Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Our cat, Tybault Capulet, a 3-year-old chocolate-and-cream-colored siamese, was acting 'funny'. Instead of sleeping snuggled into the crook of my neck, he was sleeping in the bathtub or the shower. He stopped eating, and started hanging poised over the water bowl, as if contemplating getting a drink, then walking away. Even tuna didn't tempt him. He yow'd continually, in a "this hurts and please please do something about it" kind of voice, instead of his usual "Hi, how're you, busy, bye" tone. He stopped cleaning himself. So I took him into the vet Monday morning, 11/19/07, crack-o-dawn. He was diagnosed with a congenital kidney disease. You can try treating it, but it takes a long time and has the same result: more pain and more money and he still dies early. The blood work along cost $189! The vet rehydrated him so that he would be more comfortable, and I took him home (both of us crying) to await Daughter #1's return from work. He is, technically, her cat, received as a birthday present almost exactly 3 years ago.

When she arrived we had a talk and (I cried) decided neither of us wanted him to continue going through this pain and that euthenisia would be the kindest thing to do. Then she went to spend a few last hours with Tyb and I cleaned, the random kind of cleaning that you can't look back on afterwards and say, "Check." It just looks a little bit less messy all over.

When Small Son arrived home, I explained the situation and asked him what would be the best thing for Tyb. He agreed that of the choices available, a teensy shot and a nap would be best, but his first choice would always be having Tyb get better and be our cat for another 15 years or so. He cried, and I cried again. Then we went to the vet.

They were very nice. We paid in advance so we wouldn't have to do that while crying. But I was already crying. He let us all be in the room and he gave Tyb the shot and we all stroked him and scratched his ears the way he likes so much and the vet went away. He came back about 5 minutes later, and Tyb was lying absolutely still but we were all still stroking him. A careful listen to his heart and the vet announced he was still with us, but only just. He rearranged Tyb so he was lying on his side more comfortably, and went away again. We continued to talk to Tyb and stroke him, and 5 minutes later still, the vet was back and listened again and just nodded to Daughter #1 and me.

We put his body in a box lined with his towel and cushion and took him home to a grave that I had already dug. It was a good grave, perfectly rectangular, square corners and everything. I couldn't play even Amazing Grace for him, I was crying so much. We usually have pipes for animal funerals -- even for lizards. But I couldn't do it. The next day, when I practiced, I played Amazing Grace for him a few times, even though he never cared for pipe music, being a cat.

So I didn't practice on Sunday or Monday because of Tyb, God bless his little heart.

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