On Halloween, my precious kitty Chloe took her last breath. It was one of the hardest days of my life so far. Just last week I was driving in my car and I was thinking about how she was getting older. I started to cry because I thought I might only have a year left with her, at the most. Little did I know that I would only have a week.
It all started on Sunday evening when Chloe did not want to eat for some reason. I found it odd, but I just figured maybe she didn’t feel good and wasn’t hungry. I also noticed that while she was trying to clean herself, she just completely fell over onto her side.
On Monday, while I was getting ready for work, I just knew that something was wrong with her. Her legs were kind of wobbly and she had some trouble getting around. She also hadn’t meowed in a while, and that’s unusual because she’s a very talkative and vocal cat. I was worried, but I had to rush out the door to go to work. I texted my mom and told her that I thought something was wrong. I told her to text me when she got home and keep me updated on how Chloe was doing. She told me that she still would not eat, so now I was really getting concerned. It had been a day and a half since she last ate anything.
When I finally got home from work, my mom said to me, “I hate to break this to you, but I think Chloe might be dying.” I instantly burst into tears and said, “I don’t want her to die!” I went into my room and walked over to my bean bag chair where she was laying. I bent down, still crying, and just started petting her and telling her how much I loved her. She looked at me with half open eyes, and she just looked so tired and defeated. We decided we were going to take her to the vet first thing in the morning.
I was awake all Monday night (except for about an hour that I dozed off). I didn’t want to sleep because I wanted to spend as much time with my sweet girl as I could. I knew in my heart that when we took her to the vet the next morning that we were going to have to leave without her.
My mom called the vet on Tuesday morning, the very minute that they opened. She told them that she thought Chloe was dying and needed to be brought in. They told us to bring Chloe in 45 minutes. Chloe was still laying in my bean bag. We could see that she was trying to get up but couldn’t. She had really went downhill fast. I picked her up and carried her to the litter box. She was able to get in and pee, and then I carried her to the water bowl. She got something to drink, and then I put her in her carrier.
At the vet, they took her weight, which was 4.9 pounds. They also took her temperature, and she did not like that one bit. She let out this howl, which is the first time I heard a noise from her in two days. I can’t say I blame her though. I wouldn’t want anything stuck up my butt either. The veterinarian looked at her eyes and was feeling around her body. Then she said the dreaded words, “She has a tumor.”
I began to cry because I knew that was a death sentence. I also felt guilty because I had felt an odd bump on her belly at least several weeks prior to this, but I thought maybe it was just a ball of matted fur. With Chloe being a long-haired cat, it was pretty common for her hair to get matted in places. They took her to do an x-ray and then brought her back in the room. “She does have cancer”, she said. They put the x-ray up on the screen and you could see how big the tumor was inside of her belly. It had grown to the point where it was now pressing up against her intestines, which is why she was no longer eating. “She’s very sick”, she said, and then began talking about euthanizing. I knew beforehand that this is what would happen and tried to prepare myself the best I could. It was still really hard to know that it really was happening now though. She said that if I chose not to euthanize, Chloe would likely die on her own in a few days. She could no longer eat and could barely move on her own. She just looked miserable, and I knew it was what I had to do. It was time to let her go.
I had to sign some papers, and then they took her into another room to put her catheter in, and then brought her back wrapped up in a blanket. They handed her to me, and I held her like a baby. They explained that sometimes when death occurs, some urine and/or feces might be released from the body, so that’s why they put the blanket there. She was just laying there in my arms, with her beautiful blue eyes staring widely. I just told her that she was okay and that I loved her so much. They put the medicine in the IV, and I was crying but trying to remain as calm as I could. The whole thing only took about 15 seconds. Right after it was administered, she checked Chloe and there was no heartbeat. She was gone. Her eyes were still open because they do not close during this, but she just looked so peaceful there in my arms. I knew her pain was gone.
They gave us a few minutes alone with her. Even though I knew she was gone, I was still rubbing her and looking at her gorgeous eyes. They came back in and asked if I was ready for them to take her. I said yes, and as I handed her to the nurse, her neck kind of dangled down. I just couldn’t believe she was now lifeless, but I had to accept it. I made arrangements to have her cremated, so I should have her ashes back within a week or two they said.
As soon as I got home, I called off work. All of my co-workers were very understanding. I was a complete wreck! I cried the entire day. I would have short intervals of 10-20 minutes where I would be calm, and then I would get hysterical and start crying again. My eyes became so swollen that it hurt, and I had to put some ice on them to help with the swelling. I couldn’t really find enjoyment in anything, even TV shows and movies I usually enjoy. I would just get irritated with it and shut it off. I was in bed most of the day not doing anything except crying and looking at my phone here and there. I was so distraught that I was in physical pain also. It’s hard to describe, but I had this weird pain in my chest area. I guess that’s why they call it a broken heart. I couldn’t stand the pain any longer, so I took some Nyquil to help me sleep. I was out like a light. I slept pretty good until I got woken up by cold sweats. It’s not uncommon for me to get them, and I absolutely hate it. I was freezing cold, and my body, hair, pillow, and blankets were all wet with sweat. It’s extremely uncomfortable trying to sleep in dampness, but I was still a little groggy from the medicine. I fell back asleep and then I managed to sleep through my alarm for a while.
I was worried about going back to work on Wednesday because of how upset I was and I didn’t know if I would be able to do my job okay. Somehow, my mind just switched into work mode and I made it through the whole work day without crying. Not because I didn’t miss her, but it was like my mind realized that I still need to live my life and do what I need to do.
The hardest thing for me is walking into my room and seeing an empty bean bag chair since she was always curled up in a ball in it. My other cat, Cameron, has been laying in it now, but it’s not the same. I also miss her climbing up onto my lap while I was on the computer, and I miss hearing her beautiful voice. She had the most beautiful face, and I will miss her staring at me with her big blue eyes. I also used to let her go out on the porch with me (without a leash), and she just loved soaking up the sun. She was so well behaved. Sometimes she would try to sneak down the steps, but I would tell her to get back up here, and she would listen. I’m really going to miss that.
I’m starting to accept the fact that she’s truly gone and that life goes on, but I’m still going to miss her like crazy, and no other cat can ever replicate her. She was truly one of a kind.