Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Things that make my heart break

My precious old lady kitty Kalypso died Sunday evening.

BH and I got her about 6 months after we got married and about 1 month after we moved ourselves alllll the way out to California where we knew not a soul so that I could go to graduate school.

I always say that we did not pick out Kalypso, but rather she picked US out for herself. We got her from the SPCA shelter in Oakland. It was not very well lit, and I was peering in the cages at the kitties when I felt a little paw on my back. I turned around to see a tiny and very fuzzy long-haired tortoise shell kitten. We asked to have a look at her. We took her in to the visiting room and she immediately curled up in my lap and started purring and seemed as happy as could be. I told BH that we had just found our kitty. He wanted to reserve opinion until he saw how she did with him. So I very reluctantly handed her over. She curled right up in his lap and kept on purring.

So home with us she went. She really was a welcome friend in a town where we had none. You would have thought that cat was our child, the way we treated her. She went on many plane trips home with us, because we hated to leave her behind. If we were sitting or lying down she was in our lap, curled up on our backs, sitting on our heads, never far from our side. She would play for hours and was extremely entertaining.

As happens with all pets when kids enter the picture, she did not get quite the attention she had when she was an only child, but she was ever patient with the girls and they loved her dearly. Nothing made them happier then to sit in the hallway every morning so that Kalypso would come sit in their laps to get her morning pets. When they started helping to feed her they were thrilled when she would sleep in their beds at night. When she got to old and frail to jump up to their beds, they both made special spots on the floor with pillows and t-shirts so that she would have a place to rest near them. The nicknamed her Pippy and loved her as much as we did.

Kalypso turned 14 this year and got very ill last spring. Her kidneys were failing and she was having seizures. We had made the decision to end her suffering, but before we made the call the she rallied around and recovered somewhat.

A couple of weeks ago, she started having seizures again. She was eating only the tiniest amounts no matter what treats we gave her to try and coax her appetite. We knew that she was winding down.

Sunday afternoon she had a seizure and seemed to have a lot of trouble coming out of it. We did not think she was going to make it to the next day, and decided that if she did the time had come. She was obviously suffering now, and we could not let her go on like that.

We told the girls at dinner, and everyone cried. We checked on her periodically. Finally shortly before the girls bedtime BH called me in and said that he thought Kalypso was at the end. Her breathing was erratic and very very shallow. We gave the girls the chance to come in and say goodbye, and then BH and I sat there petting her until she was gone.

It has been very sad around here these past few days. We are grateful to have been with her as she took her final breaths, and grateful even more that she suffers no more.

I still expect to see her sitting in her favorite spots, or to have her come in after I have showered to lick drops of water off my legs. I miss seeing her watch over the other two cats like the matriarch she was.

I miss my friend.

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