January 4, 2016 our oldest cat Missy was put to sleep (euthanized). She was one month away from her 17th Birthday. She was the oldest cat we have ever had. She was a beautiful black cat with yellow eyes and an ornery personality.
As best we know is that since we’ve had a flea infestation she got to acting crazy and started biting and scratching and her claws got caught in her collar and so she fell on her back a few times and began jumping off of the furniture and her back legs would give out. As we fought the flea’s everyway possible she got worse, even after removing her collar so her claws wouldn’t get caught. Then one day she fell backwards off the arm of the couch and twisted around. She caught herself and climbed back on to the arm of the couch. Then she leapt into the floor and her back legs gave out. For the next few days her back legs weren’t working right. Then we couldn’t get her in to see a vet due to New Years and so we called on Saturday but they said no vet was in that day. So we made an appointment for Monday.
By Monday she was dragging her back legs behind her. We have a large vacuum cleaner box she loves to get in and so she would hide inside it. Me and my parents would have to get on the floor and coax her out so she could eat, drink and use the litter box (my mom helped her in and out of the litter box). We thought it could be a dislocation or broken leg so we were hopeful that it would be a quick fix or something.
On Monday we took her in and the vet told us that it could be a blood clot that is making her legs not work or perhaps a nerve problem with her spinal column. If it isn’t a blood clot she may develop one if she doesn’t use her legs. The vet also said Missy’s heart was irregular which could be from stress or a heart problem. Since Missy is almost 17 we could give her medications but there would be no guarantee she would ever be better and walk again.
It was the hardest decision we have made to say put her to sleep. I hated that it has been 6 years to the month since I put my other cat Tiger to sleep as she had bad Kidney Disease and so all those memories came flooding back to me. We stayed with Missy and decided to put her to sleep.
Missy was alert and looking around and growling and hissing, she has always been ornery and a mean old coot. I used to joke and say only the good die young so she would live forever, even out living us all. She had a memorable little life. She moved 3 times with us. Her and her siblings had actually gotten into a gas pipe and that’s where they had been found and how we got her. The gas pipe was outside my sister’s old job and she took Missy’s sister Miss Kitty, who died some years ago. My sister begged us at the time to take Missy and so we did. She was a few weeks old when we got her and we’ve had her this whole time.
At the vet they gave her something to put her into a sleep like state and then they would give her a second shot to slow and then stop her heart. The first process gave us 5-10 minutes with her. She growled and stuff before and during that process but my mom said she is going out in a blaze of glory and I said she was going out with her boots on. I rubbed her above the eyes which stopped her growling and we kissed and loved on her. I remember her looking at me with those yellow eyes and it about killed me.
When they gave the second shot they said that her eyes might not shut and she might urinate or poop so don’t be alarmed. With my cat Tiger she peed while I held her and I think her eyes stayed open but with Missy she didn’t use the restroom on herself and her eyes closed. My mom said it was a dignified end and I said she did it in the style of an Old Dame. Tiger had gone out like a little Lady I always said, I used to call her Lady Iger (a play on her name). Now Missy the little Old Dame or Duchess went out in a dignified way after putting in a few ornery little things like growling and hissing as only she can and always had.
I am glad that when I petted her she purred for me just like Tiger had done. In a way it felt like they were saying they loved me and were trying to make me feel better. I mean I have heard cats will purr when in distress as well but each time it felt like they were saying it was okay to let them go.
I cried harder than I have ever cried when Missy died and when Tiger died, but more so with Missy. It felt like my heart was dieing. I felt like I just wanted her back, no matter what. I felt selfish for wanting to keep her even if she couldn’t walk. At almost 17 years old a chart in the vets office said she would be the equivalent to an 84 year old. So I knew she had a good old life but I just didn’t want it to end. I used to tell her you have to live to be 25 so that you can go in the record books as the oldest cat and she sure tried.
When Tiger died I felt like I lost a best friends and Missy seemed to fill in the hole left, even though we had, had Missy before Tiger. Missy seemed to sense I needed something and filled in. And now that Missy is gone I feel like I lost another best friend. I still have a 10 year old cat named Tommy and a 15 year old dog named Precious but it’s not the same.
Now everything I look at reminds me of her and it makes me sad or wants to cry. My mom cried and still is crying on and off. My dad tried to stay strong but I saw the tears in his eyes at the vets office and he kept blowing his nose. When we got home he tried to hide it but me and my mom heard him cry in the kitchen when his back was to us. He loved Missy and it was hard on him. He usually is closed off emotionally, or rather doesn’t show emotions often, but he cried and it was sad to see him hurt too.
I have promised every story I write and publish will be dedicated to Tiger and Missy as those two cats were there with me through it all and both knew when to tell me to take a break, Tiger would sit on the keyboard if it was break time and Missy would swat at my legs. They each kept me company those long nights of writing.
I miss and love you Missy! I will never forget you! I have the memories to think about and silly photos to look at when I want to remember her!