My cat, Lilly, has been going downhill for a couple months now. She wouldn’t really eat anything, eventually stopped eating all together, and subsequently lost a bunch of weight. I think watching her slowly die has been part of the reason I’ve been feeling depressed lately.
I got Lilly in the late fall of 2001, when I was 11 years old. Because I insisted on getting a kitten RIGHT THEN instead of waiting until spring or summer, they were harder to find. We ended up driving to a little cat shelter in the boonies, almost an hour away. When I got there, I eagerly ran to the kitten section. But, I was immediately disappointed. These kittens were insane! They were running around and clawing things (later, when I adopted my baby Spider-Man, I realized that’s just how most kittens are). I wanted a calm cat who just wanted to snuggle. The girl giving us the tour then told my mom and I that there was one more kitten, and she was in the hospital area, because she had a cold. When she brought the kitten out and I held her for the first time, I knew she was going to be the one I took home. She immediately snuggled up to me and rubbed her face in my hair (which became something that Lilly did to only me). My mom tried to talk me out of taking the sick one home, saying it was too much work, but I knew that I loved this one and I had to save her. So we took her home that day.
Because she was sick and her nose was stuffed up, my mom and I would run the shower on full heat and sit with her in the bathroom in the steam, wiping all the boogers that came out of her little nose. We had to do this before every feeding, because otherwise she couldn’t smell her food and wouldn’t eat.
After a week or two she got better. She was never a kitten that ran around or got into things, she would prefer to laze around and sleep, and always loved sitting on people’s laps. She got kind of tubby and she was super sassy sometimes, but that’s what we loved about her. Eventually, I went off to college, but every time I came home she always snuggled with me and rubbed her face in my hair like always.
When I was 21, a group of boys I knew at college snuck a kitten into their on-campus housing. A month or so in they got caught, and I ended up taking him. When I brought him home for Christmas break, he was introduced to Lilly. By then she was 10 or so, and wanted nothing to do with this rambunctious kitten. He wanted SO BADLY for her to like him and want to play with him.
Yesterday when I came home from work, she was doing really bad. I sat with her and cried and told her how much I loved her. I called my boyfriend to come over, because I couldn’t handle this alone. He spent all night trying to get me to stop crying, but I just couldn’t bear to see her suffering. I knew it was finally time to let her go, but it was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. How do you decide to end an animal’s life?
Rest in peace, my sweet little baby. I’m so happy I got to rescue you and give you a beautiful and happy life. Spidey and I will miss you so very much, but I know you’ll be in heaven playing with Bear, KD, and Cruz (our old family pets) and of course, grandma will make sure you’re taken care of. Sweet dreams princess.