Saturday, March 20, 2010

The story of a life...

She was hiding under the grill in the backyard.

Thats how we found her.

My brothers cat, Budha, was having a spaz attack at the back door. When I went outside to investigate, fully expecting to get skunk sprayed or eaten alive by a raccoon I instead found a small, wet, skinny, black and white cat.
Upon informing my mother of this she immediately told me "Its not coming inside! We already have one!"
My brother and I simply looked at one another.
I put out a plastic storage box, tipped on its side to provide some protection from the rain, and placed a can of tuna inside.
I don't remember how many days later it was, I came home from work and headed upstairs to my room, when my brother called me into the computer room next door.
Budha lay curled up on the floor, looking a bit upset, and a small, now dry, skinny, black and white cat sat curled up in my brothers lap.

We persuaded (conned) my mother into keeping her by letting her name the new arrival.


That was 1998, spring or possibly fall. I'm almost certain it wasnt summer and Im positive it wasnt winter.

To this day I have no idea where she came from. She was fixed and declawed when we found her so she was either dumped or ran away. I kept my eyes open for months for LOST CAT signs but never saw anything with her picture or description.

She became ours, or more importantly mine.

From the get-go she was goofy. My fuzzy little weirdo.

Prone to walking into things, falling off of things, thundering around like a herd of elephants. She would sit and spend countless minutes licking plastic bags, any box on the floor immediately became hers, she spent almost every morning after my mom retired in her lap while my mom drank her morning coffee and read the paper, she spent a portion of almost every night we had her curled up in my lap being scratched
or brushed.

As she got older her fur took on a life of it's own. She became Fluffy, then Fluffy Pants, eventually her nickname morphed into Miss Princess Kitty Fluffy Pants Chloe Marie...I had decided she needed a middle name at some point.

I will be cleaning up her fur for years to come.

She talked, and talked and talked and bitched and grumbled. I have never heard so many noises from one cat. If you picked her up and she didnt want to be picked up the litany of sounds that came out of her was stunning.

She was the only cat I knew that would purr and growl at the same time. She was also the only cat I have ever seen or heard huff and puff like a locomotive when she would spy another cat in the yard. It was simply the funniest thing ever.

She was endlessly curious. In her first months in the house I had to rescue her from numerous garbage cans, boxes, closets, cabinets, refrigerators and even the freezer.

She would walk up to me while I was in the kitchen making dinner and would reach a paw out and poke me, as if reminding me "Hey, that smells good Mom. Can I try?"

She would infuriate me by eating my flip flops. Only the rubber ones from Old Navy. It got to the point where I had to keep them in a case with a lid on it. She was known to fish them out of suitcases or overnight bags if I wasn't fast enough to put them away. She even grew bold enough to try to nibble them while they were on my feet.

She would practically knock herself out in the fall by chasing leaves in the backyard from one side of the back door to the other, forgetting about the wall, or the glass, that was keeping her from her prize.

Chloe asleep on the back of the couch was usually punctuated with Chloe falling off and landing in a heap behind the couch, always looking completely surprised that she ended up there.

She watched TV, I swear. It was so weird. She would be walking across the living room and she would just stop, sit and look up at the TV and stare for a minute or two.

She hated sports, mainly because her Mommy and her Grandma had the bad habit of accidentally launching her across the room when we would jump up to celebrate (or bemoan) something while she was in one of our laps.

When I had my gallbladder out in January she spent every day sitting next to me while I recuperated at home.

She hated bathtime, but would join me in the bathroom every morning, sitting on the toilet lid while I was in the shower.

In the mornings, if you slept five min past her "foods time" she would literally bodyslam against the door while yowling at the top of her lungs until you got up and fed her.

She was sweet and adorable, giving me kitten kisses while I pet her every night.

She. Loved. Boxes.

She would fall asleep, and then meow in her sleep, sometimes getting loud enough to wake herself up, always looking incredibly surprised, and slightly embarrassed.

We would snuggle on the couch, me holding her like a teddy bear. Sometimes she agreed with this and would fall asleep in my arms, sometimes she would grumble and groan until I let her go, but she always came back at bedtime to curl up on me and fall asleep. She was good enough to me to do this on her last morning. She laid with me while I fell back to sleep and stayed put long enough for my mom to take a picture

On March 19th I had to have my Chloe put to sleep. She had a mass in her abdomen that was causing her not to eat, and the blood tests came back bad. She also had fluid in and around her lungs, making it hard for her to breathe. The vet gave us the option of surgery, but with her lung problem, and the size and shape of the mass there was a very small chance that any kind of surgery would do anything helpful.

I made the hardest decision I have ever made in my life, and chose to have her put to sleep, instead of having her be in anymore pain.

The vet gave her a small sedative, and I held her and rocked her as she grew heavy and quiet in my arms. I kissed her and told her what a good kitty she was, and how much I loved her, and how very sorry I was.

I brushed her with her favorite brush, in all of her favorite spots, while the Vet administered the second shot.

Till the end she was my goofball, my vocal little girl, she bitched and grumbled to her Mommy about what a bad day she was having up to when she fell asleep.

I miss her very much. I never realized how much a part of my daily life she was untill she was not here anymore. When I feel bad, or sad I pick her up and snuggle her, or cuddle her on the couch, and I can't. I keep looking for her when I walk in the door, begging me for a treat. When I remind myself to pick up my flip flops, or close a certain door so she dosent get in, I remember she isn't here anymore and I just stop. I'm slightly lost without her in my daily routine. I know it will get easier, but for now I feel bad, guilty, like a bad Mommy. I feel like I abandoned her, even though I know I did what was right for my girl.

I miss my Chloe.
She was a good kitty.


pghrugbyangel said...

Oh, Erin. I'm so sorry about Chloe. I KNOW all too well how hard this is for you right now. And how hard it was for you to write this post. But, trust me when I say in 6 months or so, you'll go back and read this and you'll smile. You will be sad, but you will be very glad you wrote it. I am so thankful I wrote about my cat after she was put down.

It still now, nearly 2 years later, still makes me sad Echo isn't around anymore. But she gave me, and my family, some great years. :-)

Anonymous said...

That was absolutely beautiful, baby.

She was so lucky to have you.

I love you.

bluzdude said...

That was beautiful, Erin.

Never doubt that you did the right thing. No one should let their baby suffer, and you didn't. Chloe loved you right to her last breath.


blackcatbikes said...

That story made me tear up. I'm sorry about Chloe, but you definitely did the right thing and you two had a great run. It's definitely the little things...

Just leave a little space in your heart, you never know when there'll be a little furry angel in your backyard again... life's funny that way :)