She showed signs of reduced appetite the weekend before last. I called the vet immediately after my 8:00 class last Monday and was able to have her seen that afternoon. A blood test in June had shown some weakening of her kidneys. Evidently her kidney disease developed rather rapidly after that point, resulting in several complications. She was given subcutaneous hydration and some new food was tried, but she declined rapidly over the next few days until she started crying in distress. Phone calls with the vet, plus my own intuitions, led me to believe that the next visit to the vet might be her last. I insisted that my husband accompany her to the vet with me, in case we needed to make a decision regarding euthanasia.
I thought ahead enough to call the vet before they closed in order to ask for a referral to a vet with extended hours. I was able to obtain an appointment at the extended-hours vet and waited for my husband to get home from work. We managed to eat a quick dinner and then he put our cat in her carrier. She had a seizure in her carrier on the way to the new vet.
Once our appointment was under way, things took on the slightly surreal quality that they often do when a beloved living creature (human or animal) is nearing his or her end. It was a painful evening, but all things considered, I think we received perhaps even a higher standard of veterinary care than we are used to. We said our final goodbyes to Misty and elected to have her remains cremated and her ashes returned to us.
Our family now consists of my husband and me and Misty's sister Taffy, who seems to be doing reasonably well, although she has never been without her sister before.
Thank you, Misty, for sharing your life with us. I want to pet your little gray head, hear your sweet little voice, see your big eyes, and feel your weight on the bed at night. I want to see you sit with your sister on the couch, and to know that you are keeping her company when we're away from home. We'll take good care of Taffy. We miss you, sweetie.
In grief but also in gratitude,