Sunday, February 22, 2015

I'm Not Looking Forward to a Good Night's Sleep

If you are lucky enough to have a cat live with you for almost 18 years, you are probably unlucky enough to have to make the decision to end their life. It's a Catch-22 that to have furbabies usually means they die before you, unlike most parents of humans. I have been blessed to have two cats in this category, and one of them is finally speaking to me in her telepathic way that the end is near. The more the fact sets in to my brain, the more I can't stop crying. I know from past experience that this pain is temporary, but it is still a horrible feeling.

I suppose I should be thankful to have had such a long time to spend with some cool cats. Age 18 is when human kids usually go away to college and start a life of their own. In my version of parenthood, I will never see my furbaby again, unless there is such a thing as the Rainbow Bridge.

They say you will know when it is time to let go. It's true, I've experienced the knowing. Right now, the knowing is setting in. She is fragile, arthritic, and skinny. The question is, do I make her suffer a bit longer? Is she even suffering? She is always so happy to see me and greets me with those green eyes, a hello meow, and deep purrs. How do I know the purring isn't the kind that soothes her own pain? These questions cause constant worry and wonder.

I rescued Paris in 1997. I lived in Rutland, VT in an apartment with my boyfriend and my other kitten Tinker. We lived next to a cat lady whose daughter just saved Paris from a farm. I mean cat lady in the best way, she rescued as many as she could and took great care of them. I visited with her often and she told me about Paris and I decided she would be a great sister for Tinker as they looked alike and were about a month apart in age. We brought her home and she fit right in.

From the very beginning, Paris has been a pain in the butt! She wakes me up all night long for food and is so persistent there is nothing I can humanely do about it. If anything, when her time comes, I will have a good night's sleep. I love her though, she is the sweetest, most loving cat ever and our connection is strong. I am the only human she loves and I am the only human that loves her. She has put up with six moves throughout the years and has never had any litter box issues. She has had hyperthyroid disease for years now and has done well on medication. She even accepted having dogs in the house, which is something I swore I'd never do to her, but it was never a problem.

After all we've been through together, I guess it's the difficulty of saying goodbye to one of my best friends and having to make the decision of when that happens. It doesn't seem fair at first, but I have to remind myself that I gave her a most amazing life, one which wouldn't have happened without me. I have to trust that when the time comes, I will know. With all these years behind us, I can't fail her now.

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