Family Cat had to be put down today. She's had some sort of eye funk for awhile that the vet has been unable to diagnose and never completely cleared up. This week however, she had massive swelling, and couldn't even open her eye. Husband took her to the vet and it turned out to be a rather aggressive cancer. She was 18 years old, deaf, only had four teeth, and was definitely senile. So, it was time. I'm sad though. Back before she became completely senile and rather mean, she was a really good cat.
Family Cat and I have had a long love-hate relationship. She didn't like me at first. Back when we started dating, Husband had a one-bedroom apartment that he shared with her. When I started spending the night, she was not impressed. But then neither was I. I'm very allergic to cats, and to accommodate me, we had to get a HEPA filter to put in the bedroom, (until I built a resistence to her). She wanted me in the bedroom about as much as I wanted her there, considering one night she even threw up on the bed. Nothing spoils the mood like cat barf.
But eventually we warmed up to one another. When his air conditioning went out in the middle of a very hot summer, I took her to my house until it was fixed. I began feeding her "special food" (wet cat food) and brushing her, and I got rid of that flea collar she had on that had turned her rather yellow and Frontlined her instead. When we all moved in together, I even took her to her vet appointments. I dealt with all her bad behavior, including her love for peeing on my bathroom mats instead of in her litterbox (apparently they were so nice and fluffy on her bottom she couldn't resist), and lived for years without bathroom mats as a result. I saved her life when my husband wanted to kill her for peeing on the mat in front of her litterbox, which ruined a large patch of hardwood floor in our house. And I put up with the multitude of things she's barfed on of mine, including, but not limited to, my camera, my clean laundry, and all of my practice problems for Civ Pro sitting on the coffee table. She had her moments though. She was good company all the nights Husband was at work. She kept my lap warm. She was always purring. And Family Dog loved her (even though the feeling was not mutual, I did catch her a couple times licking Family Dog... that may have been to see if Family Dog tasted good enough to eat, but I like to think she was on occasion affectionate).
The past year though, things have declined. We noticed she had gone deaf, and as a result she would howl instead of meow, probably because she couldn't hear herself. That's always fun at 3 am. Also, she just wasn't very friendly. She didn't want to be petted, she was going senile and didn't seem to be enjoying life very much. She's been losing weight and she'd stopped grooming herself, she was always a matted mess and suddenly hated being brushed. Apparently, getting old really sucks. That'll be me someday, hissing at nurses trying to bathe me in the old folks home, beating them with my cane.
Overall though, she was a good cat. Husband had her since he was 11, so I know he'll miss her. It's a sad day at our house, and I'm leaving work soon to go comfort my husband. We just had to put his dog down at the beginning of summer, so it's rough. I'll miss her, but I miss the cat that was healthy and cuddly, not the miserable sickly cat we've had lately. Sad.
Now we're down to Family Dog, who is only 2 years old, and two geriatrics Family Rabbits, one who is almost 7 years old, and the other who is almost 11. Family Fish, I don't think, really count, although we have three of those left. We used to have four fish aquariums, but have been scaling them down over the years. We're slowly weeding out our managerie, I guess, and adding a baby instead.
We'll get another cat someday, and probably another dog, but we're going to wait until we have kids old enough to ask for them, and also old enough to not abuse them. Our four year old niece likes to carry her kitty around by the throat, and is just crushed because the cat always hides from her and runs when she sees her coming. Also, the incentive in waiting until they're older is to make our children take their geriatrics pets with them when they leave home, which was my in-laws' philosophy. :)