I always have to do math to figure out how old our pets are. I went to college in 94, started dating Jeremy in November of 95, so I got Isis from Ross and Shrew in the spring of 96. She was one of the kitties from their cat Lucky's litter and I think may have been the only one to survive kittenhood. She was a tiny little black fuzzball and I loved her immediately. She has always been 100% my cat and has simply endured other humans in her vicinity. When we brought her home, we closed her in Jeremy's room because his friend was visiting and was allergic to her. Suddenly we heard a CRASH! and plaintive little "mew" sounds from the room. The kitten had climbed Jeremy's cloak draped over his closet doors stored behind the bedroom door. She made them topple over, smash into my computer monitor and hit my desk on the other side of the door. They also wedged themselves under the doorknob. So the tiny kitten weighing hardly a pound had managed to lock herself into the bedroom and it took Jeremy and Paul an hour of using ropes and levers to free her. The entire time, she sat on my monitor looking at them going "mew" over and over. And thus, we named her Isis after the Egyptian goddess of magic.
But really, she will always be Ms. Kitty. She and I have been through a lot. She was a punk cat in our apartments, she was a great huntress that brought me a dead mouse on my birthday, she was a tolerant roommate of our other pets. In 2002, she blossomed into mellow cat behavior once Jeremy and I split. In 2003, she got a horrible infection from cat scratch fever that cost $1000 (how does that even happen?). In 2005, she disappeared for days and after that became an indoor cat. In 2007, she had her cancerous monster paw removed. She used to sleep with me under the covers until she got too old to climb the stairs.
As she got older, she became more obstinate. When I told the vet today that she had started peeing outside of her litter box, she said, "and you didn't bring her in for that?" As my father said, it was not a medical problem but more a psychological issue. We were starting to run out of carpet tiles to wash and replace.
And then there was the getting on things she knew she shouldn't. "Oh, I'm not on the dining room table. I'm on this bag and it just happens to be on the dining room table."
And we won't even get into her escapades on the stove. But we were still sorting it all out. She had upgraded to a new cat palace containment space and we had a lovely weekend of her lounging around the kitchen and snuggling in my arms. This morning, though, she was not her normal elder statescat self. She was lying the litter box and wouldn't move. And when I pulled her out she just stretched out on the carpet and occasionally meowed her discontent at me. The whole drive to the vet, I had a feeling this would be the end, but I just wanted to be sure. When she was so cold they couldn't even register her temperature, that was further evidence that she was fading fast. So when the vet said that her pleural effusion issue usually meant "bad things" and that even if they treated her it would not give her much more time. So we let her go. She was exhausted. The saddest part was when I moved her tail and realized she was gone because it didn't move on its own anymore.
Had I been thinking clearly, I would have asked to take her home. We are usually bury in the back yard kind of folks. But there wasn't a check box on the form for "take dead cat home with you in a cardboard box" so I ended up checking the box for pet cremation. I feel like I should have gotten a discount since she only weighed six pounds but at least I know ahead of time to make sure our other cats stay under 15 pounds so they don't go up to the next price bracket.
It's sad and I miss her. Particularly late at night which was our time for me to sit and play on the computer while she curled up in my arms like an evil villain's sidekick. The other cats are way to squirmy for that but Ms. Kitty would happily sit in my arms for hours. But she lived a very long life. She had a good life full of many adventures and many illnesses she surpassed. And now she's enjoying all the sunbeams and grass she can muster.