My longtime companion had to be on her way today. Flower the Cat had been showing her age of 16 years as of the last year or so. She had never been a very big cat - at her prime she was about only seven and a half pounds. But when Drew and I took her to the vet today she was down to 4 lbs, 11 oz. Last fall, when she started to act old, the blood work proved her kidneys were starting to fail. Today's blood toxin levels were super high. She hadn't eaten for almost a week, was extremely uncomfortable, and no matter how much we petted and cuddled her, she no longer felt like purring. It was time.
The staff at University Veterinary Hospital was great. Dr. Walton came to our house and I was able to hold the poor little girl in my arms. She went peacefully, I think.
Flower found me in 1994 via my great friend Jerda. While I was in graduate school in Missoula, Flower followed a fellow grad student home from school. I think she was less than a year old at the time. The student was allergic, so Jerda, a.k.a. The Zookeeper, took her in. Jerda had two dogs, an alpha cat, and a cockatoo. Flower (not her name at the time) was less than impressed by the crowded situation and was never very happy at Jerda's. As luck would have it, I was naive enough to want a cat. I did not realize the full responsibility of pet ownership, including the trouble I would later have finding apartments, cohabiting with various roommates who had pets, and finding pet sitters. I took her in and named her Flower because she was so pretty, like a flower. I have never regretted it; she was worth every trouble and this painful heartache!!!
You all know, cats have individual personalities. Flower was a princess. She hated all other cats, dogs, and most people (except Drew) and wanted to be pet on Her terms! She was very quiet, and would sit patiently by the food bowl each evening for her serving of pate. She loved to play in paper bags, and like most cats, she was curious.
She was also an exceptional athlete. We once saw her jump from a seated position from the deck railing to the old garage, a distance of about 7 feet horizontally and 4 feet vertically. In her prime she caught birds in mid air. She made my roommate's cat, who was easily 15 pounds heavier than her, run away from home (sorry Cosmo!).
These last few years she was seriously spoiled by Drew. He would pet her and feed her multiple times a day if she so much as trotted to her petting spot or food bowl. He spent many minutes playing "string" with her in "the Tower of Power" cat jungle gym. He always made sure her heated pet bed was working.
For fifteen years, she was my friend and companion. She was there while I studied late nights for my graduate degree and eased the scary move to a big new city and a new career. She consoled me through the loss of my father and several difficult relationship break-ups. Most importantly, she was there waiting to be pet and played with when I came home each and every day to my often lonely apartment or house.