Our cat died Saturday.
Little D (short for “Dakota”) was 13, so she wasn’t young, but she was still everyone’s favorite cat.
I noticed earlier last week that she’d lost weight, and was pretty bony. As the week progressed, she seemed to be in some pain. She was missing the litterbox, and refused to eat. By Thursday, I was on Deathwatch.
The vet appointment wasn’t until Saturday.
Friday was Little Sis’ 6th birthday, but all I could think about was the cat. It literally took her all day to attempt a circuit of the main floor. I brought her into the kitchen to sit with me, but after a few minutes, she jumped off my lap. She took a few steps, and then appeared to flop down in exhaustion.
Ten minutes later, she made it about 15 more steps. For the rest of the day, she progressed through the kitchen, around the dining room, into the front hall, and on into the den. It took her over ten hours.
I googled “symptoms of a dying cat.” She had them.
At one point, I was on the phone with Mr. Hoagie giving him the update on Little D. She stood up to leave, and would have fallen over if I hadn’t caught her.
The kids got invited to a sleepover at the neighbors’ that night, so there was much activity as we got the girls ready to go. Since it was Little Sis’ birthday, I frosted a few extra cupcakes and brought them over to share.
A couple of times that night, I asked Mr. Hoagie to take a look at the cat. There wasn’t much we could do for her, though. She was hiding in spots in the den. She seemed to be looking for a spot to curl up and die.
The next morning, I awoke to find Big Sis in bed with me. She’d come home around midnight becuse she missed me. But now at 7:00 am, she was ready to go back to play at the neighbors’. I told her to grab a banana to hold her until breakfast, and to head over.
A few minutes later, she’s back in the bedroom. Her banana is half-peeled. She looks panicked.
“Mom!” She chokes back a sob. “I think Little D is DEAD.”
Oh, man. Out of all the people in this house, why did it have to be Big Sis to find her?
I give her a hug. Then I go to investigate, leaving her and the dog in the bedroom.
I peer over the top of the stairs. Little D is laying on her side, smack in the middle of the front hall. She looks like she could be sleeping, except her eyes are open. I call out to her, hoping she’ll meow back at me, like she always does…but knowing she won’t.
At the bottom of the stairs now, I reach out toward her. I’ve never touched anything dead before. But she’s my cat…and maybe she’s not d—
Oh, yes. She is. Cold. Hard.
But her fur is still so soft…