27 April 2010

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About two months ago, our silver tabby Amaya was diagnosed with lymphoma. We considered chemotherapy, but the expected amount of time that it would have given her was a couple of months, and we figured that it wasn't worth the stress to her of taking her to the vet every week.

She'd started out slender, and got more so over the weeks. She didn't seem to be in any real discomfort, until a few days ago. A little confused, perhaps, but for her that wasn't very unusual. A little bit more in need of a lap, but again, not unusual.

As of this weekend, she'd become emaciated; she hadn't been drinking enough water. She was finally starting to complain a bit more, although a lap was usually enough to comfort her. She seemed increasingly...lost.

Yesterday--26 April, Monday--we took her to the vet, and they helped her die. We were with her throughout, and she was in my lap when she went.

The quickness with which the injection had its effect almost shocked me. I expected it to be at least a minute or two; the vet checked her for a heartbeat probably 15 seconds after putting the injection in.

I've had two cats of mine die before, both of natural causes; the first time, I slept through it; the second time, I was awake. I don't know for sure that the early surcease of pain was worth the stress to her of taking her to the vet one last time...but I would have felt worse if she'd died alone, while we were at work.

I choked up a couple of times while we were at the vet, but I lost it when we opened the car to take her home and saw the kids' toy cats strewn around inside.

Amaya was never my favorite cat; I didn't have the same bond with her that I had with Frodo, and she was never as friendly as our other two cats. Then again, she was smaller, and less tolerant of noise and ungentle hands (i.e., kids--although they were remarkably good with her, all things considered). All Amaya ever really asked of the world was to provide food, water, and laps on demand...and too often, over the past few years, she didn't get that last.

Corwin understands what happened. The twins are a little less clear. They said goodbye to her yesterday evening, and we all buried her in our back yard--and this morning Adric asked where she was (after seeing Kira, who looks somewhat like a larger, browner version of Amaya).

Amaya--if there is anything left of you to address--I hope that you've found a warm and more reliable lap.







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