When Technogeek and I look back on our lives, 2009 will stand out as the year the cats died. Actually it was the fall of 2008 that Benjamin died. Clover went last June, and now Sophie, 17 years old and the mother of the others, hovers on the brink. Sophie’s always tended to the dark side. She’s spent most of her life outdoors, because her behavioral issues made her unwelcome in the house. I always thought she’d outlive us all out of sheer orneriness, but the tumor in her abdomen seems certain to get her.
Last weekend we almost killed her. Sophie’s whole body heaved with the effort it took to breathe. She walked weakly and unsteadily for short distances before lying down (in an awkward position due to the pressure of the tumor) to rest. She gagged on her food. My husband tearfully placed her in her crate and we drove to the animal emergency room.
The vet said there wasn’t much to be done. TGeek decided to let her go. The vet said, “That’s not a wrong decision,” which I thought was a very odd way to phrase it. Maybe they are not supposed to express opinions about euthanasia decisions. We signed papers. The tech came in and put a port in Sophie’s leg, in preparation for the go-to-sleep medicine. Then they all left us alone with Sophie for awhile.
Do you know what that cat did? She got up and started sniffing at the canister of dog biscuits they keep in the exam room. TGeek took one out and cut a small piece for Sophie. She ate it up and asked for more. He chopped it and put it in front of her. She gobbled up that whole biscuit. The tech came back to see if we were ready, and we asked for some cat food. She came back with a dish of tuna, and Sophie ate all of that, too.
We somewhat sheepishly told her we’d changed our minds. You can’t kill a cat that enjoys a meal like that, can you? They took the port out and home we went.
Nearly a week later, Sophie’s still hanging in there. In fact, she’s quite a bit perkier than she was early in the week. I think she may be stealing the life force from some other neighborhood cat.