April 14th, 1993 – June 23rd, 2010
We said goodbye to our sweet Peanut girl this week. Thankfully, we had some time to prepare ourselves for this. About two years ago, Peanut was diagnosed with Chronic Renal Failure, a progressive and terminal disease. It’s very common in elderly kitties, and is one of the leading natural causes of death in cats. We were able to slow the progression of the disease by switching her to a low protein/low phosphorous diet, but we knew that eventually her kidneys would begin to fail. Luckily, CRF is not at all painful until the end stages. A few weeks ago, she started rapidly losing weight even though she was already skin and bones. From day to day, it was obvious she was feeling worse.. lethargy, refusing to eat, and a vacant look in her eye. In the final days, she was so weak and could not walk very well. She hadn’t been able to make even small jumps for a week or so, so we were raising her up to her favorite window hammock with the window open so she could enjoy one of her favorite spots in her last days. We also chose to take her off off of the special diet and instead give her her favorite canned food for the last few days. Even though she was so weak, it didn’t stop her from raising to her feet and trying to meow when she smelled her favorite food being forked onto a plate. She was typical Peanut right up to the end.
We took her to the vet on Wednesday, already knowing that we probably wouldn’t be bringing her back home. I initially wanted to say goodbye and then leave so that I could remember her while she was alive, but Matt insisted that we would regret if we didn’t stay with her the entire time. After 17 years (10 for Matt) of companionship and unconditional love, we owed her that much. Just before she went to sleep, she rolled onto her side, stretched her tiny paws out, and began to purr as we loved on her. Matt believes that was her way of telling us that it was okay, and that she was ready to go. We stayed with her until she was asleep. The staff of Cedar Bluff Animal Clinic, our vet for the last 8 years, was, as always, extremely kind and compassionate, even while we cried like babies in the exam room.
We still feel very sad, but also relieved that she doesn’t have to feel sick anymore. We are going to miss her “Nutty Quirks” and little personality traits that made her one of the most unique cats I have ever known. In the photo below, she’s demonstrating one such trait – clinging to my wrist (she only did this with me) with both paws whenever I held her. Even though we have a million photos of her from kittenhood onward, Matt was the one who remembered that we needed to get a photo of this while she was still “healthy” On the right is my awesome animal-loving husband, who cried just as hard as I did over losing a cat that I loved more than some people in my life. I think he’s a keeper. :)