Rest in Peace, Missy (1994- December 27, 2013)
A bit of a memorial post for my cat Missy, who I shared 19 years of my life with. I’ve had to say goodbye to many a pet, but never one who died from such old age.
I found her back behind my house when I was six years old. I remember it like it was yesterday— she was hiding, meowing, in a pile of wood, and I had to climb the chain-link fence three times and coax her with a can of cat food before me and my dad could get her to come out. She was a tiny little kitten, probably about less than 2 months old.
We had taken in lots of stray cats when I was younger. I’m pretty sure we had about seven at one point. But each of them kind of wandered away at one point or another, leaving sometimes as quickly as they came. But not Missy. She grew up here, this was her home and the only place she ever lived. She never left our property.
So as far back as I can remember, Missy was there. As the years went on, she held up well in old age. She only really started showing signs of aging when she was about 16, I think, when she had to have her one eye removed because of cancer. Around then she had some dental work, as well. There began the slow decline. I’m fairly certain she was completely deaf. She often would walk around, howling with a kind of desperate meow, as if she was confused.
But still, she hung on, until recent months. She started rapidly losing weight despite eating a lot, and drank tons of water. Upon multiple visits to the vet in these times, she was diagnosed with kidney disease, failing heart, and had developed a large lump in her mouth that was probably cancer. Of course, with such a weak body they could not operate on her even if we wanted it. She had a very hard time eating but was almost always very willing to eat.
And in her last days was especially obsessed with food as if she was always hungry and thirsty, and literally paced around all day and night. She wouldn’t even sit still to be held, which she had used to love and found comfort with especially in times when she was in pain. She was not herself at all, but wandered around aimlessly or followed us around in some kind of haze. With cats it’s so hard to tell if they’re in pain, but she was clearly in some state of shock, as her body began to shut down on her. It was time to have her put to sleep. Even at the vet she was completely delirious, but I held her the whole time. And now she’s buried in our backyard along side some of our other pets who have passed.
I’m glad I could have one last Christmas with her. To think she was part of nearly 3/4s of my life. I don’t know if that can be said for many pets. She could practically be a sibling, hahah.
As with all things, I know one cannot live forever. She had a nice, long time on this earth, and I hope she enjoyed being part of our family. I’m glad she’s not suffering anymore. I will always remember her. How she would climb to the top of the wicker shelf and sleep there. How she would curl up on my bed, or hang out in the back window, or sit on the picnic table in the backyard, or how she would often stick out her tongue and how that was the cutest thing. Thank you Missy, for being such a good kitty.