This past Saturday was a very gloomy and sad day for me. It started the same as any other day but quickly went south. I noticed Pepper my 17-year-old cat was acting weird and laying in a weird spot. I didn’t think much of it at first because cats can be weird sometimes. It didn’t hit me that something was really wrong until Barry filled the cat dish with food and he didn’t bolt to the basement to get his kibble like always.
I knelt down to talk to him and pet him and he started meowing like I’ve never heard him “talk” before. Worry started to set in. I was holding out, or more likely trying to convince myself that perhaps he got into something he shouldn’t have and had a bout of tummy troubles. On to trick number two. Soft cat food. He can’t resist the sound of the can opener cracking that seal and goes crazy for it practically climbing up my legs to get to it. He had zero interest. Damnit!
I sat there continuing to pet him and at a certain point he decided to get up and move. He got up, took a couple of steps, started to wobble and fell over. At this point I totally lost it and couldn’t hold back my emotions as it was suddenly apparent the day I dreaded had finally come and reared its ugly head.
Naturally it was noon on a Saturday and our vet was closed, as was all the rest of them in the area. Of course the emergency vets are open and willing to charge you an arm and a leg. Luckily I found a place not too far away that was still open for several more hours and told us to come in.
Long story short, Pepper became ill with diabetic ketoacidosis and the obvious options were try to extend is life several months and many thousands of dollars or send him on his way over the rainbow bridge. When the words “euthanasia” came out of the vets mouth, I knew my time with Pepper had come to an end. I couldn’t believe how fast this illness came about and was not ready to make a decision to end a life that has been apart of my every day for the last 17 years. While at the vet office Pepper got worse and I knew I couldn’t be selfish and drag him through many days and weeks of testing and treatment only to get maybe another month. It was time for him to move on. Hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. I never thought I would be coming back home without him.
Pepper was one different kind of cat. I’ve never interacted with a cat that acted as he did. He was the most needy cat with an unending giving of love. I always said he was part dog the way he followed me everywhere I went. I couldn’t sit down without him immediately coming to me from where ever he was keeping an eye on things to come and use my lap and lather me with his sand-paper kisses and cold wet nose. He was my constant work studio companion, my foot warmer in bed, and always thought my office chair was made specifically for him to squeeze into with me.
Rest in peace Pepper. I shall miss you forever.