Friday, December 12, 2008

Fading away

I'm going to call my vet in a few hours and see about setting up an appointment to have my cat Mitzi put to sleep. It's time -- she's old and sick and very, very tired.

On election day (first Tuesday in November) I've had her for 20 years. In 1988 I was working for a company that had election day off (thank you GE!!), so I was taking my mum out for lunch (she loved seafood, so we were going someplace where she could get decent seafood) and then either to a movie or shopping. I needed cash so we stopped at this shopping center with an ATM (they weren't everywhere like they are now) and that's when the day started to unravel. As I used the machine my mum noticed a girl with with an adorable little yellow and white kitten sitting on one of the benches in the mall.

I heard my mum say "oh what a cute kitten!" and instinctively I knew we were doomed. Sure enough the girl was crying because she'd found this kitten out in the parking lot but didn't know what to do with her. She couldn't take her home because her apartment wouldn't allow pets, the people at the pet store in the mall wouldn't take her (that was a given), and it was cold outside and the kitten was only about eight weeks old. So my mum said "that's ok. We'll take her and give her a good home."

So much for the nice seafood lunch (which I wasn't looking forward to, because I've never liked seafood, but mum was) -- we went to the McDonalds drive through and ate in the parking lot (and shared some fries with the kitten). Then we started off towards our vet (a good 30-40 miles away) and stopped for kitten supplies on the way (so we did get to go shopping after all! :lol:). She checked out ok, got her first set of shots and my mum named her Mitzi.

We decided she could be a barn cat and friend to our only other cat at the time, Munchie. Munchie, however, said "NO! She's NOT staying here!" (Munchie was a little tyrant) so Mitzi lived in the house with us that winter. However, by spring, Mitzi was literally climbing the walls to get outside, so after she recovered from being fixed, we let her outside. In the months she was inside, Mitzi grew up to be quite the heller, so although Munchie still didn't approve of her, he couldn't do much about it. Once he found he couldn't successfully boss her around they came to an understanding and got along quite well.

Mitzi loved being an outside cat -- she could run and hunt and just do whatever the hell she wanted to do. One thing she loved to do was jump up on our Shetland pony when we would bring her out to munch on the lawn (small ponies such as Shetlands need to have their grass intake closely monitored because they can overdo it and founder easily, so the pony couldn't go out to pasture with the rest of the horses). Mitzi would come running whenever we would bring the pony out, and then would just jump up on her back and lay down and snooze. She never used her claws to hold on, so the pony didn't mind at all.

Mitzi lived outside for 12 happy years, but she was getting older and slowing down, so we decided to bring her into the house to live. Well, she might have been not as capable outside anymore, but once inside she continued to reign as Hell Cat Bitch (HCB) supreme. Mitzi always wanted things done her way, and when they weren't, someone had to pay. I don't remember exactly what she was mad at, but for a while she would chase my mum around and bite her -- mostly her ankles, but once she was on the couch when she got cranky, so she bit mum on the butt. She would go after me occasionally, but her target was mostly mum. She never really bit hard, so it was just hilarious to see her get all pissed off about some minor thing and go on a chasing and nipping rampage.

And one of my favourite Mitzi, HCB stories happened when my sister came to visit once. We didn't have an extra room for her, so she slept on the sleeper sofa in the living room. Two of the cats (MiloGuido and Max -- both sadly departed within the past year) were just being all lovey-dovey with my sister and Mitzi decided she wanted some attention too. But Mitzi didn't want to be one of the cats getting attention, she wanted to be the ONLY cat getting attention, so she got up onto the sofa bed and was smacking the other two cats to get them to leave. My sister didn't think this was fair, so she pushed Mitzi off the bed instead. Oh dear. Mitzi was not amused. Not amused at all. And to show her displeasure she went over to my sister's duffle bag and promptly peed all over it and everything in it. Yeah, it wasn't a very nice thing to do, but I couldn't help laughing. Thinking about it still always makes me laugh too. :lol:

Over the past several years Mitzi has developed kidney disease and has had to periodically have subcutaneous fluids (hasn't needed them on a regular basis until fairly recently though). She's had chronic upper respiratory infections for years, so she often has runny eyes and nose. And she's never been great with personal hygiene and she has long hair too, so she's had to have the "lion cut" a few times. The last time she had one (this April) one of the other cats (Ricky) was both fascinated and horrified. He couldn't stop looking at her, but he'd hide behind doorways and furniture to do it and would run when she looked at him. Gotta love my chickenshit boy cats. :lol: But for the most part Mitzi seemed bright and interested and happy with life. Over the last few weeks, however, she's been fading fast, and now I don't see any happiness in her.

So it's time, and today at 3:30 pm I'm going to take Mitzi to the vet to be put to sleep.

I'll miss you Mitzi.


Blogger veleska1970 said...

i'm sorry about mitzi. she will be missed.

20 is very old for a cat. we had george until he was 18, and he also had kidney failure.

R.I.P. mitzi.....

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry :( Mitzi sounded like a wonderful kitty & friend

2:09 AM  
Blogger General Catz said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Mitzi. You've had a lot of sadness with your kitties this year. I hope next year is better for you and them.

7:58 PM  
Blogger Queen Hatshepsut said...

Oh I'm so sorry about've had to say goodbye to more than your share of kitties this year. :(

They are/were lucky to have you and such a loving home.

8:20 PM  
Blogger ross b said...

That's a fine eulogy Holly. 20 years is a very good run for a cat. She seemed like a real character!

May she travel well.
Kind regards, rossb

6:33 PM  
Blogger JafaBrit's Art said...

how are you doing? I am sorry about Mitzi :(
Just wanted to say hi and see how you are.

9:52 PM  

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