Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Saying Goodbye

How do you say goodbye to a cat who has been part of your family for almost 20 years?  I'm still not sure how to answer that question even though last night I had to do it. 

Lacey hasn't been well for a long time.  She has been living in my parents furnace room for a few years.  It started because she was throwing up frequently, but then she got comfortable there and wouldn't leave even if the door was open.  She had food, water, litter and a big comfy chair.  What more could a 19 year old cat want?

And she seemed happy.  When you went down there to visit she would purr as soon as she saw you.  She still loved us.  So we held on.
I bet she loved the trampoline for this Father's Day pic
But we knew that it couldn't last forever.  She had arthritis and couldn't groom herself.  She looked awful.  We kept expecting her to just go on her own.  I mean she's a 19 year old cat.  But it didn't happen.

So last night we finally said goodbye.  And I went to see her ahead of time to say my personal goodbye.  And I didn't know how to do it.  I know talking to pets might seem crazy to some, but I didn't know what to say to this poor kitten who had no idea what was about to happen.  So I just thanked her for being the best cat that a kid could ask for.  

We got her for Christmas in 1994 and although she was a family cat, she was really mine.  I was her choice when choosing a bed to sleep in.  If I was sick, she would cuddle up with me on the couch.  She hated when I played the violin though, she always left the room as soon as that started.  

Her name was Lacey, but she was more often called Goggie.  Because when my brother was little (he was only 2 when we got her) he said he wanted a kitty named Doggie, but Goggie is the word that came out of his mouth.  So she became a cat with 2 names.

She was a feisty kitty back in the day.  She gave me a few battle wounds, which I deserved.  But she was shy with strangers.  Most people didn't even realize that we had a cat. 

I'm not too sure what she thought when the first dog showed up when she was about 7, but her and Opie seemed to be pretty good pals.  Once she got older and wasn't moving as well, Opie eased up on her, it was like he knew.  When Opie died and we got Oliver, she wasn't having it.  A new puppy was too much for a 17 year old cat to handle.

I didn't think I would be sad when the time came to put her down.  I knew it was coming and honestly she hasn't been part of the family for a few years as she rarely left the confines of her furnace room "retirement home".  But I was sad.  Sad because that time in my life is over.  She grew up with us and was always there and it's just weird that she's gone.  19 years is a long time.  

I hope that there's an animal heaven and that Opie is giving Lacey hugs up there.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful tribute to our family member. I feel all the same things. I was ready for her to go but its still sad. Dang pets and how we get attached to them. Thanks for saying it all so beautifully. It was a pretty exciting day when the little "kitty named Goggie" came to our home. I'm so glad we found a way for her to leave us in her own comfortable place.