I write with a lump in my throat today. Our beloved cat Shelby passed away today from renal failure. She went rather quickly, only seeming to not be eating a lot for the past two weeks. I brought her to the vet this morning for them to check her out and they called me a few hours later with the news. Her body temp had dropped also, she was going into shock. I went back to the clinic and picked her up and said my goodbyes. She got snippy with the doc there, which is very unlike her. The doctor said they had given her fluids which had probably given her a bit of a rush. But when I stood next to her she tilted her head towards me and I patted her. I picked her up and held her for a few more minutes, one last time.
I sit here now feeling guilty for every time I didn't pay attention to her, for every time I pushed her off my bed during the night, for every time I moved her away from the therapists doing their work with Brady on the floor. I know it's insane; I know she had a good life here and I know we treated her well. But the guilt thoughts overpower and make it hard to see.
I often joked with Michael that I knew Shelby better than him, for she's been with Tom and me for 12-1/2 years. Back in 1994, Tom had wanted to get me a kitten for Christmas, and she was a stray who lived near my friend's condo. I think his daughter nicknamed him Cuddles, which I promptly changed to Shelby, after Julia Robert's character in Steel Magnolias. Ironicly, that Shelby also died in the movie, leaving others to deal with the pain of her death.
Shelby came to us, became an indoor cat and went on to become a very fat cat indeed. Her weight last fall was 14.5 pounds, technically obese for a cat. (That had nothing to do with her illness.) We were often questioned whether or not she was pregnant. She was very affectionate and loved being around people. I often joked that we had a dog not a cat because cats are supposed to be independent and surly. Shelby would always great us at the door and want to sit right with us watching TV. She was patient with Michael and even Brady, who had recently started patting her and grabbing her fur in his tiny fist. We were blessed and lucky and spoiled. She will be missed.