I haven't wanted to post this. Maybe because posting would make it more real. I put all my energy into the WQ RC and then my Christmas projects and tried to not think about it. But I can't put if off any longer.
You've all heard about the cats. We have five. Drusilla, Helo, Miho, Tali and Jack, if we list them from oldest to youngest. Technically we think Helo and Drusilla might be the same age. All of them are rescues, found on the streets by us or a co worker who knew we'd take in another furry family member.
I found Drusilla back when we still lived down in Orange. It was after a huge storm, and she'd been scrounging for food with some other stray cats and living behind the 'shop' of the company I worked for. The guys had been feeding them bits of their sandwiches. Drusilla was young and intrepid enough to circle the building (very large) and go to the front office where she pawed at the glass door. The receptionist shooed her off but when she went to lunch her substitute saw Drusilla and said 'Hey doesn't Sheila like cats?'
The rest of was history. The box they found for me to transport her home in lasted all of five minutes in the back of my car, she was out of it and climbing all over, wanting to see everything. She had fleas and ticks and abrasions and she was young enough that she hadn't gone into heat yet. That was around the year 2000. We think she was nearly a year then, at least that's what the vet told us.
We called her Drusilla because we had a big grey tabby male cat named Spike who just loved her from the start. They both made the trip from Orange up to DFW in the back of my Saturn station wagon.
We had a lot of changes going on at one time. We'd lost Isabella, the fluffy cat whom Dru didn't like but knew well. Isabella was familiar and she was gone, and then we got Helo. Helo went everywhere, had no respect for anyone's territory, and couldn't understand why this little female cat wasn't friendlier.
Drusilla started getting a little...agoraphobic as she got older. She didn't like change, she didn't like Helo, and she just wanted to be left alone. So she got to live in her Daddy's study most of the time. She had her own bed and window shelf and climbing tree and she was very happy for a good long while. She was the only cat to ever have a bed. Probably the only one who'd actually sleep in it rather than ignore it too.
About three years back Dru was diagnosed with kidney trouble and put on a special food when we noticed she'd begun losing weight. She did pretty well for a couple years though she was older and getting a little creaky.
She still loved her shelf and looking out the window and the loud music her Daddy played. But this last year she started getting thinner again and not as interested in her food and I started mentally preparing myself.
Three weeks ago Monday we brought Drusilla into the veterinarian's office to see if there was anything else we could do to make her comfortable. Unfortunately the answer was no, there wasn't. Dialysis was possible but she'd be unhappy and uncomfortable. It would be more for us than for her. She didn't even have the energy to protest the car ride or the indignity being put in a cage. And this was not a cat to suffer in silence.
She didn't like being brushed anymore and had no interest in the smelliest tuna. It was time to say goodbye. Our doctor very kindly pointed out that she'd had nineteen years of life, had been happy and comfortable for most of them and that was longer than she'd have ever had on the streets in Orange TX. And he reassured us that we were doing the right thing, the unselfish thing, by letting her go.
December 17, 2018 Drusilla went to join Spike at the Rainbow Bridge.
The other cats are a bit confused, they didn't know Dru that well except as the cat whose food they weren't allowed to eat and whose room they invaded when the vacuum cleaner was running. They're cautiously exploring the 'new' window shelf and climbing tree.
I can safely say that I'm ready for 2018 to be over. We're going to be a four cat household again, at least until another cat finds us. One always does. I'm going to try and take some comfort in that.