Whether you’re a dog person, a cat person, or none of the above, you know how painful loss can be. Even when a living thing comes to the end of its life, the inevitable is difficult. There they are, with you. And then they aren’t anymore. Ever. And no matter how old or how sick, you just miss them. They entertain you, cheer you, greet you and provide companionship. You care for them, feed them, talk to them and teach them a trick or two.
First there was Eloise, a cat someone dumped in the park across the street where we live. 1992. We took her in. Laura was in second grade.
Lucy- the last of the litter- the only one with long hair, big green eyes- a pretty cat and sweet.
She was the loudest purrer and a docile cat. She was the most vocal and would talk back as your called her name.
My one friend thinks Steve needs a kitten. NOT! We’re not getting any more cats.
Steve said maybe a hypoallergenic dog? Down the road a bit. A little terrier? No! We just can’t have any more pets. It’s too hard to lose them. The last couple months seemed to be a cat hospice situation around here with Steve so vigilant and trying everything to make her life nice. She really was confined to one room and didn’t climb the stairs anymore.
Her being in the one room allowed the family to come this summer and sleep overnight as they suffer from cat allergies. Oh how the grandkids loved seeing Lucy. Steve would take them in and they were so happy seeing her, asking about her. I know they’ll be sad to hear she’s gone.
Earlier in the summer, Michael gave me his pet rock he’d made in day camp “for when Lucy dies”.
I think about how Mark, Erika and both of her parents and now even Laura all suffer from cat allergies. So do a couple of my good friends and it has impacted their ability to come and enjoy being in my home. Oh dear. But when Laura was growing up, she used to have cute Lucy crawl under the covers. Now she can’t be near cats without an allergic reaction.
Nineteen and a half years is a full life for a cat. Or as Mark says, she had nine wonderful lives thanks to Steve. Steve has been caring for her so tenderly. Sips of Cat Milk, special food for the thyroid. You name it. Steve was practically chewing up shrimp like a penguin mother. Now it’s hard to handle and dispose of her bowl and her drinking fountain, her pan, all the things she used.
Three weeks ago at the vet they said she was doing well for her age.
Hmmm, I thought. She didn’t look too good to me but her eyes had life and she was still using the litter pan and eating a little.
I knew she was coming down the home stretch. We talked about knowing it was time to put her down. But we hadn’t.
And so the night before the first day of school, Steve came in around 1:30 AM and said that he was petting her and she didn’t wake up. That she was gone. Friday he took her to be cremated while I started my new job. I was sorry he had to go alone. It still doesn’t seem real that she passed and isn’t coming back.
We’ll miss you Lucy.