Well, this is not a post I expected to be writing anytime soon. We lost our Maggie on Monday :( You will probably remember Maggie from such episodes as cat-sitting at my parents' house, and being generally ridiculous.
A few weeks ago she started precipitously dropping weight, which was initially attributed to hyperthyroid. Then about a week and a half ago she completely stopped eating and drinking and was having visible acid reflux. The vet who was going to treat her for hyperthyroid started to suspect GI lymphoma and all of her tests came back supporting that diagnosis.
There is no cure for gastric lymphoma, and the steroid medication that was supposed to make her comfortable enough to eat and drink normally again was making absolutely no difference. My mom and sister were feeding her heavy cream and water through a syringe to keep her as nourished and hydrated as possible but it just got harder and harder. The only treatment option left was chemo, but that would not have helped her discomfort. Any time we tried to give her would have been time spent in pain and that did not seem fair.
My mom called me on Monday late morning to tell me they were taking her into the vet at 3pm. I wish I could show you my work calendar for the day, because it was essentially a slew of back-to-back half hour and hour meetings, ending abruptly at 2:30. If there was ever a sign that I needed to be somewhere at a certain time, that was it.
Letting go of Maggie was honestly one of the more difficult/emotional/intense experiences of my life. I know there are probably people out there thinking "whatever, it's just a cat"...but trust me, I have lost pets before and this time is different. I think of all pets as my family members, but Maggie was really and truly a member of the family. There was just something really special about her. Plus it was so sudden and unexpected... just really hard.
If it's OK I want to share some of my favorite memories of Maggie:
- The day we brought her home, she promptly managed to fall down the stairs. I think that pretty much sums it up.
- Maggie always wanted to sit in a chair at dinner. Not on the table, not on the floor next to your chair - in a chair, like a person. Sometimes this meant creeping on someone else's chair such as my dad.
- She loved drinking beer. Obviously beer consumption was not allowed for Mags, but that didn't stop her from trying to steal a sip every once in a while.
Exhibit B -it's Bell's so at least she had good taste?
- She really enjoyed staring at people while they slept. Sometimes this meant sitting on the nightstand and just watching over you, but sometimes it meant that you woke up to find her on your stomach, staring down at you and kneading you forcefully with her (declawed!) front paws.
- Sometimes instead of staring creepily at you, she would actually sleep with you. Her favorite spot was curled around your neck, regardless of if you were lying down or sitting up. This occasionally made breathing difficult.
- When I brought her to my grad school apartment to cat-sit for the first time, she hid under my bed for two straight days, unable to comprehend that she was in a different space. She emerged looking frazzled and totally covered in dust.
- Maggie was a frequent surprise guest in Skype conversations. Whether it was me Skyping my Ben while he was in Ohio, my parents Skyping me when I was in Turkey, or all of us talking to Julianna while she was in Australia, she always had a way of popping in.
|Exhibit A - Maggie stealthily creeping up on his left|
On a happier note, today is a day of beginnings, too: my friend Alex is getting married! Alex was in my wedding last summer - we have been partners-in-crime for years and years, and continue to kick ass in Competitive Charades on a regular basis.
|Alex is next to me on my right|
I love her soon-to-be-husband Karl, they are such a perfect fit and I couldn't be happier for both of them! On a related note, I should probably hop in the shower and get ready to report for bridesmaid duty. Hope you are all having a happy and safe weekend.