Tuesday, December 01, 2009

From two cats to none

Less than a month ago we euthanized Tallulah. She was a healthy cat with an unhealthy litter box problem that just couldn't be resolved.

Today karma scratched back and we had to euthanize Silver. Over the past 3 or 4 weeks Silver lost a lot of weight (down to 6lbs from 11) and started wheezing when she was excited/purring. She lost interest in food and stopped coming upstairs to our bedroom.

When we returned from Australia Josh and I agreed something was definitely very wrong. Josh made an appointment with the vet, and at noon today we got the diagnosis: advanced lung cancer.

A huge tumor was filling up Silver's chest cavity, squeezing out her lungs and heart and making organ failure imminent. She didn't respond to oxygen treatments.

The vet advised Josh against bringing her home. I wanted to be there for Silver's last breaths, but I didn't want her last hours to be in a cage at the vet's office, a place she'd always despised, so I agreed to let Josh escort her to evermore.

I'm so sad. Silver was our first baby. It was 1997 and Josh and I had just moved in together. We drove his white Toyota Corolla from Hyde Park to the Anti-Cruelty Society downtown. She was a 6 month old adolescent in a cage labeled "unwanted." I stroked her pretty tabby coat and, gave said, stupidly, "Isn't she sweet. We could call her Silver." Not a proud moment for an aspiring copywriter, but the name stuck.

For years, we spoiled her with cat treats, catnip and toys. Her favorite was the wire and cardboard cat dancer. She tolerated Z's arrival 5 years ago, but became suspicious of the baby when she went mobile. Since then, she's been a gentle evening caller--spending her days on our bed and her evenings on our laps, appearing as soon as the kids are tucked into bed. Until very recently she slept on Josh and my bed, hopping up as soon as we'd turned in for the night.

Silver, you'll be missed.