Thursday, August 12, 2010

Temporary break in your usual programming.

As some of you may know, I just got back from vacation on Sunday.  I was all prepared to write some witty and clever posts about how amazing it was.

Those posts will wait.

When we got back from the airport on Sunday evening, my cat Anoosh couldn't stand up.  Her eyes were glazed over and she didn't seem aware of us.  We took her to the emergency vet clinic where my friend Crystal works.  Several hours later we made the difficult decision to put her down. 

Anoosh was at least 12 years old, possibly older.  She had uncontrolled hyperthyrodism, a heart murmur, and liver issues.  We're not sure exactly what was wrong in the end:  her blood work had a lot of possibilities but showed no solutions.

But I don't want to talk about that.  I don't want to talk about how it broke my heart to see her slip away at the end, how I wasn't even sure if she knew we were there.  I don't want to talk about how thin she was or how her fur was matted.  I especially don't want to consider if I made the right decision.  Because how can it ever be right?  How could I have done anything else?

I adopted Anoosh five years ago, about a week before Batman and I went on our first date.  I was living in house with three veterinary students and they told me about a blood donor cat that needed a home.  Anoosh had spent several years living in a vet lab, giving blood every so often.  The other cats were mean to her.  I met her and fell in love.

 I considered several other names:  Gizmo (after the Gremlin) and Pi, because of her perfectly symmetrical face markings.  But "Anoosh" just seemed to fit.

She was a weird cat.  All cats are weird to a certain degree, but she was odd in an un-catlike fashion.  She liked to be held upside down and cuddled like a baby.  If you scratched her under the arms, she would gently touch your nose with her paw and lick the air.

We joked that she wasn't actually a cat, but rather an alien species sent to observe human behavior

She was fascinated with water.  She loved drinking from the sink.  If you made the mistake of leaving a cup of water where she could get it, she'd gently hook her paw over the rim and spill it.  Then just watch the puddle as it spread.

One summer we didn't have air-conditioning, so I got her shaved.  The poor thing looked like a squirrel with a tiny body, huge fluffy tail, and giant head.  She didn't let me pet her for several weeks after that.

She was a world-class cuddler and spent hours with me when I read. 

Most cats didn't like her because she didn't behave in a cat-like manner.  She never participated in dominance games, nor did she react when other cats hissed at her.  It took about a year, but Fat Momma and her finally became friends.

I worried that when Mo-mo was born, she would be jealous.  She, more than any of my other pets, was my "baby". 

But she loved Mo-mo and Mo-mo loved her.  She'd let Mo-mo pet her, even when the pettings were more like grabbing and slapping. 

I was lucky to have known her.  I was lucky that I had Batman, my stepmom, and my friend/vet Crystal with me when I had to make the crappy decision to let her go.  I am going to miss her. 

I already miss her.    

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened. "
--Anatole France

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