Wednesday night, we lost our girl. Her name was Betsy, and Mr. L and I adopted her and her sister Bonnnie nineteen years ago. (In fact, we had our girl Betsy-Betts for nineteen years, one week, and one day. We lost Bonnie four years ago.)
We had three cats at the time, but the kittens moved right in and captured our hearts. Not only our hearts, but the heart of Mr. L's cat, Larry. Larry disciplined the girls when they stepped out of line, and they loved to snuggle close to him. They looked at him with adoring eyes. He looked out for all the girls.
We had a terrible scare with Betsy about ten years ago. She wasn't being Betsy and was losing weight. A blood test confirmed she had lymphoma. We were skeptical when our vet said, "I can cure her."
Monday came and Betsy staggered into the kitchen with the other cats for breakfast. She wasn't well, but she was able to eat and was better than the day before. And the next day, she was better still. Within a week, our girl was back to being our girl. I can't tell you how happy we were to have our Betsy-Betts back.
Betsy came to work with me every day and liked to come an sit on my lap every hour or so for five or ten minutes, and I never tired of turning around to see her on her little pillow, snoozing. It made my work day a lot happier.
These last few weeks, Betsy was rather tipsy. Her back legs would slide out from under her on our slippery ceramic kitchen floor. But she was still eating, still showing up for kitty snacks at Happy Hour. She even came to sit on my lap, as usual (although she didn't stay for very long).
Wednesday our Kitten was frail, and we knew we were facing losing her, but we still felt we had a week or so. She showed up for breakfast, although she only licked a little of the gravy. She demanded water, and even tried to jump in the bathtub. She went back and forth between my office and the laundry room where the litter boxes are. I gave her her medicine at 5 pm as usual, and as usual she let me. She didn't come out for Happy Hour, but she did come into the kitchen around 7 pm to sit in front of the heat run--just as she'd done most of her life. She was sleeping at 7:30 when Mr. L went in the kitchen, but by 8 pm when we both went in to check on her, she was gone.
That's the thing. Whenever you get a pet, you fall in love at first sight knowing some day they're going to break your heart by leaving you.
Our hearts are broken.
Betsy was special.
Have you had a special pet that ripped a hole in your heart--or are you like me, have many holes from the loss of a furry friend?