The morning was the usual hustle and bustle to get the boyos out the door, i had set Syd up on the couch bed i call home, a place she would always run and jump on as soon as i got up taking up residence in the warm spot i had left behind, i noticed she didn't seem to be moving as spryly as she normally did but once again i hoped... i hoped she was just a little under it and she'd be fine. Cats can get colds or the flu or even that new virus floating around and so i kept thinking... everything is gonna be alright... and so i got to work calling veterinarians to see who could see her ASAP, found one close by and then got things in order, the whole time stopping to check on my girl, petting her gently and kissing her beautiful little head.
At the vet things went as the usually do and they took her vitals, did some blood work, took an x-ray.. and it was here that things took a turn. The doc said he could see this mass in her abdomen and that it was concerning, he also stated that her white blood cell counts were way up and that he wanted to send her for an ultrasound as there was only so much he could tell from the x-ray. Hope against hope. When i hear the world "mass" i know it's never a good thing. My first cat Sylvia had one, cancer, and it took her, something documented way back at the beginning of the lounge. Syd and Sylvia looked a lot alike, Sylvia being part Siamese and Sydney being a ragdoll, both blue-eyed and white and grey with bits of black tossed in, my girls. And so i sat and stroked Syd and listened to the doctor and then bundled her back into the carrier for a trip to the emergency vet and surgery center, even the name brings dread.
And so i drove up I-79, talking to her the whole time, telling her how much i loved her and that hopefully things would be alright and that she'd be okay and that her mama-dada (me) would be with her the whole time, she sat and looked at me and i stuck my fingers through the carrier so i could scratch under her chin and she could rub her face against my hand. At the ER i pulled in and found a spot and called like the sign said, they explained that they'd call when it was time for me to bring her in and so i let her out of her carrier and let her sit on my lap, she crawled up on the dashboard for a bit and sniffed the air coming through the cracked windows and then i put her back on my lap where she sat while i talked to her, scratched behind her ears, kissed her head, petted her from head to her little broken stumpy tail which would wag as she would turn and look at me. If there was one thing on this day that i'm glad i did it was this... her sitting in my lap and happy, we could have been sitting at home and it would have been the same, listening to the sounds of the outside world, things were peaceful... my phone rang i and was told to bring her in.
Inside i took her out of her carrier and held her, kissed her head and then handed her to the nurse, i couldn't go back with her and it would be a few hours while they ran the tests and did the ultrasound and so they said i could go home and they'd call me and let me know what they found and when i could see her again. I nodded and tried to keep my shit together, something i'd been doing all day by this point, and so i gave her one last kiss and whisker rub and walked to my car as my eyes welled with tears. Then i drove home and waited.
It was almost time to pick up the boyos when the phone rang, eerily reminding me of the day my father died, i picked up and listened to the doctor, she was a very thorough and calm in explaining what they found but before she even got to it i knew, there was something in her voice that gave it away, not that she meant to but it was there. The mass was a tumor and somehow it had caused a tear in an intestine, my baby had sepsis, she needed emergency surgery that would run somewhere into the five figures just to start but the fact was it dicey at best, a coin flip to survive the surgery, a coin flip to survive recovery as the vet explained that sometimes the surgery goes great and then 48-72 hours later it goes south and they don't make it. They would need to flush her out and hope they got everything and then when that was all said and done she'd have to start chemo and radiation as all signs pointed to the tumor being malignant. I knew the score. I whispered into the phone and asked if she'd ever be a normal cat again, the doc didn't want to say no but she explained the chances where slim, it could buy her some time but most likely time being shuffled back and forth to hospitals and that was if she survived... but i had to make a decision, soon, the fact was she wouldn't make it if nothing was done. I hung up the phone... and fucking lost it.
There is that saying about if you truly love something you have to let them go... standing in the office, the place where Little Baby Kitty would often trot in, put her front paws on my leg while i sat at the computer before jumping up and sitting in my lap and purring away, i knew what i needed to do. To say i loved Syd would be a massive understatement, she was this man's best friend. When i would come home and say her name she'd come running from wherever she was, her happy little trot, seeing her do it would make the meanest bastard alive smile, she'd follow me around, she'd lay next to me happily purring away, she'd stand there staring at me and chirp when i'd say her name, when things went to shit around here (as they often have lately) i'd go down to my room and she'd hop up next to me and give me that look that everything was fine, the "i love you mama-dada" look and i'd smile and scratch her head. At times she'd climb up and sit her little self right on my chest, she'd look at me and close her eyes and sleep. I could talk to her and she'd roll on her back, back and forth, and chirp and meow with joy, it was our dance, people who would see it would laugh at how happy we both were when we danced, she was my baby girl, her big blue eyes made everyone melt.
Once everyone was home i told them the situation and then we all got in the car to make that drive. I was going to have to say goodbye. I couldn't let her live like that and the life described by the vet was not something any being should have to go through, to suffer needlessly when the end result is still the same.
(i had read an article by a vet who stated the hardest thing about his job was when animals were put down how they often looked for their owners and that 90% of the time the owners didn't stay in the room, he stated how he understood but how it was hard when these animals were looking for the people they loved most, after reading it i swore to never again let one of my cats go without me no matter how hard it was and i knew Syd was going to be the hardest.)
The vet, a lovely woman who told me how Little Baby Kitty how captured everyone's heart with her sweet disposition, explained the procedure and then told me she'd wait for me to say the word. I scratched her chin and she looked up at me and i told her how much i loved her as the tears streamed down my face, i called her name like i always did and she sat staring at me and then i told the doctor she could start, i explained that before she gave her the medication that would make her sleep before the final shot that i needed a second, she flushed the IV to make sure it worked and then nodded. I leaned in and told my baby how much i loved her, how she was the best friend i'd ever had and how happy i was to be her mama-dada, how she was pure joy and how happy about our time together. Then i leaned in and kissed her head a few times, said i love you Little Baby Kitty, then told the doctor okay.