RIP Shady Cat

@jerzgirl (8170)
Gloucester City, New Jersey
August 26, 2009 8:33pm CST
Earlier this evening, my Shady lady cat took her final journey, with medical assistance. I've always said she was around 23 based on a vet's estimate from 1996, but the vet who did the duty had her listed as 18 yrs 9 months. Either way, she'd lived a long and, for the most part, healthy life after being taken off the deserts of Arizona to enjoy the bounties of pre-captured and prepared foods. She was the consummate mother - she'd had at least one litter before we got her and another after we got her. We also got two of her half-grown kittens at the same time. We lost Shadow in Arizona, but Shady and Johnny made the trek across country as part of our little gypsy band traveling in my little Subaru with everything I owned packed as tightly as I could get it inside and out. We were quite the sight to see. Shady adopted my daughter as her own - watching over her, sleeping with her, coming to get me any time she thought that Debra was in trouble so that I would follow her to "save" her human. She was unlike any cat I've ever had before or since. Shady maintained her regal stature until only this year when the new queen on the scene tried to oust her from her position of authority. That was my daughter's cat, Tiki. She never did learn to fully respect my Shady cat, but she did learn to respect me when I'd intervene. Shady was old and deserved to eat first. She'd long ago earned that privilege. I had bought kitty stairs so she could more easily get up on the furniture she loved to lie on instead of climbing up like she was rock climbing since she could no longer jump. She was having difficulty eating - no longer being able to eat as much as she used to, yet constantly mrowling like she was hungry. She couldn't eat hard food since she couldn't chew it. She drank water like crazy - the vet agreed that she'd likely developed diabetes, but that it had advanced to kidney failure by the time I called them to take her in. Although her discomforts were obvious, she was an otherwise good-natured, friendly, and happy cat. As we sat in the vet's office waiting for them to bring in her final two shots, she was purring because people were paying attention to her and petting her. She was still purring when we put her on the examining table. I don't think I've ever felt so guilty in my life. Even though I know it was the best thing I could do for her short of having unlimited funds to do all sorts of medical procedures, I still feel like I betrayed her trust by doing this. We buried her in the landlord's back yard tonight, back in the corner along the fence line. She loved being outside whenever she could be, so she's now where she always loved to be. I just hope that wherever she is, she understands what happened and why. Shady was family and I already watched one family member die in the past year. I really had a hard time with this one, knowing that it was I who chose the time and place. She was just a fantastic pet who loved people and who loved being loved by people. May her memory live on! Have you ever had to make such a decision as I did?
7 people like this
5 responses
@AmbiePam (51541)
• United States
27 Aug 09
I'm so sorry. But I'm glad she had a happy life with you all.
2 people like this
@jerzgirl (8170)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
27 Aug 09
She did have a good life. Except for one incident 13 years ago when the neighbor apparently hit her with his riding mower, she's never suffered any kind of serious injury. She suffered some seizures for a while after that and then never another problem from then on. Except for an apparent food allergy to certain kinds of cat food that stopped when I began to feed her Purina One instead of the cheaper brands. And, even that wasn't as bad as some cats might experience in some of their lives. She lived well and lived happy.
2 people like this
@AmbiePam (51541)
• United States
27 Aug 09
You gave her such a good life. It breaks my heart to see abused animals, and I always enjoy hearing about people who loved their pets and treated them like they were family.
1 person likes this
@jerzgirl (8170)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
2 Sep 09
She was definitely family. Without a doubt.
1 person likes this
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
14 Sep 09
Yes, I've had to do the same thing a number of times and hated doing it every time. It's hard as all get out but you have to know you did the right thing for Shady. She knew you loved her. She KNEW you loved her and she knows why you did what you had to do and she's loving you all the more for it. She did not deserve to suffer so you did what you had to do for her. May God Bless You for doing the most unselfish thing a human could do for their furry friend!!
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@jerzgirl (8170)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
14 Sep 09
Thanks CandD. Shady was quite the lady. I've had a few unforgettable cats (not that the others weren't great, but there were a couple who have just stood out in some way) and Shady was one of them. A true one of a kind!
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
14 Sep 09
Oh believe me my friend, I do know what you mean!! I had one cat that I just adored because she was truly mine through and through.... or should I say I was hers instead. lol Her name was Kisses. We lived on a corner lot way out in the country and she would cross the road to the side of the house which wasn't busy at all so I didn't have to worry too much but this one night, for some reason that I'll never know or understand, she crossed the street in front of the house and got hit by a car. I thought I'd lose my damned mind! Actually I did for a really long time. I begged and cried and begged and cried for months and months asking God to bring her back to me because I couldn't take it. It was awful! I don't know how I managed to get past it but I did. It still hurts even though it was 8 years ago but it's easier now than it was. Much easier. I have a memorial of pictures in a frame of her. Then a few years later, my mother and I got sister siamese kittens that were hand raised with such gentleness that they were so loving and so loyal to us both, hers to her and mine to me. Mom named hers Twinkles and I named mine Star. Twinkles got in the dryer without mom's knowledge.... A few months later, mine was hit by a car and my husband saw it happen. You see, I was outside tending to my garden at night because I was a nervous wreck because my dad was in the hospital again and I was scared of losing him and Star went outside with me. If only I wasn't outside. I got another siamese kitten who I named Gracie. As you know I lost her too due to heart disease. I lost Kisses in Texas and I lost Star in Arkansas and I lost Gracie in North Carolina. Like you said, yours was special, these three gals were special to me and I love all of my other cats very much but something about them, they were really special. I've done a tribute to Kisses but not the others because I can't. I can't put myself through that again. It's too hard but if you want to see it and maybe do one of your own for Shady.... here's the link to mine. http://www.in-memory-of-pets.com/personaltribute.php?ID=30637
1 person likes this
@blackbriar (9080)
• United States
20 Sep 09
((((((((((((jerz)))))))))))) Took me a while before I could respond to this being I couldn't stop crying. Shady knows you meant well letting her die that way instead of suffering longer. She is waiting for you at Rainbow Bridge, free of pain and playing with Lightning and the other cats that have preceded her. I had to do this myself 3 seperate times. Briar, I held till way past his last breath with my face burrowed in his fur. He was my only friend at the time. Then Shady, his son went 11yrs after although I couldn't bring myself to be with him when the vet gave him that shot. I had nightmares for weeks afterwards because I wasn't with him when he so desperately wanted me thee holding him. I'll never forget the look on his face when he realized I was leaving him. -crying again- Then Lightning was attacked by some wild animal when he was just out going potty. Left him paralized and in tons of pain. I held him while he got his final shot. He knew what was happening and was ready to die. I got one last mew from him before he went to sleep permanently.
1 person likes this
@jerzgirl (8170)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
20 Sep 09
Oh, BB. I am so sorry about your furbabies. And, you had a Shady, too. She was such a good cat, so good-natured and loving, not a mean bone in her little body. She purred until the end, although I couldn't bring myself to hold her has she passed. I petted her until the sedative took over and then stepped away from behind her. I couldn't look into her eyes, although I'm sure she knew I was there since I was talking to her until just before. It's still hard to revisit that day.
• United States
2 Sep 09
{{{JERZ, JERZ, JERZ}}}, I know we talked last night about this but please do not feel guilty, Shady is resting now and can play and bounce around like a young kitten again and I know in my heart of hearts she is with your Mom and they both are very happy together; You did what you had to do and Shady did live a long and healthy life and that is thanks to you dear friend; I cried last night after we talked, I'm sitting here once again in tears and trying to type its not easy you know I have a big old soft heart when it comes to our pets; (G)!! I wish I had known about this sooner, but I know you "know" whats been going on with me too and my stupid body ... I wish we lived closer so that I could give you a big old hug, just know that I am thinking about you ok? You still have Chloe, and that little stinker kitty Tiki of Deb's...(G)! She will keep you in stitches I'm sure. Give your heart time to "heal" and when you are "ready" you will once again find a new "furbaby" to love and cherish. REST IN PEACE dear dear sweet Shady, You were loved by many!!
@jerzgirl (8170)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
2 Sep 09
I had a hard time not crying at the vets, I'll tell you. Tears came more than once as I was talking to the vet. Plus, I had watched my mother die and I really didn't want to watch Shady pass, particularly because of my own actions. I petted her until the sedative took effect and then I sat down and looked out the window while they gave her the shot. I've never had to do that before and hope to never have to again. But, she is in a better place and is, as Deb says, probably sitting in Mom's lap like she used to. As soon as Mom would sit down, she'd jump up. Loved being up there, but now her claws can't hurt Mom's fragile skin.
1 person likes this
@metschica25 (5405)
• United States
27 Aug 09
Hello dear, I am so sorry to hear about the passing of you cat Shady. She seemed like a one of a kind cat and you were very lucky to find her and she was very lucky to have such a loving home. I can tell she meant something very special to each person in your family. Her memory will live on ;) I had to put my childhood black cat Beanie to sleep and he was only 9 years old. My finace would not let me come to put him to sleep because it is true I would not of been able to let him go and say goodbye and my tears would of never stopped . I did have him say goodbye sir for me and give him a kiss . I think what didnt help is my fiance said he just looked at him with his big eyes like he knew and didnt wanna die. He got so sick so fast and huis bladder had to have surgery and things were doing well and then it exploded and he had to have a 2 thousand $ surgery and it was only 25% would of saved him and he would of had to go to the bathroom with a help of a bag. He was in so much pain and I think if I would of had the money I would of risked it but I loved that cat so much! So I undserstand what is like because animals become part of the family . Take care and Once again I am sorry!
@jerzgirl (8170)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
2 Sep 09
I am so sorry what happened to your baby. I'm glad I didn't face that. Shady was in good spirits and an otherwise very happy lady until the very end. She'd come when she was called and was very much a people cat. I hated having to do what I did, but with me not working and being temporarily on a fixed income, I didn't have the ability to attempt lengthy and costly medical procedures that might not really work since Shady was so old already. So, I could see that she was uncomfortable, in a certain amount of pain because she couldn't jump or anything and walked more slowly and carefully than she used to, and didn't seem to be able to eat any more. She was losing weight and weighed only around 4 lbs at the end. It was the best thing I could ndo for her. And, the hardest thing I've ever done.
1 person likes this