Earl's cat, Minnie, had started having some breathing problem about a week ago, maybe a week and half. I did point it out once, but it was more intermittent and sometimes it would go away entirely. Making him think she'd just picked up something and got rid of it. I was more touch and go uncertain, to certain, something might be wrong. Which was the whole reason I'd pointed it out to him. We realized something was really wrong on Tuesday night.
I came home after work and fell into my bed for a nap, which Earl woke me up from suddenly by opening my room door -- not unsurprisingly because Minnie favorite hiding and nightly sleeping spot is under my bed. I was groggy, but pointed out there was no way she was under my bed, because I'd just gotten home and the bedroom has been closed since leaving for work. But that he could look.
And she was there. Which was odd. Since we both know the noise she makes with the door to get out. You can hear it through the whole apartment, and it part of my sort every night to few nights routine to get up in the middle of the night and let her out for it. But she hadn't wanted out the whole day. We thought it was odd, but let it roll for a little while, and I kept a half-eye on her through the night, while I was home and he was work.
But she never came out of my room or under my bed for the evening, while the door was left open for hours, and she was still there when I went to bed. Curled up under my bed, making her chirpy-trilling noise when I'd lift the bed skirt and check on her, and pet her. There, aware, noisy (for her, when she was interrupted with light or a person), but not really wanting to move, or moving at all.
Ironically, feeling like everything was changing, and possibly very bad, one of the things I said after petting her that night and crawling into my bed was, "If you want to die under my bed, it's okay. You can. We can share it. We have been for four years now."
It's one of those things I'm glad I said, but seems too prophetic looking back now. It wasn't like I expected her to die soon. It was more like an if-then statement I believed in my heart. I didn't mind sharing the space under my bed even for the worst of eventualities. Especially since she seemed headed toward rough, choppy waters. Though I thought it would be a much longer time before we were there entirely.
Yesterday morning when I woke up, and he got home from work, I realized she still hadn't moved or tried to get up once. Which meant she'd been under my bed for twenty four hours without any food or any trips to the litter box. So I got Earl and he got her, and the morning start off like a boulder, that never stop rolling hard down the hill, smashing everything it could as it picked up speed.
With me headed to work and him headed to the first of two vets, and culminated in a pretty harrowing early-lunch break of petting her in a oxygen chamber while we said goodbye, and then watching her being put to sleep. Her lungs were wholly compromised with cancer, and possibly a fungal infection on top of that, and there was really no way to stop it. The best option they had would have just had Earl back at a vet (in Florida) in this same position in three week at best.
So he made the decision to end it earlier instead of later. She was put to sleep yesterday around one, and she's now buried in Earl's parents backyard with their other pets. We had a somber, teary sort of night following, with ice skating and drinking a whole bottle of wine, talking about her.
Rest in peace, sweet girl. Minnie, February 2014
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