I've known for a long time that my dear little Terra cat has been declining in health. Age will do that. After all, she was 17 years old. Last year, I lost her brother Simba to kidney failure. Thursday night, I looked around the house for her, thinking it strange that she hadn't come over to sit with me and I found her laying in her litter box.
That's just not normal. During the night, I heard her throw up several times and, in the morning, she was sitting in the bathtub, erect and still as an Egyptian cat. Two hours later, she was still sitting in the same position. She hadn't eaten any of her canned or dry cat food since Wednesday night/Thursday morning. I knew she was failing.
I dreaded taking her to the vet. And I didn't want to take her alone.
I made an appointment with the vet for the afternoon and went to work. I tried to work but it was so hard concentrating. When I got home, I immediately looked for Terra. She wasn't in the litter box or the bathtub. She was curled up in the laundry basket, so sweet, but I could tell that she wasn't any better. I picked her up and off we went.
As soon as we stepped out of the house, she began wailing. I was tempted to just go back to the house and leave her to die in her own way, but we were leaving for the weekend and I didn't want her to curl up in some corner of the garage where we wouldn't be able to find her. My son drove and my mom sat next to him in the front, while I sat on the back seat cuddling my precious cargo, who only let out an occasional meow.
Recently, she had begun balding. She had a big "hot" spot on her chest and tufts of hair flew around the house constantly. I wanted to take her to the vet to see if there was any kind of medicine I could give her for her hormone imbalance but I thought that it was probably part of the kidney failure. She had been making very large pee spots in her litter box in the last several months. I knew the vet would advise me to let her "go", so I waited until there was no quality of life left.
Earlier this week, Terra had caught a mouse in the garage. She would lay her prize out by the door so that we would see it and praise her. Unlike her brother, who often ate his catch and just left "parts", she always left the entire body for us. A few weeks ago, she caught two in one day.
Whenever I sat down, she was in my lap. She could sit for hours as she watched me type on the computer or snooze while I watched my TV movies. She especially loved watching Youtube videos with me. At night, she curled up next to me, in my bed. This past winter, she would often go under the covers and I would wake up from whiskers ticking my face. The tips of her ears were always so cold!
The vet weighed her and evaluated her condition. Alarmingly, her weight was just six pounds, three ounces! I remember when she weighed eleven pounds. He told me what I expected to hear, that it was time to let her go. We took her to the back room and he laid down a big, soft towel. He injected her with a sedative and left me with her so I could say good-bye. My son didn't want to stay with us so he went up front to wait with my mom. She was so still already that it was hard to know when the sedative took effect. Her breathing was slight and her eyes stayed open, unfocused. I whispered to her, calling her name, hoping she could hear me, as she drifted off to sleep.
M son came back into the room and stroked her for a while. Then the vet came in and suggested that it was time. My son said that she was strong, holding on, but the doctor said, "no, this was only a sedative. She hadn't been given the "shot" yet".
We left her laying on the towel, barely breathing, to go back to the waiting room. I settled the bill and just a few minutes later the doctor handed my son a cardboard box. We took her home and buried her in the area where all the rest of our previous pets have been laid to rest. We threw a bunch of pine cones into the grave, hoping that one day, a tree would grow.
My sweet little Terra, rest in peace.