This weekend was one of the saddest weekends I’ve had in a long time. On Friday night, I had to put Marge to sleep. The last few weeks she had not been eating or drinking much. We already had a close call, a couple of years ago, with a urinary tract infection that had traveled up to the kidneys, so we felt that the likelihood of her “bouncing back” this time was slim.
It was a very difficult decision to make, but once we were sitting in the waiting room of the vet clinic, I felt a sense of calm that it was the right choice. She was already very emaciated and I could have spent a couple of thousand dollars more, with the possibility that it would be more stressful on her to try and hold on, with no guarantees that she would pull through whatever it was that she was dealing with that was causing her to not eat, drink, or sleep the way she was.
I met her in the spring of 1995. I had just moved into a studio apartment in the city, after living in the suburbs in a spare room at my brother’s. She was the neighborhood kitty. She would come in through my kitchen window, meowing quite loudly, and I’d give her a little of whatever I happened to have on hand. She loved mushrooms! She would linger for awhile, then move on to whomever else was open to letting her in and/or giving her scraps, or a saucer of milk.
One day, after a couple of weeks of doing this, I came home from work and found her spread out like a rug in my shower stall, and she looked dead. I picked her up, found out she was still breathing, drove her to the vet, and they ran a whole battery of tests to figure out that she had the cat panleukopenia virus (FPV), with a 20% chance of surviving.
After a few days of hydration therapy, the vet said I could take her home and do the hydration therapy myself, and showed me how to do it. I spent the next few days giving her boiled chicken and rice, and she got better within a week! And that’s when I decided, after spending about a thousand dollars on her, that I was going to reform her from her “neighborhood kitty” status, to “strictly indoor kitty”. I know that cats would prefer to be indoor/outdoor, but they don’t live as long. I’d like to think that she was just as happy with me as an indoor kitty, but I know that she would’ve been a lot happier to just come and go. But I couldn’t let that happen anymore. I would if we lived in the country, but living in a Seattle neighborhood would be too risky. I did do my best to make her as happy and as comfortable as I could.
Anyways, It was a good time this weekend to process this major loss, and I’m really quite all right with it. But it feels really different to not have her in the apartment anymore. Out of every living thing in the world, including my parents, she has spent the most time with me. Most of my adult life was spent with her.
I was able to get her buried at a friend’s front yard, where another cat I used to know is also buried. I feel this was the right choice for me and for Marge. It’s only a couple of miles away, but she will always be in my heart.