Sunday, January 8, 2012
On Thursday, we said goodbye to our cat, Poofball.
You may remember that our other cat, Mimic, died about a year ago of advanced kidney failure. Well Mimic was Poofball's brother from the same litter, so it really came as no surprise that Poofball's final days very closely resembled Mimic's. She started losing a little weight and then took a very rapid and very dramatic turn for the worse. It seemed like overnight she went from losing-wieght-but-ok to omg-she-looks-like-death. And I knew when I laid eyes on her that morning. I knew because she looked just like her brother did the day that he died.
So I took her to the vet and they wanted to do a ton of stuff, a whole battery of tests and probing and poking... I told them that I felt pretty certain about what was going on, so just do the blood work to see if it's kidney failure. If it's not, then we'll address the rest of it, but don't bother her with the rest until we've ruled that out because I had a strong hunch. And sure enough, blood tests confirmed very advanced kidney failure (results so far off the chart that they couldn't be quantified). Additionally, her white blood cell count was also off the chart. The vet said that usually indicates cancer. Any one of those diagnoses would have been enough to call it, but with both together... there was clearly nothing to be done but say goodbye.
Brian came up from work to be with her as she passed.
Later that day, I explained what happened to Mira (she wasn't present for the vet appointment this time). I told her that Poofball was very old (she was 14 years old) and that her body had stopped working and there was nothing that the vet could do to help her feel better so she died. Mira responded with "like Kronk and Big Daddy" (Kronk was our dog and Big Daddy was her great grandfather, both passed away within the last year). I told her yes, like them. And then I explained to her how all the tiny parts of her body would go back into the earth and the earth would use them to make something beautiful like grass or trees and also how we could still think about her and remember how much we love her and the things we liked to do with her and so she would always be with us in our memories. (I've become very practiced at this speech, since I've given it to Mira following 5 different deaths now.) And she got it. She's coming to understand death very well. A day later in the middle of play, she stopped what she was doing, looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, "we don't have a kitty any more". And so we hugged and talked about Poofball some more. She is showing a depth of understanding that amazes me, given that she is not even 3 years old yet.
Poofball was a sweet beautiful kitty who made our lives happier by her presence and she is missed every day.