Hope all had a good end to their holiday season. With not too much (define too much?) fun or calories. Mine went mostly well, except for Saturday.
Our very elderly cat Tara had been fading slowly over the last few months - she was at least 20 (96 in human years and collecting pension checks for me) and had a hyperthyroid condition (note the tense used). Her pills kept that pretty well under control, but the high metabolism still meant she was pretty thin and scrawny looking. Especially last summer when I had to get her body shaved to get rid of all her matted fur. All except her head, you could count her ribs and each vertebra. She had lost the flexibility to groom herself - and probably the initiative too. Still a loving and affectionate friend, but the poor thing had hardly any fat or muscle left, living close to the edge - the vet had said likely her heart would just give out on her. The last few days she'd not been eating or drinking much, just sleeping and and leaving the occasional pool of pee or diarrhea in the back hall. All day Friday she was very quiet, would just look up once in a while with a very small meow. Saturday morning I woke at 8 - NOT to the sound of meowing at my door. I went downstairs and found her lying peacefully next to her food dishes in the kitchen. Still warm, so I think she'd been dead only an hour or two. And still flexible enough that I could curl her up into a cozy little ball.
She used to lie by my bedroom door and call in the morning "Hellooooo? Anyone there???? Time to get up!!!". As annoying as that could be - I'll miss it. I'll also miss checking under my office chair before rolling back (in case her tail was trying to block the wheels), or nudging her away from the front of the fridge door (she liked the warm breeze blowing out the bottom), or finding her asleep in a cardboard box, or watching TV with her cuddled up warm against my side, or being greeted at the door by her insistent "where have you been all this time and where's my dinner?" A lot of good years, a lot of great memories, but it was time.
I talked to the kids, we're having her cremated, and then this spring we'll bury her ashes in Fernwood, in the back yard - she used to like to lurk there and pretend she was a fierce jungle cat.