Monday we said goodbye to my girl, Sassy Britches. She was fourteen years old and had been diagnosed with kidney disease last year. We opted for a specialized diet and saline injections, wanting to have more time with her, but we promised ourselves that if she ever showed real signs of pain or just stopped being happy we were done. Last weekend Sassy stopped eating. She’d only nibble- even on the vet vetoed grilled chicken and beef flavored baby food that she loved. (Only given as a last resort, to be sure she wasn’t on a hunger strike–she actually did that once when we got a second cat).
Warren took her in to our favorite vet Monday while I was at work…. her disease had progressed to the point that she would no longer be comfortable. I will forever be grateful that he was with her.
Sassy has always had a special role in our family. She was in a silent war with my husband to see who could outwit the other- she taught him to play Hide and Seek for treats though Warren still says he taught her. She was a lover of all things- save cats (we didn’t have the heart to tell her…). I remember December of ’17 I came home from work and Sassy ran to me screaming her whiny meow (you could almost hear it: “mom, mom, mom! Do you know what that $%$#@ did?). Warren had found Sassy making room at her food dish to eat beside the most obese mouse we had ever seen…. I named him Fred. Needless to say, her ala cart food privileges were vetoed and thus started World War C (when cats attack!). Fits were had and pillows were pooped on, but my husband would not relent. One morning he went to his computer desk to find a very dead Fred- Sassy, having bad teeth and no claws, had smacked him to death and chewed him up a bit before leaving him for Warren. This is when he told me we could get a second cat so long as it was a mouser (welcome home Boo!)
More than anything else, though, she was my comfort and my strength. I easily slide into depression and can feel things too fully. Sassy was always there for hugs and infinite cuddles- even letting me wrap myself against her warm body spoon-style until it was all better. She always made it better. She loved to sleep right between me and Warren so that all I had to do was roll over and I could hold her at night. Tuesday morning I woke up while it was still dark and reached for her….. it was so odd that she wasn’t there.
We had gotten Sassy in leu of an engagement ring because Warren is a genius. He asked me to marry him four times- and I said no. It was too soon. I was his first girlfriend– and I am a LOT of work– he’d regret it. One night I came home to Sassy in the living room and stuffed green peppers in the oven. Warren asked one more time and I said yes. That was over ten years ago, and I always marveled at my engagement kitty.
Her previous owners had wanted her to be a comfort animal, which she was especially well suited for, but took it a step further. They took her front and back claws. She was three when they moved away, leaving her outside and scared. A neighbor called For The Love of Animals and she was rescued but she still had a bit of trouble adjusting. When we brought her home she was terrified of thunder storms and the dark. We set up those tap lights along the hallway for her- she was quick to discover that she could smack them and it would turn on, but she refused to turn them back off. None of this made her defenseless, though, which we learned when we brought Captain Jack, a nine year old male tabby, home. We would be in another room and hear her screaming, come in to see her laying on the ground while Jack was poised over her. We thought she had been attacked and would give the poor boy a bath. It took way to long for us to catch her- she would smack him then when he went to retaliate she would throw herself down screaming. He was with us for seven years and she never did warm up to him until the very end of his life. When it was time for another cat again, we thought having a female would be better for Sassy. No, she and Boo had wild wrestling matches and arguments where Sassy screamed while Boo murped at her. Is it weird that her misbehavior is humorous to me?
I just love her and miss her. Thanks for listening to me ramble.