Saturday, March 3

Goodbye, Melissa

Melissa used to hide behind things in order to attack my feet as I walked by in the mornings. She was foul-tempered and mean, sometimes, but in her last year, she grew affectionate and incredibly friendly.

It was about a year ago when we first discovered the cancer on her leg. She would have died quickly, but we tried a radical approach, doing a major amputation on her right rear leg in the hopes to get all of the cancer. We know it was a chance, at best, but that didn't make it any easier when we discovered last Fall that the cancer had returned.

She did really well for a time; the amputation was successful and after a month or so, she was moving around as usual, able to jump from place to place, though sometimes needing assistance. She was still able to stalk my feet and, for a time, she was very comfortable with everything. When the cancer returned, it still wasn't too uncomfortable for her at first. This week, however, it just became all too much for her.

I don't need to go into the details here. The short version is enough: the balance of the discomfort vs. the enjoyment she got from simple things (we spoiled her like crazy as of late) was just too much. There's no doubt in my mind that we did the right thing here. This is the third cat we've had to had put down in the last year and a half. This is the first time it's felt like the timing was perfect: no fear that we were doing it too early. No sense that we'd waited longer than we needed to. It's still incredibly difficult, and really painful, but at the same time, it all feels like we did exactly the right thing at the right time. She went peacefully and calmly and, as usual, I'm torn between missing her dearly and being glad that she's no longer dealing with pain and discomfort.

But all of this, really, is just my long way of saying goodbye. She was mean and sneaky, but she was also incredibly friendly and adorable. In sort, she was a cat, and a really awesome one at that.

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