Rumpelmintz is gone. My friend Barb used to say “Rumpelmintz is too stubborn to die.” I guess she was right. In the end, we did have to give her a little help. It was time, and she needed to be told it was okay to let go.
Rumpelmintz has dealt with a host of ailments over the years: gastro-intestinal disease, heart disease, kidney disease, possible triaditis, the beginnings of hyperthyroidism… and undiagnosed “mystery” issues like her eye, which was removed, and a recurring nasal infection. Treating her was becoming more and more of a balancing act, as treatment for one issue was often contra-indicated due to another medical problem.
Memorial Day weekend I had a scare when I woke Saturday morning to find Rumpelmintz stumbling around like a drunken baby giraffe. We went to the vet, thinking it was a stroke. The vet assured me she wasn’t in pain (just disoriented and nauseous). She gave her some medication, and took her home, knowing it might just be for the weekend. Surprisingly, she improved and was back to her old self a couple of days later. I chalked it up to an idiopathic vestibular episode rather than a stroke, though that was a shockingly fast recovery.
Unfortunately, things went downhill again. Rumpelmintz had been a picky eater for a while now. We’d gone from her prior diet of homemade raw food to canned food topped with PetTinic and freeze-dried all-meat treats. I prepared what looked like a cat food sundae for her twice daily. The past week however, she’d barely eat the treats off the top. I tried stinkier, tastier, canned food – and she ate a bit, but still not much.
Friday she vomited twice, and urinated on the bed. Saturday night I saw she was drooling profusely and it looked like there might be blood. I took her to the emergency vet. Unfortunately, it was crazy busy and there were a number of people ahead of me. We sat there about an hour and half, and had not yet seen a vet. I left. I admit, I was getting upset thinking of how I’d been there a year ago with Kitty.com.
Rumpelmintz had an accident in the car on the way home, and now my car reeks of urine because the back seat is soaked in it. I line my carrier with a waterproof absorbent liner, but the liner had shifted away from the edge of the carrier. I’m not mad at her – not her fault, after that long wait. I am mad at life, in general.
I had a glimmer of hope when she decided to go downstairs and hang out in the kitchen, but that hope soon faded. She was so tired, and frail. I weighed her. Two weeks ago, she’d weighed a little over eight pounds – now she was under seven. She was still drooling, and it was tinged in red.
Sunday afternoon, I called the emergency vet, and asked how busy they were. I explained that we’d been there last night, etc, and I might need to put my cat to sleep. They told me they’d fit me in right away. I got a vet I’ve had in the past. I like her. We talked for a while, and she said it sounded likely it was cancer. She noted the many problems that seemed to be on the left side, the bad eye (the one we removed), recurring discharge out of her left nostril, now blood from the left side of her mouth. The vet thought the episode Memorial Day weekend could also have been a result of cancer. So, while the vet said she could send me home with pain meds and other palliative care… I didn’t want to watch her suffer any more. I let her go. She just seemed so tired… never giving up, but exhausted and ready to stop fighting if that was okay.
The house seems so empty. I’m still looking for her and listening for her, and having to remind myself she’s gone. Gone, but never forgotten. I’m glad this past year has seemed her best – she was so happy to be an only cat, and rule her kingdom as only she could… and should.
Fly free, my princess.