Last week was the normal week-length, but so much happened that it feels like it was much longer. The previous weekend was all about things ending, about of sadness mixed with relief, of happiness and grief.
At the beginning of December we noticed that Zephyr (aka Stripes) was starting to lose weight rapidly. She eventually stopped eating altogether, though she'd try because she knew we wanted her to. At sixteen she'd done a lot of living and had been on hyperthyroid meds for the past four years, so her health had been a concern.
We took her to the vet and got blood tests done and the results were not surprising, but still devastating: her kidneys were failing and there wasn't much that could be done. We took her home over the weekend and she mostly slept but also spent a lot of time on our laps, still sweet, still purring.
By last Monday we knew it was time. It was snowing that morning and when I carried her out to the car she looked around with interest, snowflakes sticking to her ears. She sat in my lap all the way to the vet, never protesting once. She was frail and tired and had no fight left.
So, last Monday, my dear stripey friend left us and we're still at odds and ends. Even though it was time, we're still missing her so much.
Zephyr was a scrappy stray that my sister rescued for me. The first day I brought her home she burrowed under a pile of laundry and stayed there for hours, all a-tremble. But, once she got used to me she became the sweetest, wildest, funniest cat ever.
She loved me to sing to her and would meow and dance around when I did. She loved tuna, she loved Kenny's lap, she loved being outside. She was an excellent hunter of birds and rodents and, when our downstairs neighbor became pregnant, Zephyr started leaving gifts of (decapitated) mice on the back porch for her. Thoughtful!
But that best thing was that she was the kind of cat you could pick up and hold like a baby and she would purr just because she loved you. A rarity.
Oh, Stripes, we sure do miss you.