Tuesday, June 18, 2013

RIP Stimpy

I have three cats. I still stay that, because until about 11 this morning, I did have three cats. Now I have two cats. I had to put Stimpy, who is the picture to the left, down today.

Stimpy was a beautiful cat. Black with huge eyes, a triangular face, long slender body and long tail.  She was a strange cat. As a kitten she was very friendly to people until she got a very bad staph infection. After a long stay at the vets we brought her home and she was a changed kitty. Very skittish and afraid of people. Every once in a while she would decide that she wants love and would be all over your lap, but most of the time she stayed away from people unless she was hungry.

Five days ago I took her to the kitty hospital because she appeared ill. She was very ill. Acute renal failure. The doctors suggested IV fluids and pain medicine and see if her kidneys could recover. The chance of full recovery was low, but I know how the body can heal if given a chance and I wanted to give her a chance. Five days later she went from recovering well over the weekend to her kidneys looking so bad the oncologist at the hospital had never seen something that bad. They thought there were tumors in her kidneys bleeding profusely and causing bad swelling and kidney failure again. I made the call. I told the vet I thought we should put her down. The vet agreed. I left work immediately and came to be with Stimpy in her last moments.

The hospital has a room set up like a living room. The vet came and talked with me a bit. She asked if they could biopsy Stimpy's kidney to see if they could learn more about what happened. Perhaps it would help another kitty. Of course I agreed. Another person came in and asked me what I wanted to happen with her body. I choose community cremation and asked where they would scatter her ashes. He said her ashes would be scattered on a ranch in the foothills near UC Davis. That sounded very good to me. I fly over and near those hills often, I would be able to say Hi to her sometimes.

They brought Stimpy out to me and let me sit with her and pet her for a long time, just me and her. She was more friendly than she'd been in years. She climbed on my lap and kept shoving her head into my hand. I rubbed her back and found her favorite scratching spot on her back and she flopped over with obvious pleasure. She looked so much better than she had when I brought her to the hospital before but I could see the bruising on her belly from internal bleeding. I knew it was time.

The vet came in and I held Stimpy on my lap, in my arms. She tucked her head firmly into the crook of my arm and stayed there, purring. I told the vet you could tell she wasn't feeling well because she never did this at home. But here she was, leaning heavily into my arms, purring. I pet her some more, the vet pet her too. Then it was time to let her go. The vet did the first injection to have Stimpy sleep. She fell asleep quickly, her head still tucked into my arm. As she readied the second injection I asked if this was the hardest part of her job as a vet. The look on her face spoke volumes as she quietly said, Yes, and pushed in the second injection. I couldn't tell if Stimpy was still breathing over the sound of my own heart.. I kept petting her soft head. The vet checked Stimpy's heart and told me,  She's gone.

I asked and they left me alone with her for a couple minutes more. She still sat on my lap, head buried in my arm. I cried. I finally got up and put her down and covered her with a towel with only her ears showing. Her body was limp and felt light. The life had gone out of her. Just like that.

I shared the news with one of my close friends and she said something so beautiful I will quote it here, I hope she doesn't mind. She said, So nice that she can be in the foothills, away from all those nasty things called humans, but where Mom can soar over her.

Rest in Peace, Stimpy. I, we, will never forget you. And I will soar overhead and check on you once in a while.

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