Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Half a lifetime....

Half a lifetime ago, I was a young newlywed, living in my first apartment. Our cat, Lucky seemed lonely, so we'd been thinking of getting another kitty to keep her company. One day my DH called and said one of his coworkers had brought in a litter of kittens that needed homes.  After some discussion, he came home with this tiny little thing:



She wasn't very well socialized and spent most of her first night hiding behind the dryer shivering.  :-(  We got her into the second bedroom and she spent a lot of time under the bed.  She'd come out, but wouldn't let us get too close to her.

We couldn't agree on what to name her - I liked "Ripley", the DH wanted "Psycho".  We decided to pull a name out of a hat and got as far as writing the names on slips of paper one night before we had to leave for somewhere.  When we got home, she was chewing on one of the pieces of paper, and we decided she'd chosen her name.  Ripley it was (thank goodness!).

She slowly settled in, watching the wild life:

"I can see them, why can't I grab them?!"
 Mountain climbing:

Coffee table -> entertainment center -> air conditioner
Helping with my quilt projects:

"Looking good, Mama!"
And generally tearing up the place.  I don't know how many times I had to re-pot my spider plant, and I picked up one of the table lamps off the floor every night when I got home.  She did know how to kick back and relax, though.

Don't you just want to rub that tummy?

As the years passed, I got divorced, changed jobs and moved a couple of times.  Relationships came and went. We lost Lucky along the way, and added new furry family members.  But through it all, Ripley was there.  She mellowed a lot as she got older.  Back in they day, I had friends who would cat sit for me and never see her.  If you tried to pick up her up, you'd lose skin.  In the last few years, though, she became a regular lap kitty and would actually come and greet visitors, instead of hiding under the bed. 

Not completely antisocial

For a long time, she was my healthiest cat, even as old as she was.  She started getting recurring urinary tract infections about six months ago.  We suspected a tumor in her bladder, but couldn't actually see it. The vets told me there wasn't really much we could do about it anyway. She was too old for surgery and chemo doesn't work well on those kinds of tumors, especially in cats.  So we fought the good fight, giving her antibiotics to control the infections and generally trying to make her as comfortable as possible.

She was pretty happy, still eating, drinking, snuggling with me at night, etc. until a couple of days ago.  I took her to the vet yesterday and we were finally able to see the tumor, blocking her bladder.  We could have done things to give her a little more time, but it wouldn't have been quality time, so I decided it was time to let her go.  It  was so hard, but I think it was the right thing to do for her. I miss her already.  I hope she and Lucky are playing with catnip mice and napping together again somewhere.

This is the picture on the vet's calendar for March....
I love you, Ripley.

4 comments:

Pretty Knitty said...

Beautifully told story of a well-loved cat...I am sure that Ripley is happy to be reunited with Lucky, and that they are enjoying a sunny spot without a tummy ache.

Michelle said...

I'm sure that Lucky and Ripley are romping and playing together! Hugs!

Jessica said...

You shared a heart warming "tail" of Ripley's life, got me teary eyed. So glad you two found eachother and such a good long time together. You are a great Mom to your fur babies.

Leslie said...

Connie, I am so sorry about this. Making that decision is so hard. I wish you all the best in adjusting to life without her.