Goodbye Kitty

6 Oct

I’ve never considered myself to be much of a cat person. Sure, there was a phase when I was in elementary school where I thought there was nothing cuter than a kitty, but my affinity for cats was quickly dispelled once my family actually got a cat. My childhood cat, Johnny, was aloof. He never played, or purred or did any of the cute things I had been led to believe that cats did. In fact, he was downright mean. When it was time to say goodbye to Johnny, sure I was sad. But I took his loss as an opportunity to come to acceptance with the fact that I really was just a dog person. End of story.

Until I got married. Practically our first purchase as a married couple was a dog because, well duh. But it came out in conversation one day that Husband actually preferred cats. His childhood cat, Heidi, did play, purr and do all of the cute things I had been led to believe that cats did. After hearing his story, it was clear that there was only one thing left to do. So, we went to the humane society and got a cat.

There wasn’t any specific type of cat we (and by we, I mean I) were (was) looking for. My only real specifications were that the cat be female, and that the cat was on the young side. That being said, I knew Sasha was the one the moment I held her. She was in my arms for no more than two seconds before she started purring. Loudly. She never stopped.

All my life I had dreamt of an affection cat. Sasha was that cat. At least I knew that by definition she was, yes, a cat, but she always acted more canine than feline. She loved to be pet. All you’d have to do was touch her. Literally. Just lay a hand on her back and she’d instantly be purring. Because of her love for human affection, she was always cuddling. On my lap, on my laundry, on the papers I was grading. It didn’t matter what was in her way. If it meant being close to you, it was no obstacle.

This was particularly true when it came to Husband. While he had been the one who originally said he preferred cats, it became clear that he did not prefer our cat. While I found her purring and need to cuddle endearing, he did not. He especially did not appreciate her need to sleep directly on top of his chest at night, purring the entire time (of course). Sasha seemed to have a compulsive need to make him love her. The more times he threw her off the bed at night, the more times she crawled right back up.

It was when she stopped sleeping on Husband’s chest at night that we knew something was wrong. She still purred when you touched her, but for the first time since she’d joined our family, we had to seek her out. She became a recluse, hiding under our bed. She stopped eating. And, eventually, she stopped using her litter box. The vet told us it was liver failure. We’re still not sure if it was cancer, feline leukemia, or a different malady. Honestly, it wouldn’t have mattered. The vet informed us that no matter the cause of her liver failure, it was progressing too fast and too furious for her to ever fully recover. Despite a brief turn-around when it looked like she might actually get better, in the end it became clear to us that it was time to say goodbye. Our plump, happy, affectionate cat was gone. In her place was a rail-thin, listless, suffering kitty.

Tonight we said goodbye to our sweet cat. It’s been harder than either of us thought, especially trying to explain the situation to Child #1 (4yo). Trying to explain that you are knowingly taking your pet to a place where they will end her life is a hard concept to get across. He seemed to understand what was happening, but still doesn’t grasp the gravity of the situation emotionally. I suppose I’m ok with that. Whether I’m ok or not is still undecided. I know that Sasha was suffering. I know that putting her down was the humane thing to do. But making that call was decidedly harder than I ever thought it would be. It was hard to say goodbye. It was hard to ask Husband to be the one to take her. And, for some reason, it was even harder to keep it together watching Husband dump out her food bowl when it was over and she was gone.

Sasha will always have a very special place in our hearts. She was my second “baby,” and my dream cat. She purred the moment I met her, and Husband says she purred until the very end. There will never be another cat like her.

Goodbye, Sasha. We’ll miss you.

Sasha

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One Response to “Goodbye Kitty”

  1. Patrice October 9, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

    A beautiful tribute to a beautiful friend.

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