Sunday, January 16, 2011
My Baby K.C.
Tonight I share with great sadness and a very heavy heart that our eldest cat, K.C. died today. I came home from work, and walked in the door singing the "Wicked Witch is Dead," feeling a sense of relief that the working part of the day was done, and I see Scott's face and I know something is wrong. He didn't even say anything to me. K.C. went to the vet today to have her teeth cleaned for the very first time in her 15 years of life.
I had an odd feeling, an intuition, that we might lose her while she was under sedation. When I was a child, we had a dog named Melody, and after she had a litter of puppies, my father took her to the vet to get her fixed. What I was told was that she died under sedation and never woke up. I kept thinking about Melody before we took K.C. to the vet.
I feel so bad. I really wanted this done for her because her teeth really needed it and I thought it would be better for her health in the long run. But I also wasn't sure if she was healthy enough to go through the procedure. Our vet seeded to think she was in good shape for a cat her age.
As I said, K.C. was about 15. She was completely deaf and had thyroid problems so she was very thin, so thin I could feel her spine. This last year she seemed like her legs may have had arthritis. She seemed stiff when she walked. And lately, she would over groom herself, pulling out her fur. I was worried about that and asked my husband to ask the vet about it.
I wish I had known that friday was her last day with us. I would have stayed up with her the night before and held her and talked to her, even though she would not have heard me. And I would have gone with her to the vet and stayed there with her. I wish myself or my husband was there with her when she passed.
My friend tells me that it was probably best that she just died during her sleep. That maybe she was in pain and we did not know it and then she could have a more difficult passing. Maybe so. All I know is that I miss her.
One of my most favorite memories I have of her is from when my son Brandon was still living with us. She slept in his room with him every night. At about 2 or 3 in the morning, she would wake him to go downstairs with her while she took a couple of bits of kibble, and then went back upstairs. She had him trained. It was humorous. The way Brandon described this ritual sounded like they were an old married couple. He would complain about getting up with her, but he would every night.
I think her best time was when my 2 sons were still living with us. She was always in one or the other's room, and they took good care of her. She got a lot of love.
After the boys moved out, things changed again for her when I brought Tiger home. I think he wanted to be dominate in the house so he would go after her a lot. I couldn't stand it so we separated them, having K.C. stay upstairs and Tiger downstairs. In one respect it was a good choice, to keep her safe. But in another way, it isolated her from Scott and myself and anything else going on in the house. She would meow, almost yell, at us repeatedly when we had her upstairs. This used to annoy us immensely. What it took me a very long time to figure out was that she needed more interaction with Scott and myself. This is one of my regrets.
When Motor came, it really shifted the dynamics in our house. We decided to let K.C. come downstairs and see how they all got along. Motor took the heat off of K.C. Tiger now focused more on Motor. Motor was very feisty as a kitten and he would go after Tiger! The balance was much better for K.C.
I wish I had given her more attention. Because my husband had originally adopted her before we got together, I always thought of her as his cat. I wanted him to get more involved in her care, from feeding to cleaning up after her, to giving her the attention she needed. He always claimed he was too busy, but his connection to her as a pet was more aloof then I wanted. I especially wanted him to show her affection because whenever I would, Tiger would get jealous and attack her. This is another area of regret for me. Did she know she was loved?
I miss my baby. We have her blankets left in the area of the kitchen that was her sleeping place. Whenever I go into that room now, I feel a sense of sadness. She always greeted us with a loud yelling meow when we entered the room. Now it is very quiet. And empty.
I"m not sure how to end this post. Just want to remind all my fellow pet guardians out there to squeeze your kitties today. Let them know they are loved. And I will do the same.