Lucy’s mother and I know I will always be, but it is so hard to not have her with me. Oddly, being able to choose when she died helped me with losing her. It was still a tough choice, but the way she went out with dignity was worth the pain I suffered. She was completely happy and sat on my lap on her way to the vet. She purred the entire time, I had gotten her pain meds because knowing she was full of cancer, I figured she would have pain somewhere. Lucy always loved her pain meds, they made her very happy. Knowing she was completely happy and with her Mom and Dad made it so much easier. My husband even commented on what a pleasant passing she had. I am grateful I could give her that after all the years of enjoyment she gave me. There was something about getting control of the exact time she passed instead of leaving it to God that comforted me.

StinkyUnfortunately, the other 2 losses did not go so well. In December, I noticed Stinky looked funny and realized one pupil was larger than the other. I took her to 2 different vets and neither could find the problem. I needed to take her to a specialist, but the earliest appointment was in early January. Other than the pupil, she was acting fine and her playful self. The weekend before her appointment she stopped eating and passed away that Monday morning. I assume she had a brain tumour, but I will never know as I didn’t want her poor body to be cut apart for a necropsy. She was only 11. I am lucky that I got to be with her, she let out a meow toward morning and I found her outside the bedroom door. She went quickly after that meow and I am thankful that I heard her and got to hold her.

With Stinky, I have a lot of guilt. I should have pushed harder for the specialist to see her sooner or gone elsewhere. I will always wonder if something could have been done to save her if I didn’t wait. My husband and I both miss her. I rescued her one cold night when she was a kitten, but it was David that she bonded with. She would sit on his lap, but never mine. She would sit near me though and make muffins (I know most say biscuits). She was leery of me because I was the ear cleaner and she needed hers cleaned quite often.

SpookyThen this March, Spooky got sick. Spooky had been a neighbour’s cat, but when he moved, we agreed to keep him for fear he would try to find his way back to the neighbourhood. He was also 16, but only lived with us for 2 and a half years, as an indoor cat. He was on blood pressure medicine and meds for hyperthyroidism. He always had a ravenous appetite so we knew something was up when he wasn’t that hungry.

His blood pressure ended up being very low so the meds were stopped. He was also in kidney failure. We tried to do the sub Q fluids at home and they helped a little, his numbers improved, but were still bad. He perked up briefly and David started taking him outside daily for walks to give him something to look forward to. This perked him up a little, but his kidney disease just kept getting worse including anaemia. I bought him a special injection to rebuild his red blood cells, but his kidneys were just too far gone for anything to save him. My husband and I were blessed to be with him at the end too, but he was basically unconscious. I was also blessed that I had another to share this pain with me as well as a large support network of cat bloggers and lovers.

As I wrote earlier, I will always take the pain in exchange for any time I can have with my beloved cats. I just pray that I don’t have to take it all at once again. Treasure every moment with them because you never know how quickly they will be gone. I promise my next article will not be sad, it is a story of something good that happened between all this sadness.

Dogs Come when Called

"Dogs come when called. Cats take a message and get back to you."

"Of course, every cat is really the most beautiful woman in the room."

Edward Verrall Luca (essayist)