Saturday, June 19, 2004

R.I.P. Madison

She was a gift to us from a familiy friend when I was still in high school. She was so little when we got her. When we would let her out to use the bathroom, she would lose track of where we were and start meowing. When my parents moved to a new house while I was college, she learned the art of being a pet slut....that is what I called it because she would do anything for a pet. We had a part of the yard that was at waist height for pedestrians walking past our house and she would lay there and get pets from strangers all day long.

At Christmas, she always broke into the doggie treats under the tree instead of her own treats. She would sit for hours in the kitchen watching under the stove in the dark, and on a few occasions, we would catch her running around the corner of the house with nothing but a mouse tail sticking out of her mouth. She always was a talker...meowed all the time to fill us in on her day, or if she wanted something, even just if she had something she needed to add to the conversation. She also liked to butt her head up against the coffee table or your leg if she wasn't getting enough pets. Sometimes she would hit it so hard on the coffee table that you could hear it in another room. In the days before animals were banned from being on the futurniture, she loved to be the lump in the bed....she would climb up under the covers and you would see nothing but a little circle-shaped lump.

After my husband and I got married she came to live with us in our apt and had to be turned into an indoor cat. She didn't like this much at first, so we would let her on our third floor balcony once in a while. She eventually came to love being an indoor cat and didn't like to even try for the outdoors, but still liked a warm spot in the sun through a window if she could find it. She didn't appreciate it when we adopted Chase a few years later, but after a bit of time, she did learn to tolerate her.

She moved across the US and back, with us even though she was never fond of being in the car. She also moved to Japan with us. She was our first traveling kitty (Chase became the second). She became deaf when we were in Japan...didn't stop her from talking though. I would have to stomp on the floor if I wanted to get her attention. She always came to you when you called her (a trait she taught Chase, thankfully). I always said I tolerated our two cats because they acted more like dogs than cats...LOL.

When she was 19, I noticed that she wasn't eating much, and took her in to the vet. They weren't sure what was going on with her. She was on prescription food for years because she was allergic to the fillers in regular cat food so we knew it wasn't the food. I started making plain chicken for her and she bucked up and ate again. But this only lasted for a few days and then she stopped even eating that. She wasn't drinking much water and developed a UTI. I took her back in. They kept her all day, took some scans of her and ran some blood work. Results were that her liver was very tiny (not sure if it had been like that forever or had shrunk during aging). Her liver wasn't functioning right.

Our options were bleak, involved surgery and a feeding tube. We didn't want that kind of life for her. She was 19 years old and had been a great companion to our us and deserved to not suffer. Putting her to sleep was the hardest thing I had ever done. J and I both were completely torn up but we toughed it out to do the right thing for her. I miss her terribly...she was always such a joy to us. We feels like our family has shrunk.

Five Years Ago on In My Words...Many Times