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So over the weekend I announced the impending demise of our seventeen-year-old cat, Selma. She had already outlasted her sister Patty by a year, so while I was really sad, I wasn’t surprised.
My old kitty’s not looking so good. :-(
— SelfishMom (@SelfishMom) March 2, 2012
Relieved that my cat is still holding on, but I’m pretty sure this will be her last day w/us. She’s breathing heavy & didn’t eat her treat.
— SelfishMom (@SelfishMom) March 3, 2012
The Ass and I got Patty and Selma when they were ten weeks old, and had them for ten years. Everything was great until I started having kids. Patty did not react well to our new additions, and one day I was on the phone with my mother in Buffalo, sobbing that I had two kids in diapers and a cat who wouldn’t use the litter box. I was losing it. My mom came to the rescue, and even though she didn’t want cats, she took mine. That’s just the way she is.
They lived with her for six years, until Patty died. In the meantime we’d bought a brownstone ruled by mice, and had toyed with the idea of bringing Selma back. Patty was the one my mom really liked anyway, while Selma just annoyed her. But we decided we couldn’t separate them – except for one night when Selma was in the hospital, they’d been together their entire lives.
But once Patty died, Selma came back to us (and the mice left immediately). She’s been here a year. And even though she’s old, she never acted like it, still sprinting up the stairs and jumping up walls to play with laser lights. She stayed mostly to the bottom two floors of the house, so Jake was worried the other day when he found her in his room, on the fourth floor, sleeping under his desk. She’d never ever done that.
By the next morning she was lying in other weird places, glassy-eyed, and had a rattle in her chest. She looked like she was having trouble breathing. I knew the end was near. I just hoped it would be quick and that she wouldn’t suffer much. I really didn’t want to have her put to sleep, but we started talking about the possibility.
I would’ve bet money that she wouldn’t last through the weekend. We tried to snuggle with her, but she wanted nothing to do with us. I petted her lots and took pictures.
The kids were, understandably, upset, and wanted to know what was going to happen after she died. I explained cremation to them, and Fiona just flat-out refused to let us go that route. She wasn’t able to put into words why she didn’t want it to happen, but she was frantically against it. I explained to her that it wouldn’t hurt, that Selma wouldn’t be able to feel anything, but she didn’t care (or didn’t believe me).
Jake just got weepy whenever we talked about it. He begged us not to have her put down, and I tried to explain that it might be the right thing to do, so that she wouldn’t suffer for too long. He wanted us to take her to the vet and have them fix her up. He wasn’t getting the idea that she’s a really old kitty, and letting her go would be the right thing to do. Although, I now know who’s going to have power of attorney when I get old. :-)
You can imagine my surprise when on Sunday morning, Selma was completely normal. Eating, drinking, meowing her annoying meow, begging for a treat (we were out – I hadn’t ordered any more from Fresh Direct, because, you know). And the death rattle was gone. We thought maybe it was just a last-minute rally, but it’s Monday and she still seems absolutely fine.
I know she doesn’t have much more time left, but I’m glad her time isn’t up yet. And I hope she isn’t pissed at me for assuming she was a goner.
The kids are thrilled, especially Jake. But I can tell he’s watching her closely now.
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