Thursday, June 19, 2008

RIP kitty princess

Yesterday I had to say goodbye to a beloved & loyal friend of 18 years, my beautiful kitty Nico. I had to make that totally hard and crappy decision to have her put to sleep. Her liver had shut down due to old age, she had stopped eating, and there was just nothing more that could be done for her other than to spare her any more pain. Still I absolutely hated to have to make that decision. I miss her. I keep forgetting and looking around the corner into her basket but her basket is empty. A little piece of my heart is gone for sure. I'm trying to deal, and trying to focus on what a great f**king cat she was, and all the good memories I have of her....

Like how I rescued her from a dangerous alley behind our house when I was only 17... like how she was a wild little thing but she came right up into my hands with perfect trust... like how she was such a fluffy, funny, lively, curious, fearless little kitten...

...and how she grew up into such a gorgeous cat:

Nico was a total character. Everyone that knew her found her adorable. She loved baskets, she was a wicker fiend. One of her nicknames was 'Basket Case'. Another one of her nicknames was SataNico. You can see an example of the reason for both nicknames in the following photo:

She was a photographer's dream- an awesome cat model. She had such total attitude, yet posed for so many funny photos! She was also a rebel, a real rebel. Well, most cats are rebels I know, but Nico was a rebel among rebels, a hardcore cat...

She was just so beautiful. Her green eyes were insane... she had what we would call the Godzilla Stare, and she could look right through you with that shit. Nico was always independent. She loved her humans- the privileged chosen- and often hopped up on a lap, pushing her head insistently into her target's hand until she got got petted (or she'd just pet herself with the hand, either way!), but she didn't have much use for other animals...

You'd usually find her off on her own somewhere, bathing in the sun or sleeping in something basket-y. She had a very elegant air about her, and a slinky-cat walk. The fur on the back of her legs puffed up and out halfway down like a little frilly, froofy white pair of pantaloons and she walked with her tail pointed straight up above the fur 'knickers'... people used to laugh whenever they saw her walking away, couldn't help it... so funny looking with her fuzzy 'pants', Hell another one of her nicknames was 'Pants' heh...

Nico was an exceptionally healthy kitty for 99.9% of her long and amazing life. Only in the last couple of years had she started to look more like an old kitty, and she started sleeping a lot more, and even- *gasp*- started tolerating a few of her fellow house pets. Sometimes she even let Mia lie close to her while she slept- maybe she just liked the chihuahua body heat easing the ache of her old bones, or maybe she was mellowing out. Nico got sick with a serious feline respiratory infection a few months ago- it was going around El Paso, all of my cats got it in fact- and they told me then that Nico wouldn't survive it. She almost didn't. But with a lot of work on her part, and ours, she pulled though and was more Nico than ever. The past few months with her were great, she even started sleeping on my bed again and hanging out more than usual. She'd to climb up into my lap and curl into a purring ball as I sat at my computer, sometimes pushing my hands away from the keyboard to get herself a good petting or a scratch or two.

Then, last week, I woke up one day to find that Nico's skin had a yellowish tint... and the vet confirmed that it was liver failure, probably just due to age. We decided to give her a fighting chance anyway, putting her on some antibiotics on the off chance that it was just an infection (though the vet prepared us by telling us she doubted it) She seemed to be doing ok at first but gradually I could see that all the fight had just gone out of her, and she was just exhausted. She couldn't eat and was very weak. I couldn't watch her suffer any longer and had to make the decision I had been dreading all along.

Yesterday, we said goodbye to Nico, kitty princess and beloved kittycat, and she left the world a lady to the end. I miss her terribly. But I wouldn't trade it for the world, Hell no- this pain sucks but it was so worth the 18 years of love and friendship she gave to me. She had an attitude & a half- I used to say 'she's French', heheh, and she was named for the Velvet Underground's German chanteuese Nico, but it wasn't til years later that I learned that 'neko' is Japanese for 'cat', which was pretty cool too. She was a fussy eater but she loved french fries. Her personality always reminded me of that cat that PePe Le Pew always sexually harassed in his cartoons, heh. She was an awesome cat, funny and unique and loyal and beautiful. I never imagined a life without her.

Rest in peace, Miss Kitty. I love you, fuzzy girl.


Gidget said...

I'm sooooooooo sorry to hear about Nico, but what a wonderful tribute and adorable pictures.
You reminded me of the cat of my youth, Sunshine. Found her when she was weeks (and I was 5 years)old , raised and loved her and finally had to make that same awful decision when she was 16.

You did the right thing and Nico was lucky to be loved by you.

Sleep well, sweet kitty


Anonymous said...

Isn't it truly amazing how much joy a pet can bring into your life? They really ask for nothing in return, just love when you can spare it, food when you're ready to feed them. a warm spot to sleep away the idle hours. But then when "you need them", they are always there..No questions asked...I truly feel your pain, but know the memories will never die..

Anonymous said...

Awww, Shades. I went through this, LossOfCat, myself, on April 6th. It sucked real hard. I feel your catly love, and hurt right along with you. In fact, I can't think about it for too long, or I get quite upset. My cat got yellow, too. I saw it in his ears first...and got that gut pang and knew something was terribly amiss. gave her as good as she gave you; be warm knowing that you made her life something good. ...p.s...Pants. Funny. ~Randi

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about this, Shady. I had a dog that we had to put down, and because we were simple country folk, we did it the old-fashioned way... and I haven't been able to watch "Ol' Yeller" ever since. :(

Sounds like you two had a good run, and she lived to a ripe old age for a cat. And I'm sure that someday you'll see her again.

Manda Malice said...

My heart hurts for you after reading this. My "Sunny" will be fourteen this year, and has been "showing her age" for the last year. She is still in great health, but can always make it up on the bed in one "jump" now.

I've made her a "promise" that after she "goes", I'm going to carry her ashes around with me and pull them out and "talk" to them in public, put them on the table next to me when I go out to eat, and "pet" the them!

I think she'll like that!

Just this spring, I had to make the same decision with another one of my cats:

Sometimes it hurts to do the right thing.