Syndactyl Salutations

Thoughts on writing, knitting, and the world around me.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Goodbye Widget

Last night we had to put our four-year-old cat to sleep. I came home from four hours of Christmas shopping and magazine reading to find him at the bottom of the stairs. It's not unsual for him to lie at the bottom of the stairs, it is unusual for him not to get up shortly after someone comes in the front door.

When I realized he wasn't going anywhere, I went back to him and sat with him, trying to figure out what was wrong. I picked him up, and when I put him down, I could see that he couldn't use his back legs. He was meowing loudly and a lot, his pupils were dilated, and he was breathing hard. Of course, no matter how many times I asked him what was wrong, he couldn't tell me. Didn't stop me from asking, though.

I called Ebbie and left a message on his phone as I was trying to decide what to do. Then I called the emergency vet, to be sure they were open and to figure out where they were. Then I called Ebbie again, just to let him know where I was going. I brought the cat carrier up from the basement and opened it, then went down to feed our other cat, Osmosis. By the time I got back upstairs, Widget had dragged himself into the carrier.

By the time I had gotten the rest of my stuff together and was writing a note for Ebbie, he had come home from practice. I told him what was going on (he hadn't gotten my messages), and we both went to the vet.

It took almost no time for the doctor to tell us what was wrong and that it was all but untreatable. We discussed our few options, but they all would have meant misery for Widget, with no guarantee that he would even survive the treatment, and what happened last night was likely to happen again at any time.

I began crying then, and didn't really stop until we were on the way home, with the empty cat carrier and the invoice. The vet sedated Widget, and we stayed with him, petting him and talking to him until he was unconscious. When I saw my reflection in his eye, I knew he no longer knew we were there.

We're not going to bury him or keep his ashes. I can't imagine having to bring his body home for burial, and a box of ashes is not my cat.

Widget was my first cat. I wasn't quite sure about having an indoor cat when Ebbie first suggested adopting a stray farm kitten four years ago, but I pretty much fell in love with him as soon as he came home. He began nursing on me almost immediately, and kept the habit right up until I went away to Kripalu. He thought about nursing on me a couple of times since I've been back, but he never actually did.

He was such a good, loving, affectionate cat, I don't quite know what I'll do without him, and I'm not entirely sure I truly believe that he's gone yet. Osmosis is confused as well.

I have plenty of photos of him, but I just don't have the energy right now to find one, scan it, and upload it. Maybe in a few days, because I would like all of you to be able to see my beloved buddy cat. I'll miss him terribly, I do already, I did from the second the vet picked him up and carried him out of the examination room.

3 Comments:

At 11:53 AM, Blogger Kim said...

i'm so sorry to hear about your cat!

that's part of what's keeping me from getting kittens - i don't know if i could handle that kind of thing.

and also that i live in a hovel.

anyway, i'm sorry, that's a rough thing to have happen right before the holidays. best wishes.

 
At 1:09 PM, Blogger Lolly said...

Oh Faith, I am so so sorry. I am glad you were able to give Widget a good loving home, even if it was only for a short time.

I am thinking about you. *hugs*

 
At 9:57 AM, Anonymous Bookish Wendy said...

Oh, I just saw this. I'm so sorry Faith.

 

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