Last night (or early this morning, really) my Sassy cat died.
Sassy was about 17. We didn’t know exactly how old she was, because we were her third humans. Her first human apparently adopted her, declawed her, then turned her over to the Humane Society in New Jersey, where she was adopted by a lovely woman who took very good care of her. However, that woman got married, and moved from New Jersey to New Hampshire, where apartment landlords hate pets. The woman had 3 cats, and the landlord wouldn’t allow any. I had Katchoo already, and wanted a playmate for her. My apartment allowed 2 cats, if you paid $25 per month extra in rent. Max and I headed down to the Humane Society in Nashua, where the lady was sobbing over having to turn over her cats. You see, Sassy didn’t handle stress well, and had a tendency to stop eating – the woman called her “anorexic.” The Humane Society basically said that if she got sick, she’d be euthanized. So, Max and I adopted Sassy. We just took her back to my apartment. I kept the woman’s information for awhile, and sent her updates from time to time. Somewhere along the way, I lost it, though.
Ironically, Sassy hated other cats. She was never a playmate for Katchoo. For awhile, Sassy ruled the roost, even though she was this tiny little slip of a kitty and Katchoo weighed 19 pounds. Katchoo didn’t like Sassy hissing at her, and yowling, and stayed away from her. But one day, they got into an actual fight. Sassy batted Katchoo across the face. Katchoo was surprised when there wasn’t any blood – remember, Sassy’s first human declawed her. So then, Katchoo went and whoomped Sassy with her claws right down Sassy’s nose. After that, they still stayed apart, but Katchoo ruled. It took years before they would even sleep on the same piece of furniture.
Towards the end of Katchoo’s all-too-brief life, Sassy and Katchoo actually did become friendly. Sassy never really did like other cats though. When we got Firefly, she made herself very, very sick. (I’ll be moving all of the posts about that from LiveJournal over here this weekend. Sorry to those people who get email every time I post!)
Anyway, Firefly went to live with a neighbor, but then came back. There’s no doubt that Firefly was – still is – the alpha female. Sassy was pretty much banned from the upstairs. She used to sleep with me, on my head. She hadn’t done that since January 2010. I even tried carrying her up on nights when Firefly didn’t come in (Firefly is indoor/outdoor), but she’d immediately run back down the stairs. Firefly had her trained.
Three days ago, Sassy threw up three times. I said if she threw up again the next day, then we’d take her to the vet. She didn’t throw up until right around the time we had to pick Jackson up from school. She wasn’t really acting herself, though. She was parked in front of the food and water bowls, and lapping up water like mad.
After we got home from Young Authors’ Night, and put Jackson to bed, I sat down in the dining room to do some computer stuff. Sassy’s breathing was labored. I picked her up and cuddled her. I saw that her fur was matted in a couple of places, probably from throwing up earlier. So I laid down on the floor and brushed her. She loved to be brushed! I tried to give her some wet food, but she just turned her nose up at it and walked away. I thought the walking was a good sign, but she just laid down, limp and breathing hard.
I stayed up late so I could hear her. Around 1:30, I decided to go up and shower. She was lying on the bed in the back room. I picked her up and brought her to my bed. Firefly was in the clean laundry in the basket at the bottom of the bed, so I carried the whole basket out and shut the door. I got a bowl of water and put it on the nightstand. I pet Sassy lots and lots. I took my shower. I pet her more, but I had to move her because she was sleeping right where my head should have gone. She did not like being moved that time. She made awful coughing noises. I went to get my medicine syringe to give her water, but when I came back from the bathroom (after about 2 minutes, not long), she wasn’t breathing anymore. It was about 2:19 a.m., if I remember correctly.
I think it was just Sassy’s time. She was around 17 – the paperwork we had for her said she was 1 in 1997. She had been losing weight ever since we stopped feeding all of the cats wet food last year. Sassy never really liked eating all that much, and she preferred wet food to dry, but the wet food is expensive, and the cats were fighting over it to boot. Jinxy and Firefly were eating most of it, and they didn’t need it. I’d sneak it to Sassy sometimes when they were out.
I’m going to miss her, a lot. Jackson always thought of her as my cat, so he’s a little sad, but not really. I’m wondering if Cassie will notice Sassy’s gone. Sassy never liked Jackson, but she loved Cassie. Cassie can say “Sass”, so, I guess we’ll see.
I’m posting a few of my favorite photos of Sassy, a wonderful, loving cat who allowed us to be her humans for 15 years.