Friday, May 4, 2012

Saying good-bye

Without trying to sound too much like "the crazy cat lady" this post is about my cat, and sadly I don't have a picture of her on my computer.

I've always been an animal person. When I was a kid I think I put a dog or cat on my Christmas list every year. The summer after I finished the 5th grade my sister and I were at home and heard some pitiful meowing coming from outside. A litter of stray kittens had decided to take up residence at our house! Long story short we kept one of the kittens and gave the rest to my grandparents who lived on a farm. She was a tortoise shell (a calico cat without any white) and we named her Jasmine because the year we got her was the year that the movie "Aladdin" came out.

She was always a fun cat. She chased wads of paper around the house and batted pens around. I soon discovered that I was much more of a cat person than a dog person because cats are independent by nature and not as needy for attention as what dogs can be. A cat is perfectly content to be alone in a room sleeping the day away, sitting in your lap for about 15 minutes, and then finding the next place to nap. I kind of like that. They're also full of personality, but I fear that I may be stepping into "crazy cat lady" territory right now, so I'll go on. Jasmine was always said to be "my" cat. She kind-of had some dog-like qualities to her that I really liked. When she was younger she used to follow us around the house a lot and she would still sleep most of the day, but she liked sleeping in the same room as people. When we got home, she would be at the door meowing and rubbing against our legs.

I'm writing this post about her because tonight my family had to do something that I never wanted to see happen. My parents had to make the decision to put her down. My mom said that she hadn't been doing well for the last few weeks. She was 17 years old and had always been given a clean bill of health until this point. In the last couple of weeks she stopped eating, and what she did eat, she threw up. My mom took her to the vet this morning and they found a mass. She had already lost 5 pounds in the last 3-4 weeks and was really weak. The vet said that, at her age, they could do an experimental surgery, but they weren't sure that it would work. My parents didn't want to see her suffer through a surgery that may or may not get her back to health. She had been showing signs of having arthritis for the last few years, and putting her through a surgery at age 17 that wasn't even promised to make her feel better just seemed cruel. So this afternoon as I was leaving school my mom called me to tell me that they were going to put her down later tonight, but the vet was willing to wait on me to get there. I rushed home to get Michel and we drove to Forney. There I got the chance to sit with her, pet her, and hopefully comfort her a little bit as we said good-bye and let her go.

She was a great cat that I have very fond memories of. I hope that one day my children develop a bond and special memories of a beloved childhood pet like I have.