Abigail, RIP

This is really difficult to write …

… our beloved fluff-ball Abigail died on Monday.

It all happened so quickly that I’ve been in shock, and am so sad; the pain of missing her is unbearable.Tuxedo and I have been hit hard by this loss.Many of you may be scoffing “what a drama-queen, it’s just a cat” but she was far more than “just a cat” to me.She was my buddy, my mate, my constant companion.Being bed-ridden and house-bound a large percentage of the time, my darling Abi was always by my side, cuddled up to me, keeping me company and helping me through many bad days of pain and misery.She was so very very sweet, had such clever and funny ways.She was a truly special beastie. She was three and a half years old.

What happened?Saturday 26 August she was off her food and a little subdued – not lethargic but just a little quieter than usual.Sunday she became lethargic, and I decided to take her to the vet first thing Monday.We had to go out that evening, we had tickets to the Ben Folds & WASO concert (which was an amazing show – more on that some other day) and when we came home her breathing and heart-rate had both sped up and she looked extremely unhappy.I was worried … but became even more concerned when in the early hours of Monday morning she was in even more distress.By 6 a.m. she was panting and barely able to stand up and walk by herself; she would lie in one position for a bit then scrabble with her paws and letting out a pitiful scream/yowl, fall over onto her side.I didn’t know what to make of it … I just had to get her to our fantastic vet as fast as possible.

The vet surgery opened at 7.30 a.m. and we were there on the doorstep; Tuxedo had made up a bed for her of pillows and towels in a laundry basket (Tuxedo had to go to work at 7 a.m. so was unable to come with me though he dearly wanted to – bloody bloody fucking work!).The vet (Dr A) was not due in until 9.30 which was very bad news for me, so I left my baby in the capable hands of the vet nurse and went to my parents’ place to wait for Dr A to call me, rather than going all the way back to our place on the other side of town in peak hour traffic.

At 8.30 Dr A called me. The nurse had called him in early. It was bad news; Abigail was as we knew in terrible distress.He told me calmly that, from x-rays and tests he’d already done, it was possibly pneumonia, lung failure, or heart failure.He then delivered the blow; there was absolutely nothing to be done, there never had been.Abi was dying.She was suffering tremendously and he had to euthanise her.I barely got the words out – could I come and say goodbye?Yes – but to hurry.I called Tux and after three attempts finally got through.I gave him the news; one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do.We had both known, before I left with Abi that morning, that things weren’t looking good for her right then, but this?

Dr A – who was still in his pj’s and slippers when I got there, what a dear man – came out and showed me the x-rays, explaining what I should be seeing in a healthy cat and what I was actually seeing.Her lungs and the area around her lungs and heart were obscured by fluid – whether pus, mucus or blood he couldn’t tell, but it was bad.He guided me into the operating room, where Abi lay on a table, swaddled in towels and blankets, on oxygen and a saline drip.She was struggling to breathe; each attempted breath was accompanied by a writhing of her body and a scream.Her eyes were wide and she didn’t see me.

Tears had been flowing down my face since I’d got the call from the vet, now I burst into sobs as I held my kitty’s head and stroked her, talking to her, telling her what a great little mate she was, how special, how much we loved her.And then, while I held her, my head laid on hers, Dr A gave her the injection and she just sort of … flowed away.I cried and stroked her beautiful soft fur and huge fluffy tail over and over.Then I left her.It was all over before 9 a.m. Monday morning.

Monday I howled on and off all day.My darling Tux skived off work around 10, came home and hugged and hugged me.This last week has been so hard; I get the weeps on and off – something reminds me of her, or I think I hear the jingle of her bells. I miss her so much, she was so much a part of my life and my day, such a comfort and companion.Without her I feel desperately, horribly lonely, on my own in the house all day.I’ve also been incredibly ill the last few days; a savage migraine and extreme neck and back pain – just the time when Abi was always most attentive and cuddly.

The autopsy showed she’d died of heart failure – cardiomyopathy, which is apparently not uncommon in young cats and Maine Coons are particularly susceptible (unless breeders screen their stock and breed the gene out) and can be as rapid as in Abi’s case.She was cremated and we will get the ashes back next week.I’m going to bury them in the rose garden at my parents’, where Rocky and Bella are also buried.

Goodbye my darling puss.You were a most special, beautiful, big-hearted cat, the best little feline mate a person could have.Thank you for choosing me that day at the shelter.

Rest in peace, baby.

Abigail, 16 January 2003 – 28 August 2006.

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  • Hat  On Saturday 30 September 2006 at 11:41 am

    And again (now that I’ve found the right post) I’m so sorry. Not “just a cat.” I felt the same way when my mini cat left me. She had been with me through all the worst of lupus pain, lost marriage, loss of my sister, my home… Mini was my constant. I just stumbled on this blog while looking on google for “trilling kittens.” I have a young one trilling beside me as I type and am up too late because stuff hurts too much to sleep. I’ve found so much here to make me smile and nod. Thanks

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