Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Farewell, Suggs

On Sunday, I said goodbye to my cat. I have had both of my cats for 17 years, and Suggs was always the one I thought would live the longest.


A few months ago, though, she started having trouble with her bowels. She would strain and strain and little to nothing would happen. We were going out of town and her regular vet was booked for a while, so we saw someone else at the clinic. After forking out a chunk of change, her blood work came back looking great and we got no diagnosis. She took some antibiotics just in case, but they didn't do anything.

Meanwhile, she was constantly having small "accidents" on the floor all over the house. At first, it made us mad, but we eventually saw that she was quite ill. It became especially apparent after I had her shaved because she wasn't grooming and got matted. We couldn't believe how skinny our pudgy Suggs had become.


As time went on, poor Suggs lost everything that mattered to her. First went her bedroom, which was turned into a nursery. She was always one for "safety zones," and she was distraught when hers went away. After she was shaved, her sister shunned her. And when I was very pregnant, I was often annoyed by her when she became clingy and wanted to crawl on me. Then I came home with the baby and was so overwhelmed and distracted that I just didn't deal with her at all. Thank goodness Mark was there to care for the cats. But her loud yowling and her constant need to eat (part of her illness) and her clinginess just stressed me out.

And I know that makes me an awful person.

In the end, she started running into walls and getting stuck in corners. She'd jump up on a chair, but miss by a mile. She clearly couldn't see well, or something was affecting her brain. We knew we had to make a tough decision.

I felt terrible about things, so I made it a point to really apologize to her and make it up to her. I invited her onto my lap when I was nursing and gave her tons of love. I told her I was sorry for everything. And I hope she forgives me.


Her last day was a beautiful day. Her regular vet came to our house Sunday afternoon. We had spent the day outside, enjoying the yard and the weather. She sat under her favorite bush, which I'll never understand because it looks like the most uncomfortable place in the yard.


We sat with her and petted her, and Mark made her a feast for her last meal. We took a zillion pictures and held her as she passed away.


Afterward, we placed her in a box -- what cat doesn't love boxes?! -- with a towel, blanket, a can of her favorite food, toy mice and flowers. She looked so at peace, and better than she had in a long time.

Mark dug a hole and we buried her, and then we planted a crape myrtle in her memory.



Rest in peace, Suggs. We'll really miss you.



jules.maas said...

oh God, you made me cry tonight. my heart breaks for you & Suggs.

Marissa said...

Of course, EVERY CASE IS DIFFEFRENT, but there are times when we are kinder to our animals than we are to our elderly and terminally ill. I think you handled that very well, and she totally understood. (If that's possible...and I hope it IS possible for our pets to understand.) I'm very sorry for your loss.

Isabelle said...

Your story made me cry. I think you did the right thing.