Sable is Sam‘s sister. She has so far made it a full year beyond Sam, though she was diagnosed a couple of years ago with a multitude of medical issues, mainly stemming from plain old old-age. The vet told me she might have some sort of cancer, definately has kidney failure and is not healthy enough to undergo serious tests that would require knocking her out. This was about two years ago and one year before Sam died. On the other hand, he was apparently the picture of health with the constitution of a kitten.
Well, when they did those tests, I already knew that Sam was not as healthy as he seemed, he’d begun to loose weight, but I figured it was mainly a thyroid condition. My vet kindly redid the blood tests and it was indeed Sable that was the sickly one, even though she was the one that would scamper about and behave like a kitten, while Sam was, for lack of a better description, more reserved and regal.
Well, no more. Sadly, I think her time is up. She hasn’t been able to keep but one bite of food down over the last 3 days and now can’t even keep in water. Her apetite was good until today, but now I think she’s pretty much done. Her symptoms are clearly end stage kidney failure. Though she’s definately senile, she’s not out of it like Sam was so it’s very hard for me to make the final decision about putting her down right now. But it’s really only a matter of days I think.
I thought it would be easier the 2nd time around, and in some ways it is. I can compare her weakness in her back legs to Sam’s and see that she really is also at the end. This isn’t something that’s going to get better. All I can do right now is make sure she is comfortable. She’s had almost 19 very good years, has terrorized the local tomcat at my old house, beaten up and then snubbed her brother (all while he continued to clean her), put Freia in her place within hours of her arrival as a nine week old pup in our house, she’s ruled the roost and ruled my heart for many years. Both tough and vulnerable, she’s been a good cat.
When I first got her, within days she disappeared out the fire escape for almost a week, sealing her place in my heart forever. I was sick with worry, going out every night to find her. One night I called her name and even though she barely knew me, she finally responded, came to me and purred, knowing that all was forgiven. I later learned from a neighbor that she’d been living in the shared backyard the whole time, I’m assuming gathering the lay of the land. She never needed to go out the fire escape again, she decided that home was the best place. Sam on the other hand would go out and hunt (or think he was hunting) daily. He caught a pigeon once and my roommate never let me forget it. All we found was a wing in the fireplace and it probably took me 1/2 an hour to vacuum up all the feathers. Sam was never so proud as he was that morning.
I’m not really a cat person, but these were good cats. It’s amazing to think I had them over 1/3 of my life – Sable passing will be quite the end of an era.
Well, this morning I was convinced that it was time. But then after speaking with a friend who was going to come with me to the vet I decided that since she’s really not showing any pain that I would wait. She’s drinking water, but is not responding to all her favorite treats, though the tuna juice did somewhat act like smelling salts for her and she perked up a bit. I’ve been checking on her about every hour and just now held her on my chest for 20 minutes (as long as she could stand) and she even started purring. I’m glad I waited. I don’t think she wants to die at the vet’s. Sam was out of it when I took him in, I think he was somewhat aware that I was holding him, but really didn’t care about anything, not even meowing on the way to the vet. Sable is still aware of what’s going on around her, so it’s not her time yet. Maybe in one hour, maybe in one day, but not just yet.