Monday, May 21, 2007

Back to reality....

"She could be in pictures if she wasn't all covered in fur"
Elvis Costello - Pads, Paws and Claws

I was enjoying the whole Landis soap opera and its associated cast of characters but another loss in our house brought reality crashing back again. Rescue, our pretty (and somewhat creepy) little 7lb kittie, died in our arms on Sunday as we were waiting for the vet to put her down.

Rescue came into our lives through Stacy. She got her as a kitten in college after the boyfriend of a girl in her building tossed her out of a second story window because she did something to piss him off. Stacy got Rescue...the guy got expelled. The first couple of years we were together I
didnt see much of Rescue or Mr. Gurgles, her tuxedo other half. Stacy lived with her dad and my first Dobe, Nitro, had a bit of a high prey drive so they both tended to hide in the basement. Actually, I though I killed Rescue at one point because Nitro chased her into the sewer. Turns out she would follow Stacy on walks by using the sewer system...she would disappear then pop out of a drain around the block....pretty cool (and creepy). Anyway, at the time I was deathly allergic to cats so I wasn't a big fan anyways.

Eventually Nitro passed away and Stacy moved in with the Cats and Chemo. My allergies seemed to have largely vanished and I started to appreciate cats...ok they aren't dogs...but they are fun in their own way. Eventually I came to dig the meowing demands for attention and the bedtime visits .... there is no relaxing white noise like the low purr of a small cat at lights out....of course that is balanced with the creepiness of walking up with a small cat staring at you. The bonding between Rescue and Gurgey would tug on your heartstirngs....when they were curled up napping sometimes you couldn't tell where one started and the other ends. Though, again on the creepy side she tended to keep at least one eye open when curled up with the she was watching out for him...

Her last two moths were a roller coaster ride. She's always been our healthy animal...15 years and never a problem. One day she looked prego....we decided a immaculate kittie conception was doubtful so we took her to the local was like getting hit with a huge puke inducing punch. A visit to the specialist in Santa Cruz revealed some tests were miss-read and it was likely leukemia not lymphoma ... which could be good. Things continued to look up, the first couple of rounds of mellow chemotherapy seemed to work ... her bloodwork was basically normal, though the bloating never subsided..yippiee, the prognoses looked good and maybe we would get another 6months or even a year with her. Then, a week before she passed, she started puking...but she would eat. A few days later she was very unsteady so she was off to the Vet in S.C. again ... blood work still looks good but she is cleary F'd is obviously worried because outward symptoms dont match bloodwork and Rescue wasnt eating on her own. She came home with us last Thursday with a pile o' meds and for about 36 hours things were looking slightly up, more blood work normal, she was using her liter and laying with Gurgey and when I woke up on Sat. I got the typical high pitched Rescue "Meeeeoooowwwwww" and she gobbled a 1/4 can of food. But things crashed from there. I have more experience with animals with degenerative conditions then I would like and I've NEVER seen never seen one go downhill so fast....12 hours later she was a shell of herself and it was back to SC.....we pretty much knew that was the end but we went home and waied for a a.m. call from the attending vet. I want to add here that when Rescue was first diagnosed we were determined not to let her slide into a state where she could not care for herself....we tried to find that point where she still wasnt suffering but we knew there was nothing left that would slow down the progress of her disease. We'll we blew it. We got the call, made the decision to let her go (that was easy), and headed to S.C....when we got there she was even worse....a night of intensive care had barely helped and she was largely non responsive. As we held her limp and withered body in a blanket and waited for the Vet she gave out a tiny meow and died.....death is ugly, but I'm glad we were there and we think she held on just long enough to say goodby.

We loved that cat and we can really sit back and smile at the time she spent making our lives that little bit better....but I still felt like going home, getting drunk, and slugging someone right after she died. I wish I had something profound or elegant to say...I want to convey the connection I have felt with Rescue and our other pets (rescued and not)...its something intertwined with the unconditional love they provide and the nutrering we provide...I dont know, I just know I'm a little emptier this week. Now its just Gurgey (to the right) ... and he gets ALL of our attention....I sort of feel bad for him, I guessing we are pretty annoying...

I wonder if Max is pissing her off in animal heaven....I know he had a thing for her, who wouldnt, she was one sexy cat.