Today, at about 3:15pm, I said goodbye to my faithful companion of 13.5 years, Nan.
I'd been watching her to detect any changes in her behavior that might indicate she was really near the end, and they finally came: she was trying to sneak outside, it seemed like nothing made her comfortable, and she had already stopped eating at least 2 weeks ago. Last night, my pup Hope was trying to clean her up, and I decided to give Annie a real bath - her breast cancer had turned to inflammatory carcinoma, and she had an infection on one side, which was horribly stinky and gross. After spending an hour getting her washed, brushed, putting ointment on her wounds, and just lying with her, it seemed to me that it would be most humane to help her to her final resting place. After seeing all of the insanely crazy steps of suffering that lead from nearly dead to totally dead (in a cancer death), I was determined to save her some of the insanity.
So I spent time with my little Nanners today, and after a bawling goodbye from the 3 children, Bill and I drove to the veterinarian's office (where he agreed with my judgment). Tears rolling down our 3 faces, we saved our darling cat from the coming misery - and sort of jump started our own, if I am completely honest.
I can't believe that she is gone. though...after all of those years, all the houses, all the hunting to find her when she slipped out the door, all of those hours of pregnancy lying with her on my side, all of those surgeries for various ailments, all of the purring and writhing, ALL of her unexpected little things...my Annie is no more.
Rest in Peace, my little angel.