Tuesday, 30 August 2011

My Loss

Yesterday I had to make the hardest decision of my life so far. I had to put my old Cat Misti to sleep.

She had been losing weight for the last month or so, so rapidly I was terrified and she had also been acting slightly strangely for a while. I had put a lot of it down to old age for a long time. She was 18 years old and didn't seem to hear me very well or function greatly. She hadn't seemed unhappy or in any pain and as she often had seemed to fade a little over the last few years then come back fighting and healthy I tended to just leave her be. She was a wild cat and hated any interference out with her and my little circle.
Taken 2 weeks ago and she looked old and unsteady then. 

Yesterday morning she seemed slightly unsteady and my mothering instincts told me she wasn't right. When my husband woke and then told me she had soiled the carpet the night before I knew something really wasn't right. Misti has never ever had an accident in her 18 years and he said she had obviously not known she even needed the toilet as she hadn't even squatted. Again though you hope it is just old age and incontinence but I just had a gut feeling something wasn't right.

Caleb and she had become very close this summer. 

When I looked at her little face she looked pleading with me and I couldn't bear it. I put some tuna down for her as she hadn't eaten more than a bite for a few days but was uncontrollably thirsty,( We assumed maybe diabetes or hypothyroidism.) but when she came over to eat it her back legs fell away. I immediately phoned the vet and even though the surgery was closing early the vet said to bring her immediately. I piled her in the cat box (with no fight and this is one feisty girl normally) and headed the 2 minute drive. When I got there they weighed her and she had lost 2kg in 3 weeks. The vet was immediately concerned and asked permission to do a blood test. I gave it and waited for the results on their machine. 15 minutes later out the vet came and I knew by her face as she walked out. I just said 'Its cancer isn't it?' and she nodded. She brought out the results and all the time I'm thinking, 'its ok we can deal with this. She's insured and whatever it takes to get her well I'll do'. The majority of her results were normal all amazingly so apparently for her age. Her liver function was that of a young cat as were all her organ functions other than her kidneys which were creeping up slowly they said but not so much as she would be having a major problem immediately, but her blood levels of red blood cells were off the chart non existent. She then told me they had struggled to even find a functioning vein to take the blood and the colour of it had been unrecognisable for them. After than I went blank. I just said 'theres no options is there?' and the young vet shook her head and put her arm round me. She told me if I was lucky she would only have hours and although she was a real fighter and obviously not suffering greatly if I left her she would. She said it was fairly obviously end stage blood cancer and she must've had a massive bleed internally in the last few hours and I should let them take her now. I felt blind panic. Couldn't I even take her home for a cuddle and bring her in later??? She said not if I truly loved her and I should let them sedate her now then take her through. She said if I wanted to call someone to be with me then I should do it now. I called my Dad. He adored her and I knew he would want to see her too. He arrived minutes later and sat with us while she fell asleep in her box then the vet took her out and let me kiss her and took her away. I stopped her for a second and kissed her little foot like I always did but I forgot to ask to hold her and cuddle her. She was gone. They asked if I wanted her ashes returned to me but I just wanted out of there. I paid and left with my Dad. The whole day was a blur. We went to my parents and had a bloody good cry with them and came home to a home missing my girl and it feels so wrong.

Her favourite pastime. 

What people don't understand other than my parents who went through her life with me is that she wasn't just a cat or my pet she was my baby. I got her at days old when her mum was killed in a car accident and the kittens needed a home. She was the runt and no one would take her so I did and I ate ,slept and lived that kitten until she was old enough to stop worrying about her. I wrapped her in blankets on my pillow at night to keep her warm and loved. I developed asthma and was bed ridden with lung problems for 4 months because of an allergy to her but I fought it and was determined we would manage. We did and we were connected ever since. She would sit waiting every day at the door for me to get home from work. She moved with me everywhere I went and lay with me every night. When I had my daughter and we had to live at my parents for a few months she quickly reeled them into her crazy humanness ways and turned them as non cat people into balls of mushy grandparents. My Mum would talk to her all day long and always bought her the best cold meats to give her 'grannies little treats' when she got in every day. My Dad and I used to laugh at her a lot in the kitchen chatting to Misti sitting listening with that little face so expressive as if she understood. She would ask them every night at the same time to let her out and she would walk down their road to the train station and wait for me to get off the train from work. I'd see her eyes shining in the street light and we'd walk home together. She really didn't know she was a cat. It became a standing joke with all my parents neighbours. The cat who thought she was a human.

Me age 22 and Sophie age 9months. That was my little family back then. 

When I went into hospital to have Sophie my parents grew very concerned. She lay on a jumper of mine curled up and didn't move for 5 days. Not to eat or go to the toilet. If anyone tried to touch her she would hiss and growl at them. The minute I arrived back in my sisters car with baby my mum opened the door and she shot out and all was well in her world instantly.

Last winter. Thats my girl. 

When S died she sat with me for 3 days while I cried and never ate or moved for herself just snuggled with me and understood. She has never left my side. The longest I've left her was out holiday to Newquay this year. 9 days and I couldn't wait to get home to her. It was the first thing I would do when I ever got home from a few days away. I couldn't wait to see Misti.  It's a standing joke amongst all my family and close friends who knew her and I as a pair that I loved her more than anyone else. Sophie used to say ' she loves Misti more than me even' (which wasn't true of course but I could equate it to as much as). I couldn't have loved her more if she was my child, if she had been human. I always said she was the baby I had who would never grow up. She stayed small enough to cradle forever and dependant on her Mum forever.

The kids are devestated. Especially Sophie who grew up with her and Caleb goes around shouting for her then saying 'uh-oh Misti's gone away'.

One of the last photos I took before she had started fading away. 
Yesterday I lost my other half. My soul mate and right now I don't know how to cope with it. I hope I learn soon.


  1. A tear in my eye, lump in my throat... so sorry for the sadness youve gone though. X

  2. So sorry to hear of your loss - a pet is a member of our family and I can feel your pain.

  3. You don't have to "cope", you just have to sit with it. She was a special member of your family and nothing will replace her. Take the time to grieve. It's ok. Sounds like you gave her an amazing life - that is one lucky cat. (Hugs)

  4. So sorry to read this. How heartbreaking. Sending you lots of love xxx

  5. So sorry for your loss honey. She is a member of your family and an important one. Take time to grieve. Hugs and I am here for you x

  6. Awwww so sad. Sorry to hear of your loss. When you have a pet they don't just become your pet, they are part of your family.

  7. Oh I'm so sorry for your loss. She sounds like such a character lovely, and you two were clearly incredibly close.

    I hope the happy memories flood through to fill the pain, and you start to remember her with a smile not tears.


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