You know those moments where you have to grow up all at once? The last few days has been one of those moments. I had to make, easily, the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. Those of you who know me well, know that I have had quite a few hard choices in my life. Today I had to say goodbye to my best friend and soulmate for the past 8 years. Most of you would say it’s just a pet. But the few that know me well, know that Kisses was not only my cat, but my other half.
No other animal was more suited for me, and I’ve never had a connection like the one I did with her with any other pet I have had. She has been a more stable and permanent fixture in my life than most people. She was one of the best cats ever, always relax and loving, and easy to scare. She even was able to be around my cat-allergy friends and not make them die. For the past 8 years Kisses has been by my side; whenever I was sad, or happy, she knew.
I even remember the day she picked me to be her human. Yes, that is actually what happened. I was at the APA to adopt a new cat, and my ma was looking at this noisy orange fellow. I was leaning against a cage and I looked inside, and in the cage was a mass of dark fur and the largest glowing eyes you have ever seen. It was lying down in its litterbox like it was a friggen bed. I gave her a look and put my hand on the cage. She rose up to full form and slowly crept over to the cage door. She rubbed her face against my hand and her body followed. The cage was enveloped with tufts of brown fur as her hair stuck out from every opening in the cage door. This is the one.
When I adopted her they told me she was 8. She very much wasn’t because she would be 16 by now. When I got her rabies vax earlier this year, they said she was probably about 12, and very very healthy for her age; she easily had a few more years of life left in her. That’s why the news took me by surprise. Kisses had cancer. I should have known. We had always been connected in every way.
I noticed she was breathing a bit heavier than ususal Tuesday. She does this before a hairball so I didn’t give it much thought. Wensday seemed a little better, but she seemed a little off. By the time wet food hour came around she didn’t ask me for anything. She usually is yelling as loud as she can hours before wet food time to see if she could get it early. But nothing. I gave her her food and went to bed. The next morning she hadn’t touched it and was breathing heavier than before. I knew something was wrong. She wasn’t eating.
I had her taken into the vet, who was able to find her lungs had filled with fluid. He was able to drain some, and then had to send her to a vet specialist. Kisses has spent the last two days getting fluid drawn, xrays, ultrasounds, and living on an oxygen tank. The found tumors in her liver that had spread up to her lungs. It was so advanced that even it was a treatable cancer, it would do very little to help, and nothing could stop her lungs filling if she was sent home.
I have made the difficult decision to euthanize her. I picked her up this morning and brought her home for a few hours of laying around and being pet. She didn’t eat or drink. She walked around and examined the house and laid around in different spots; none of her ususal ones. She even laid in her litter box like when we first met. She was still unstable and had trouble breathing, but she was comfortable.
Everyone took turns saying goodbye. Sidney was exceptionally difficult. Everyone left so I could be alone with her when the doctor came.
I held her in my lap, more for me than her bc she really didn’t like sitting in peoples laps. They sedated her first so she could relax and wouldn’t feel it. I was able to look at her face and hold her as her breathing slowed down to once every 5-10 seconds even before they put in the final injection. The doctor told me it would ususaly take a few minutes, but once the injection was in, Kisses was gone in just a few seconds. I felt her go, just as I knew I would, bc she has always been a part of me.
Nothing will ever feel the same or as special to me as she did. I was able to give her eight years of love. It all happened so fast, that I didn’t have time. I wasn’t ready. I am still not. But I know, once I saw her at the vet, that she was. And her giving out so fast enforced that.
I was so afraid when I left her at the vet specialty center that she thought maybe I was putting her up for adoption like her last family. I told her over and over, “I’m not going to leave you.” So when I was able to hold her and look into her eyes as she went, I was able to let her know, that she would never be alone again. That I wasn’t going to leave her.