My beloved Upsie died on Thursday afternoon. Her condition suddenly turned downward on Wednesday. Until then she ate with her old gusto and seemed to be handling whatever pain she had with grace. In truth, it wasn't clear that she was in pain, cats can hide that so well. But, I could feel how her kidneys were growing much larger, bulging out of her sides, and I knew that her cancer was getting much worse. Then, Wednesday she stopped eating, which was an ominous sign. That night, she slowly made her way to the living room, where I was reading, sat at my feet, and began to cry. She couldn't lie in any position without it causing her pain, and she kept looking at me, as if she thought I might be able to do something to make her feel better.
I got very little sleep that night, staying by her side, petting her, and promising that I would get her pain killers from the Vet. By Thursday morning she was obviously in horrible pain and couldn't walk, so I made the painful decision that I wouldn't let her suffer and made an appointment for her Vet to come to our house and euthanize her in the evening. I also went to the Vet's office and got some pain killers.
I gave her the pain killers and soon she seemed better, not showing pain. I petted her and talked to her for a long time, then left to go feed my new baby squirrels. I kept checking on her, petting her, and combing her hair. Then later in the afternoon, when I came back from feeding the squirrels again, I found that she had passed away.
Losing Upsie is very painful. I love every cat I've ever had, but Upsie is special to me. She was my sister Antonia's cat. Upsie was homeless when my sister found her and they were immediate soul mates. Antonia was a wonderful, exasperating, creative, flawed, and beautiful person, who suffered from alcoholism and bi-polar disorder. To say that her life was difficult is an extreme understatement. Upsie gave her love and didn't judge or find her wanting in any way. When life became too difficult, Antonia took her own life and left behind a note, asking me to take care of Upsie. And, of course, I did. Whenever I looked at Upsie, I saw my sister. I remembered how Upsie could make her feel good in the worst of times. She was my link to my sister. And now she is gone.
I like to think that Antonia was having a wonderful time in heaven when she got the word that Upsie died. She jumped up and and ran to meet her. And there was such joy, massive joy, as they met again.
Thank you to everyone who came to visit with Upsie, whether you left a comment or not. Thanks to the wonderful cat blogging community who gave their support. Bless all of you.
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