Last January 2010, we lost the first of our three cats, the inimitable orange Bagel. This morning I had to take our little grey girl kitty Blue in for her last vet visit.
Last summer she'd been losing weight and did a lot of restless pacing. She was throwing up her food more often than just having hairballs. She was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. Yes, they had pills for that. But Blue was a very clever little cat who Did Not Like Pills. The vet had these cute little salmon flavored Pill Pockets, little soft treats with a dimple you could press a pill into. She ate one with her "bedtime" crunchies. Then she managed to eat the pocket but not the pill. Finally she just pushed the Evil Stealth Pill to the side. Over like five days I think she got two pills -- one by brute force and one by accident. Poor smart little kitty. (grin)
Fortunately there's a pharmacy in Grand Rapids that could compound the medicine into a gel which could be rubbed into the bare skin on the inside of the ears. This worked remarkably well and she calmed down a lot, and she ate her food with some relish. Though her big brother Sam had to be hauled off the food when he'd had his share because she took her sweet time.
Recently she'd gotten even skinnier. Mrs. Dr. Phil took her in for an early annual checkup last week. Her thyroid levels were normal, actually, but her kidneys were shot. Once she weighed 13 lbs., now she was 4.3 lbs. This was a cat who had been solidly built growing up on Science Diet kitten food such that when she was neutered, they had to use an extra staple. Not flabby, just a big cat -- they all were.
Blue spent a lot of time lately in Mrs. Dr. Phil's lap.
When the vet called with the lab results, we knew things were on their way out. But when do you decide enough is enough? I sometimes used to call her the little grey ghost -- now she was becoming one.
Blue became almost a flat cat.
Last night Mrs. Dr. Phil brought up the soft kitty bed, which Blue had adopted for a year, but had more recently been ignoring. It allowed the skin-and-bones unsteady kitty to have lap and have some stability.
A nice quiet evening rest last night.
Naturally, the tough little girl refused to be picked up and carried downstairs last night. Instead, she slowly made the trek herself. She still ate her breakfast this morning, that it came from a fresh can was a bonus, but there was really nothing left. There was no point other than selfishness on our parts to keep this going any more. I had the cat carrier on the front seat of the Bravada on the way over to the vets in bright warm sun. She didn't say anything on the trip.
As a kitty we called her Brillo cat, because her hair was all spiky. It settled down as she matured. But lately, with her bony little self, her fur would have these odd spiky patches. When she was gone I petted her until all her fur lay smooth and flat.
But Dr. Phil, She's Grey
Actually Blue was the perfect cat -- she was a cat of many colors. Went with everything. The Pine Factory furniture we'd bought in the late 80s had this multicolored heavy woven fabric and Blue was a perfect match. When she was a kitten, though, she often had a decidedly blue cast to her fur, hence the name. Depending on the lighting, season, time of day, sometimes she was blue, sometimes she was pink or peach, sometimes she was gray. And sometimes, if the sun caught the tips of her fur just right, she was this lovely iridescent coat of many colors. (grin)
She was also our best cat in terms of being a cat. Though she could get comfortable and sit on you, she lived her life as if anything around her could eat her, so she was always wary. And she was a Serious Cat, though she could play, too. Of all the cats we've had, the three old ones in Laurium and these three, she was the one who I thought could best survive as a cat if she had to. Fortunately, she never had to go outside and fend for herself, which is why she had eighteen good years.
In Better Times
Blue was a cat who knew how to find her comforts, whether snuggled up to the boys, lolling in the sunshine, sitting on Mrs. Dr. Phil -- which she did a lot. Despite all three being neutered, Bagel and Sam would sometimes "feel their oat" and chase her around the kitty room downstairs. Blue did not put up with crap from them. She'd run, then turn and beat them silly. She often took refuge slash ruled from the top of the kitty "tree" -- the boys never understood the defensive value of higher ground and always retreated.
From top to bottom: Blue, Bagel and Sam.
Goodbye my little grey girl.
Blue in October 2010 -- smaller but still one tough little kitty.