Today I'm dedicating my post to a little patient of mine who was my friend for a year. She was a tiny, twenty-one year old tabby cat from Paris, and her name was Zuby. I became her nurse for the same reason I see lots of cats; kidney disease. I gave her fluids every other day and she never made a peep until the very end, which is one sign we knew it was time to let her go. She always sat there and purred, and often times she'd lift a paw to my face as if to ask "So how are YOU doing today?" When the weather was nice I'd carry her out to the garden and lean her into the roses. We'd talk about the birds that stopped by, or the little squirrel who used to like to check her out. Zuby would put her face up to the sun and smile, I swear. She had a wonderful, loving home. As she started to slip away, the home became too big and overwhelming for her. She paced and howled and became anxious and unsettled. She spat at me for the last three treatments as if telling me not to bother anymore. So finally, I didn't. Zuby's mom Marilyn always said she'd never force a situation on her, and my philosophy is to continue treatments only if the quality of life is still there. She was like the energizer bunny though! Sometimes Zuby's mom and I would get all choked up thinking "today's the day" only to have Zuby rally and look at us as if we were nuts, and then she'd go over and eat a whole dish of food!
Clearly though, Zuby was different on that final day. Her eyes were hollow and vacuous. She only wanted to be held. Her body had given her twenty-one great years and it had nothing left.
The vet came to the house and I gently assisted him. Her mom and another friend were there and we all raised a glass of wine in celebration of her life. She left us the same way she lived, with amazing grace.
A tiny cat with a huge capacity of love for life. She left her pawprints on many, many hearts.
Her mom is going to bring Zuby's ashes back to Paris one day to complete the cycle. Tell me that isn't love!
Happy Animal Wednesday, my friends. Here's to Zuby!
(For Marilyn and her family, with love.)