Today is Lucy’s last day on this side of the rainbow bridge. This is going to be a bittersweet post but I find it lethargic to write.
I got Lucy nearly 9 years ago in Tennessee. She was my birthday present to myself and my first pet that was all my own. I went to the middle of nowhere to get a different cat but when I bent down in front of the cages Lucy reached out and grabbed my pigtails and I knew she was meant to be my cat.
Lucy was my constant cat companion while studying my junior year at Vanderbilt and spent a year in New Mexico with my parents when I returned to the dorms. She didn’t forget me that year and I’ll never forget her.
When I moved to an apartment after my senior year Lucy came back to me. I didn’t spend nearly enough time with her that year because I was on a political campaign, but whenever I came home from long and tiring nights of work she would greet me at the door and quickly cuddle up with me like a teddy bear as I fell asleep.
When I got salmonella before moving to DC and could barely move she NEVER left my side. When my mom was trying to help me gain my strength back we found out that both Lucy and I love honey smoked turkey. She ate 4 slices today.
When I moved to DC and lived 4 different places she quickly adapted. She loved living in the big house with 3 other girls but would always sleep with me. She loved staying with some goo friends when I would have to travel for business and she bravely made the journey with me to Colorado 3 years ago.
We stopped in New Mexico to be with my parents for a few weeks before we drove from Silver City to Denver in my VW beetle. She hung out with my parents cats who she remembered easily and gladly snuggled with my Dad who loves her almost as much as I do and is struggling with this almost as much as I am.
She wasn’t the best passenger on the curvy roads, often trying to sit on my lap or in front of me on the dashboard as we drove along. We made it and she quickly found her favorite spot in our new apartment.
When I met Mike and we became serious I left her home alone probably too often, I still have guilt over that. I do think, however, she probably through pretty smashing kitty soirées when I wasn’t there. She was probably going through the cabinets in search of plastic bags to lick.
When Mike and I moved in together Lucy got to know a whole new creature–Maverick. They actually got along really well and we would often find them cuddling. Lucy loves concrete and she would frequently make a mad dash our the front door to roll on the concrete.
When we moved into the house Lucy quickly found her spots. She knew her food was on the counter and she had a special door into her litter box. Then she got sick.
In January I noticed my Lucy was suddenly very skinny, lethargic and would howl randomly. We took her to the vet. She had tumors in her stomach, lots of them. He gave her pain meds and 4-6 weeks. Two weeks later she seemed fine, we took her back to the vet and did an ultrasound. She wasn’t fine. The ultrasound proved she was very ill. We cried, a lot. We brought her home and counted the days.
That was four MONTHS ago not weeks. Our friends came by to say goodbye and Lucy rallied multiple times. She earned the nickname Zombie Cat rather quickly. She bet the odds for a long time. But this weekend she seemed worse. She stopped going to the bathroom, she hid in the closet and we had to help her up and down because she couldn’t jump anymore.
Last night I picked her up and put her in bed with me and she once again cuddled up with me like a teddy bear.
This morning she still hadn’t moved. Her breathing was stressed. I knew it was time. I painfully called my mom and talked with Mike and they both agreed, it was time.
I made the call and possibly the hardest decision ever. I even said to the nurse “I can’t believe I’m saying this” and scheduled the appointment.
I went over to the vet and grabbed a sedative so the car ride wouldn’t be too traumatic. I filled out all the papers so I wouldn’t have to do it after the fact and relive it.
Then I got two pints of ice cream for me and honey baked turkey for Lucy. She ate 3 pieces. Then we fell asleep, her paw in my hand to the Wizard of Oz on the TV. She fell asleep on my chest when we woke up and as I was apologizing to her because I couldn’t fix her she looked me straight in the eyes and told me somehow that it was ok, that it was time and she forgave me.
I gave her the sedative and some more turkey then took her outside to roll on the concrete one last time. She fell asleep in the grass watching the birds as I sat on the walk writing this.
In a few minutes when Mike picks me up and I put my sweet kitten of 9 years in her bed in a laundry basket to go to the vet, I will don my pigtails once again so she can remember me like when she first met me.
Goodbye my sweet Lucy cat.