Monday, September 3, 2007

Goodbye Madison

My heart is broken. My cat Madison, who I just talked about here a couple of weeks ago, is gone. She had health problems (diabetes, kidney disease, hyperthyroidism) but we had been managing them well with proper diet and medications. I noticed a couple of weeks ago that her appetite had begun to decrease and she seemed to have no energy.

We took her to the vet a few times that week and we assumed that an infection was interfering with her insulin. We hoped that a course of antibiotics would straighten everything out, but her health continued to decline. It happened slowly at first and then more rapidly as the week went on. I won't go into a lot of detail because it's already everything I can do to keep from bawling again now. Suffice it to say I was with her at the end and I think she was comforted to have me there.

I've had a few days now to get used to her being gone but I'm still reeling at how quickly her health deteriorated. I didn't really have a chance to adjust to the idea that she wasn't going to get better. I still catch myself looking for her in her favorite spots, but then I remember.

I suppose it's so difficult for me because she was such a strong presence in our household. From the time we got her as a tiny kitten, she was hell on wheels. She was fearless and quickly decided that our dog (though many times her size) was her plaything. A few years later, when we brought home our first German Shepherd puppy, she seemed appalled that he didn't have a proper respect for cats. She set about correcting that immediately. She made it her job to "break in" Morgan and a couple of years after that, Max. She made sure they knew what cat claws felt like from the get go and they learned to avoid pissing her off.
As I've said before, she was not exactly the sweetest of cats. You were rewarded with her company when she was in the mood for it. One of her favorite things to do was to curl up in my lap, allow me to pet her, and then after one stroke too many (a number known only to her) she would reach over and bite my hand. I'm pretty sure she did this solely to see the surprised look on my face or to hear me yelp. This among other things earned her the nickname "Attitude Kitty."

I think maybe I loved her all the more because of her prickly personality. She was very independent, never liked to be picked up or held, so when she came to me for attention it meant that much more (and she didn't always bite.) In the last couple of years she started spending more time with my husband and me, actually preferring our laps to most of her old haunts. She seemed to know that she needed us more. I miss her so much. I can still hardly believe I'll never see her again.


Yarn Thing said...

Sweetheart, my heart goes out to you!


Knitterella said...

I'm so sorry. It's amazing how much pets touch our lives. My heart goes out to you. Loosing a pet can be so devastating. Find comfort knowing that Madison is in a better place and has no more pain.


owl knits said...

I was saddened to read about the loss of Madison. Cats have a special way of insinuating themselves into the fabric of our lives, and when one goes, things just don't seem right - there's a hole. I couldn't imagine my life without my cats, and every time one leaves, I'm heartbroken.

Sympathy and love...