Tuesday, October 8, 2013

We've had a good run, Girl.

My cat is dying.  My cat that I have had since college, for over 15 years, is dying.  And if you are not an animal/cat person...well, you might want to stop reading because you probably won't understand.

So as I said (for those of you still with me), my old cat Annabelle is dying.  I got her in college when she was a kitten.  I was just as impulsive then as I am now.  So one day my roommate Kelli and I decided to get a kitten.  I saw one of those "free to good home" ads and headed on over.  She was the last kitten left...and she was adorable!

We had a new little addition.  She really was a good cat...although she attacked Kelli's legs quite often.  I think she sensed that Kelli wasn't really a cat person.  Once the kitten cuteness wore off, she lost interest...and Annabelle attacked from time to time.  It was always good for a laugh because Kelli is and was a bit (read: extremely) dramatic.

So she basically became MY cat.  When I was away for a 5 week study abroad program during the winter of 2000 in England, Ireland, and Scotland, I left notes all over our apartment...

Did you feed Annabelle today?
Please feed Annabelle!!!
Don't forget to feed me...I'm starving. Meow.
If you don't feed me, I will attack you in your sleep.  Love, Annabelle

Well, I guess she fed her because Annabelle survived.

The next year I graduated from college.  Annabelle and I packed up and moved back to my parents' house for about 2 years.

Then I bought my first house.  Annabelle and I moved into the house together.  I was petrified most nights and wasn't a huge fan of living alone.  I would lock all the doors then go up to bed...and then lock my bedroom door too.  Annabelle would always sleep at the bottom of my bed on those nights.

About 6 months later, my now husband moved in and she tolerated him just fine.  But THEN we went and got a Saint Bernard puppy.  I'm sure she was pretty pissed but she didn't let it show.  The two became good friends.

The next year we got married AND moved to a new house...with the dog and Annabelle in tow.

Over the next 9 years, I had not one, not two, but THREE children.  I also had a home daycare for four of those years.  Annabelle took it all in stride.  She let the kids pet her, pull her tail, poke her in the eyes, and I am sure much much more...

She's been there through it all.  And now she's dying.

The other day I was petting her as she struggled to breathe.  Although she doesn't seem to be in pain, seeing her like this hurts my heart.

I try to spend some time each day just petting her and giving her extra attention.  Yesterday, she seemed to be staring at me as I pet her.  You know how cats do.  (And it can be creepy and eerie.)  But she kept staring.

So I looked at her as I was petting her head and said, "It's okay Belle...we've had a good run, girl.  Thanks for always being there."

She seemed to be satisfied with that.

And it's true...she's been there for 15 plus years, and we sure have had a good run.

I wrote this post last night.  Today, after I got home from work, Annabelle was struggling to walk.  She tried to come into the room but was gasping for air.  I sat on the floor next to her and pet her.  Slowly she laid on her side and took a few last breaths.  I like to think that she waited for me...

Tonight we said goodbye to Annabelle.  And again I said, "We've had a good run, Girl.  Rest in peace."

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  1. I can totally empathize with you. I have had a cat (or 2) most of my life, and I tease my 3 girls that Beethoven is actually my favorite "child" -- she loves me, snuggles with me, knows when I need extra attention, and never talks back! LOL Beethoven is 16 now - got her when she was 2 mos. old - and she is starting to decline. I hope all your good memories help comfort you as you cope with your loss. (and I am being totally sincere here!!!)

    1. Thank you!! Its' hard when you have had them so long. Hope Beethoven hangs in there for a bit longer :)

  2. My heart goes out to you, Katie. I'm so sorry.

  3. :'( I'm sorry for your loss, but I'm inclined to agree that she did indeed wait for you to say goodbye. She is likely at the rainbow bridge with my Tigerlilly :)

    1. I really like to think she waited :) Thank you!

  4. I Am so sorry. I agree she waited.for.you. hugs!

  5. Aww. I'm sorry about your cat. Be strong.

  6. So sorry to hear about your kitty. :(

  7. I know how hard it is to lose an old friend. The end is so hard to watch. I hope you are hanging in there. How are your girls taking it?

    1. Thank you! My 8 year old took it the hardest...but she is doing better. She talks about her a lot but isn't as emotional as she was. It was the first time they lost a pet (besides a goldfish), so it was rough :(

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