Monday, January 20, 2014

Baby Girl

Baby Girl is one of the many pet names I had for my cat, Samantha or Sam for short.  I adopted her and her sister, Brillo, in 2001 as kittens so she would have been 13 sometime this year.  Since she and her sister were rescues, we were never sure of their exact age.

They were both great cats.  We lost Brillo to a tumor in 2011.  It detached from her liver and she was bleeding out internally.  I came down with CFS/ME in 2010 and 2011 was one of my worst years with the illness so I couldn't go the hospital with her after she flopped at my feet in obvious distress.  My son held her as she was put to sleep by the hospital staff.

Two weeks ago we lost Sam to colon cancer.  I knew she wasn't doing well this past year.  She had stopped climbing on the couch and I had to put a footstool next to her favorite chair to make it easier for her to climb onto it.  Sam has been my constant companion throughout my illness.  When I first got sick she would lie at my feet all day, keeping me warm and keeping me company.  If I laid in bed too long she would come a yell at me to get up or if I was doing badly she would check up on me before lying down near me to keep me company.

When my son moved out to go to college, she and I were the only two in the house during work hours and we became almost inseparable.  She would follow me from room to room, settling down whenever I sat down.  I have a kitty hammock that I put next to the couch so no matter what room I was in she was near me, either next to me on the couch, in her own chair, in her kitty hammock or on the bedroom floor near my bed.   She would wait for me outside the bathroom door and say hello to me upon my return from adventures in the great wide world.  She demanded to be cuddled for about an hour each day and would lead me around the house to the spot of her choosing.  In our own way, we had figured out how to communicate with each other.  She could let me know if she wanted petting, wanted dry food, wanted table scraps, wanted a clean box, etc.  I only wish she could have told me that she wasn't feeling well.  I had put it down to old age and her bum leg from an injury she sustained as a young cat. I've never had a cat this old before and didn't know her behavior was abnormal.

By the time she started throwing up after trying to go to the bathroom it was too late.  There was a huge mass in her colon and she could no longer go potty.  I had to make the horrible decision to put her to sleep.  I feel like I let her down.  That I didn't care of her after she spent the last four years taking such good care of me.  I am so very sorry for not catching this earlier.  I feel that I should have known.  That I should have seen it.  That I should have taken her to the vet earlier.  But I was so wrapped up in my own illness I kept putting it off.  She hated the vet so much it was a huge ordeal to get her into the carrier and over there that we hadn't even taken her for her annual checkup for a couple of years.  I really do feel responsible for her getting sick and then having to put her to sleep.

I still cry every day for her and it has been three weeks since she got sick and two weeks since I put her to sleep.  I know it was the best thing for her but I miss her so very much and feel very very guilty.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss. Try not to be so hard on yourself, though. My parents recently had to make the same decision for their 14 year old cat who also had cancer. It's so hard -- they are like family members. No doubt it's left you with a big hole in your heart, but I'm glad you have good memories to hold on to. Thinking of you. xo