It’s been a long, emotional week. Sunday was the day that I realized that I would have to say good-bye to my cat, Punky.
Punky is an 18 1/2 year old cat who has been diabetic for 6 1/2 years. I kind of adopted her by accident. Here’s the story:
In 1996, my parents took my brother off to college and my grandma was checking in on our cat at the time, Tuffy. I lived an hour away and when grandma called me to tell me that Tuffy was listless, I told her to take him to the vet. He died that night.
A month later I was in a pet shop, to get my cat fix, when a little black kitten caught my eye. I adopted this kitty who was already named Allie. Around the same time, Mom and Dad adopted Punky. When I decided to move to Sioux Falls, SD to go to college, Mom and Dad adopted Allie for the time being. When I moved to Colorado and got my own home, I took both cats with me.
Allie was always the “apple of my eye” but after Allie passed over six year ago, Punky became my protector, the one always by my side.
Punky always had been a cat that didn’t like people, Allie was the people-cat. After Allie left this earth, Punky filled the void and started coming out of her shell. Once she realized that people weren’t so scary after all and that she got attention, she became the “bell of the ball”. Punky was always in the middle of the room, usually on her back waiting for someone to rub her belly. Otherwise she was always on my lap, purring, looking at me adoringly, like I was the only human for her. She would touch your face with her paw and then give kisses, both her ways of saying “I love you.” She would greet me at the door, come when I called or whistled, would sit on command and would get upset on the weekends when I would open the door to her room and then crawl right back into bed. She has the most loving personality that I’ve ever seen in a cat. One that makes you realize what unconditional love feels like, should be like.
And tomorrow I will have to say good-bye. In the past six months she’s had several bladder infections and UTI’s. The last one has left her incontinent and she has kitty dementia. The loving look she used to have is replaced with a blank look like she should know who I am but doesn’t. She doesn’t have great balance, can’t find the litterbox and can’t hear most times when I call her.
This is the hardest decision I have ever made. This is the part of life that makes me want to build my blanket fort, crawl into it and ignore the world. This is the part of life where I have to think beyond what I want and think about what is best for Punky. As my vet, and my friend asked, “would she want this quality of life?” And I know she wouldn’t. I know she doesn’t.
So I make the hard decision…and tonight I hold her tight for the last evening.