When I got home from the vet yesterday, I realized that there was no longer anything alive in my house. I woke up this morning knowing it when my normal greeting while making coffee wasn’t there. It’s the first time in well over 30 years that there hasn’t been a cat in the house.
Misty got sick last week. Cats are good at hiding illness, but when her appetite waned, I got worried and monitored her intake and output. She normally loved her Science Diet cry food and normally played with the canned food after having a few mouthfuls or sucking up all the gravy.
Her food bowl didn’t need to be filled. She had eaten little of it. I realized she’d lost some weight and was bony in places she was normally full. Her fluffy coat hid it well. The next day she ignored her treats and that’s when I made the vet appointment. when the office opened the next day.
She was given a same day appointment with her regular vet. Dr. Jacob confirmed weight loss of over a pound since her last visit the year before. She was over 16 years old, so the situation didn’t look good. He ordered lab tests, but wouldn’t have the results for 2 days because the clinic was closed the next day.
When they came on Wednesday, the results weren’t good: Kidney failure. I asked if she would make it a year, but he thought more of weeks, perhaps months. It was devastating news. He ordered an appetite stimulant and suggested a renal diet.
Nothing helped. The appetite stimulant was ineffective and she began appearing weak, unable to easily jump to my recliner. Normally a good drinker, downing a half bowl of water every day, her water bowl remained pretty full although she continued to insist on fresh water every time I was in the kitchen.
Over the weekend, things got worse and I knew I’d have to do something that would break my heart. But it wasn’t about me and what I needed, but about the misery she was experiencing. I called her human friends to come by to see her over the weekend,
I called yesterday morning as soon as the clinic opened and got her final appointment for that afternoon. Dr. Jacob had never seen kidney advance so rapidly. He thought she had at least a few weeks, but agreed that it was time for her to go to a better place.
She left us in peace and comfort. My sister drove us there and was sobbing as much as I was (and still am). It was on the drive home that I realized that there was no one alive at my house.
When my first cat, Nolan, crossed the Rainbow Bridge, I came home to Rocky, my other cat and Daily Kos Avatar. I brought Misty home from the shelter and she was there when it was Rocky’s time. There was always another cat to comfort and be comforted by when those awful days arrived.
Misty didn’t have a companion after Rocky left. I had other issues that prevented me from filling the house with another. Misty got me through a year of progressing illness when doctors were telling me I was “just getting old”, then through 2 years of chemo, through my progressing disability, through good days and bad days she was always there. Now, she’s gone and there’s no one alive in my house.
I can’t eat or feel anything other than profound, aching grief. And I have no one alive in my house to remind me to keep going because they need care and comfort. No one to hold for comfort. And no way to even bring another cat into my house because I’m too disabled to do it on my own. My sister insists that I need to have my carpet cleaned for a new cat or that I should do without one.
For the first time in decades, I’m alone and the silence is deafening.