Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ethel 1996 - 2013

It's the day I've been dreading for a long time.

My Ethel Baby passed away this afternoon. She was 17 1/2 years old.

For almost 3 years she had renal failure. Her kidneys were over 70% non functioning. Since this diagnosis, I've been giving her 3 Azodyl capsules a day, which help remove the toxins her kidneys were failing to remove.

For the last year, she has been completely blind and mostly deaf. For the last couple of months she could barely walk.  A few days ago, she stopped eating. But through it all, as soon as I touched her, she'd start purring.

But I could tell she'd had enough.

Luckily, she hasn't been in any real pain. But she was uncomfortable. Her life just was not enjoyable anymore. How would I know that? I've had her for almost 18 years. I can tell.

With all these problems and her not wanting food anymore, things were about to get worse fast. I didn't want her to endure pain or one organ failing after another. It would have been a fast road downhill. This was the time to give her an easy exit.

1996 - Ethel's & Lucy's first Christmas
When I first got Ethel and Lucy back in 1996, she was small and very scared. The first two days she just hid under a chair. I told her over and over, in a sing-songy voice, "you're gonna love it heeeere!" And she did. I used to hug her and put my mouth right by her head and whisper a secret. "You're my favorite!" And she knew it. They all did. I don't know why I bothered whispering it.

She was the one with the closest connection to me. She was the most special one ever. Mr Dog (Bobby) is like that, too. Very close connection. You either get that or you don't have a clue what I'm talking about.

She knew her place right at the top of the totem pole. Every night she'd jump on the bed and curl up between the pillows right next to my face. Nobody else dared sleep in her spot. Sometimes she'd fall asleep, purring, with her head on my hand. Of course, my arm would go numb but you can't move it when Ethel is sleeping on it!
Sometimes she'd get off the bed in the middle of the night, go to my office at the other end of the house, find a little piece of paper, and carry it in her mouth back to the bedroom, screaming all the way, in that howling/calling voice.

 When she was able to see, I'd put birdseed outside, and then hold her up to the sliding glass doors so she could watch "the birdies!" Her head would dart back and forth, watching them, and she'd do that funny cat chatter at them.

She'd always vocally greet me whenever I walked into the room. She was the softest, sweetest, cuddliest one.

 There are 7 billion people on this planet. I was lucky to be the one to have her. I don't regret, in the least, this decision. The sadness is only because I will miss the thousand unique things that she did like no one else.

1997: Ethel - MaryAnn - Ginger - Lucy

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely tribute, my friend. Ethel was one special lady!