Suppe1 It’s 6 a.m. on New Year’s Day and I just finished burying my cat, Supper.   After weeks of battling an unknown illness, Suppie finally let go sometime overnight. 

We had been back to the vet twice this week.  On Monday, Dr. Pat took a cc of blood, all he dared take, and sent it off for a T4, another kidney test and some other tests I don’t remember.  Still, everything came back within normal ranges for a 13-14yr old cat.  The hyperthyroid pills he was on for a week had no effect.

Out of desperation, I took him back Wednesday and discussed doing an x-ray.  Dr. Pat said he felt no masses, he felt normal stool, he felt no obstructions.  He said the only real way to find out what was wrong would have been to open him up and of course, that was out of the question.

We decided to try steriods to boost his appetite, fluids to battle the dehydration, and continue the antibiotics.  I guess the vet knew whatever Suppie had, he was terminal, but he kindly helped me work through it by offering what help he could.  Dr Pat said he couldn’t understand why Suppie was still living as thin as he was.  He’d never seen anything like it.

Anyway, I was glad I was off this week so I could be close to him.  Monday night, Suppie mustered the strength to jump up on the sofa and take his place on the back cushion behind my head.  He purr’d loudly as I gently and carefully petted his head and ears.  There was literally nothing left of him. His frail body rubbed against me as I told him how much I loved him and that I was trying to make him well. I told him it was ok if he had to let go, that I would understand.

Suppie had never been an overtly affectionate cat. It wasn’t that he didn’t love me, I knew he did, but he had had a hard start in life, living his first year or two on his own so he always retained a little distance – just in case, he likely thought, this new found home and care he found with me all went horribly wrong. 

Each time I would reach out to pet him, he’d back away.  He would stay near, come in at night, play with the toys, sleep on the bed, eat with the rest of the cats, but he didn’t like to be fussed with.  So I gave him his space.   It was only the past year that he began to allow me to pet him.  I should have guessed then that something was wrong, but he continued on as if everything were great and I was busy with work and moving.  It wasn’t until early November that I noticed he was losing weight.  Even then, I didn’t realize how serious it was.

So being the party animal that I am, I spent New Year’s Eve at home, which is where I like to be anyway when one year ends and another begins.  But I fell asleep before midnight.  All the cats and Midgie were inside, while neighbors set off fireworks outside.  Suppie was curled up next to my bed in Midgie’s new bed she got for Christmas. Midgie was alseep next to me.

About 4 a.m. I just woke up.  I usually get up for work about that time so my brain just wakes up..even on vacation.  I got up to check on Suppie and I found him. He was lying cold and still next to Midgie’s bed.   He must have died sometime around midnight as we all slept.   Suppie had had a good life with me the past 12 years and I’m grateful he was able to die peacefully in his own home surrounded by those he loved and who loved him. 

I buried him between the Rose of Sharon trees in the back yard.