My cat is being taken to the vet to be euthanized right now.
Mollie is 9 years old, a tailless (by birth defect) calico. That's her in a nutshell, but she was so much more.+I'm probably going to be jumping between tenses all through this. I don't care about making them consistent right now. Her lack of a tail (she has the most adorable little tuffet which she can only kinda twitch) defined her life, and brought it to a premature end, I have no doubt. Because of it she was missing several key muscles (no tail, no anchor points for them) needed to poop. This led to her needing extra fluids for lubrication so the poor little girl could push anything out; She would try so hard to push, getting in all sorts of positions to make it happen easier, it was heartbreaking to watch her get frustrated. Eventually this led to her colon becoming so stretched-out that it had to be removed. Since she required constant attention (mostly in the form of making sure she got her extra fluids), she socialized as a somewhat needy kitty. Add this to her oh-so classic calico attitude and you got a tough independent little I-don't-need-you-I'm-my-own-girl kitty who also loved to be babied.
She was the runt of the litter, an acquaintance of ours saw that she needed extra special care and mentioned this to my parents, who were considering getting another cat as two of our much-loved girls1 were getting quite a bit older, and Maggie (my little darling five year old at the time) was seriously lacking in an active playmate. They met her and hearts melted.
As you might imagine, she had a lot of medical problems over the years. Some people don't think you should spend any significant amount of money on a pet, but neither I nor my parents are remotely like that. She's a member of the family, and deserves the same level of care a human would get. I've never cared to find an exact figure, but the total spent was probably over US$25,000; the cost doesn't matter though, because she was priceless.
She'd gone into an increasingly fast decline over the last few months, and I'm sad that my moving to Seattle kept me from being there for her. But you can't let regret consume you, and I know my parents have done everything they could to give her the best life possible.
Why are you shoving this strange thing in my face when it isn't covered in catnip, Nessie?
Here she is with Maggie, my little girl who was such an amazing mothering friend to Mollie. True partners in crime (and play).
I'm going to miss this little furry ball of attitude and joy :""(
_________________________ 1. One of them, Minou, had the same over-the-top calico heritage which prepared us for Mollie quite well.