Saturday, February 27, 2016

Goodbye Gucci

Gucci in her prime
The worst thing about pets is that they don't live long enough. This morning I took Gucci to the vet for the very last time. Her 19 year old body had become nothing but skin and bones. She had been deaf for years. Honestly, we knew the day would come sooner than later. Still, I wasn't prepared. But are we ever really prepared?

Things were fine this morning. She ate her breakfast and we had our daily disagreement over my lap. As usual, she won. Just before lunch I found her lying in a weird position on the kitchen floor. She was disoriented, unstable and I suspect she had lost her sight. Thankfully my vet is open until 2:00 on Saturdays. We think she had a stroke. Things weren't going to get better. We didn't want her to suffer, so we made the decision to put her to sleep. For her, it was quick and painless. For me, not so much. I feel like shit.

15 years old and still ornery
I'm a certified euthanasia technician. In the past 12 years I've put down hundreds of animals, and have assisted with the euthanizing of even more. I know the names of all the drugs, can calculate dosages and can hit a vein with no problem. Yet all that knowledge doesn't make putting my cat to sleep any less painful. Dammit.

Gucci was a good cat. Sometimes -- OK, oftentimes -- she was an annoying, self absorbed pain in the ass. She had cattitude in spades. She was also playful, amusing, stubborn and fearless. I watched her dominate dogs 10 times her size. She was affectionate and loving -- on her own cat terms, of course. I miss her already.

The old girl about a year ago
Gucci was probably my last cat. About 10 years ago Hubby's allergies started getting worse and he asked that we have a "no replacement policy" for cats. (Mind you, he didn't say get rid of the cat, he just said no more.) In the interim he would take Claritin and wash his hands after touching her. I agreed to bathe her more often and try to keep Gucci from sleeping on our bed. (It didn't work, she was a sneaky little thing.) I doubt Hubby expected to have to suffer in silence for another decade. He loved her too though. I'd often find her on his lap watching TV or catch them taking an afternoon nap together.

I've got dozens of silly kitty stories. She was definitely a character. Maybe I'll share some of them later. Right now, though, I need to take a nap. I have a terrible headache from crying. Who knew that a little old cat could leave such a giant hole in my heart? -- K

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