One year ago…

So many things have happened in the last year and so many things have marked the one year (or more) mark. Today marks the one year anniversary of my cat Missy passing. It’s a bittersweet day in many ways. I remember the times I had with her and the issues she had over the years and the kidney disease that eventually took her life and sent her to the rainbow bridge. But I also know she is happier and healthier even though I still miss her like crazy.

I got Missy when I was about 6 years old. My mom brought her home from work one day. She went to a co-worker’s apartment cause their cat had kittens. Missy was a family pet to add to the dog we had and an older cat but to me it was my new kitty. I named her Missy which is surprising that anyone listen to a 6-year-old for that (we later adopted her sister and I tried the same thing but they decided on a different name). But I loved Missy, I loved her so much that when my mom gave me the hard choice of keeping her and her sister since she realized 3 cats and a dog were too much (sadly not long after the older cat passed away unexpectedly of reasons unknown). So I choose Missy. She was cute and so small, we think she was the runt of the litter cause she was smaller than most cats we’d seen. I loved her colors and I remember someone once saw her and referred to her as a Halloween Kitty because she had calico colors and since Halloween is one of my favorite holidays I loved the idea.

As I grew up with Missy, I used her as a doll or toy. I don’t think I really hurt her though I wondered somethings when I danced with her and she had a scared meow (and now I can’t believe I did that to the poor kitty and she STILL loved me). My favorite thing I used to do with her that she tolerated at the best of times was dress her up in my baby clothes and use this toy rocker for her. But I got over that. I’m going to make sure my kids don’t do that with our cats cause my mom tried but man I was stubborn. So learned that Missy was to be treated as a cat. I wanted to get another cat, part of it was wanting another kitten or playmate and also for Missy to have a friend. That’s how I got to have Indy who was a rescue cat. Unfortunately Missy and her never really got along, it got to the point of tolerating each other and Indy taking the upper hand sometimes in the last few years that required me to intervene.

I remember my mom being worried that I would neglect Missy but I didn’t. Missy and I had our thing and Indy and I had our thing. Indy preferred to be outside most of the time anyway and Missy was starting to become more of an inside cat.She eventually stopped going out all together besides a few random moments of curiosity. Missy started having health problems over the years, part of it was due to her age like needing some laxitone for backdoor problems. And then about 3 years ago she had a reoccurring abscess problem that it took the vets ages to figure out what the issue was. A lot of them thought she wouldn’t be able to make it past the issue. The problem happen so often I got used to checking her for issues back there and taking care of any problems that happen since the vet was so expensive and one of them gave me some stuff to help take care of it at home. Surprisingly about a year after it started it just stopped. I guess it just needed time to heal more and more.

I remember each time we got back from the vet, after all the growling and hissing she did and dear god she had some good vocal cords because she yowled so loud you could hear her in the reception area. But after each visit, sometimes it would be at 11pm at night after going to the vet at like 6 or 7pm cause that’s how long it took to be seen and once it was at like 3am or 4am cause she had a small surgery, she would curl up on my bed, usually on my pillow next to my head and just stay with me there all night and lightly purr when I would pet her. She knew I was trying to help her and loved me.

One of my favorite things she used to do was just before I had to get up in the morning, she would curl up in my arms (if I was on my side) and just have a cuddle. I remember in high school I had to keep her out of my room during the week because if I didn’t shut the door properly she would put her weight on it so the door would open and curl into bed with me. She’s slept with me nearly every night I’ve had her. She also liked to get between me and my laptop to make sure she was getting attention too. That or it was for the warmth. I had to get in the habit of closing the lid to my lap just enough so she couldn’t sit on the keys if I left the room even for a moment.

When she was wanting attention or was hungry she would do this little mew and if I didn’t pay attention to her she would get on my desk and just keep doing it until I fed her. Other times I would just stand in front of her (if she was on the bed) and she would get on her hind legs and do a stretch against me but stay there while I petted her or picked her up.

I loved burying my face into her fur when I held her and listen to her purr. She used to drool all over my neck and sometimes when I was sitting at the computer, I would do the same thing sitting down and just hold her. I think we would do that for a few hours and she would basically nap with her head on my shoulder or neck.

So when she was diagnosed last year with kidney disease, I realized it could be close to the end. She was 20 years old by this point and had lost a lot of weight. She had been underweight a bit for years which we had been told was due to her age but she seemed far too skinny so when the vets confirmed one of the three possibilities it was not shocking but saddening. I began to familiarize myself with what needed to be done. The vet had told me to try her out on the food that for cats with kidney disease and see how she did. She liked the food surprisingly but I didn’t know about putting her though the medication. She was so old, the vet said we could just do the food for a while until it gets worse or do both. I decided to just stick with the food for the time being. But sadly about  month and a half after her being diagnosed she passed away. There were signs that I wasn’t aware of until she passed but I realized the last week of her life she was going through the final stages of renal failure.

If I could go back to that week, I would have taken her to the vet to if not help her, let her suffering end. I don’t know if she was in any pain and I remember reading that they don’t tend to feel pain. I did my best to make her as comfortable as possible and without my parents there that weekend, I was unable to do much beyond that. I did feel a lot of guilt over that and in some ways I still do. But I do have to remind myself there wasn’t much I could do and I did what I could. She passed away knowing I loved her and was doing my best to help ease any discomfort.

It’s hard writing this last part since for the last year it’s been the one thing I’ve avoided thinking about. But I know I need try to conquer this discomfort over her end. I can think of her life with happiness and fond memories and can’t wait to see her again.

She was a good cat and I’ll always love her and miss her.

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