Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bye Bye Ellie

R.I.P. Ellie DuBarry 1997ish? - 2013

Eric and I adopted Ellie the plus-sized cat almost ten years ago, and we had a lot of good years together. She especially loved our first apartment where there were no doors, no dogs and no children. Apart from the car ride, where she crapped and pissed all over the place, she didn't seem to mind when we move into our first house. She slept in our bed until we had Seamus, and then she disappeared to the basement for a couple of years. (Not a fan of babies, apparently!)

Ellie had been suffering from kidney failure for a long time, and so we made the decision to euthanize her. I made an appointment with a veterinarian who does house calls, and when the day arrived I found myself really unprepared for how horrible I was going to feel. In all honesty, she probably could have hung on another couple of months but we are just too overwhelmed to care for her.

I have been so sleep deprived and so overwhelmed with the twins that I didn't have the time to prepare any kind of "goodbye" ritual for Ellie. She spent the night before in the basement, and I have barely even pet her in months. When I realized that the vet would be at our house within the hour, I started scouring our refrigerator and cupboards for something that Ellie would enjoy as her "last meal." We usually have some wet food, deli meat or tunafish on hand, but on the day in question the only thing I could find was leftover sloppy joes. In an act of pathetic desperation, I scooped some onto a plate and set it on the kitchen floor, where she briefly examined it and then walked away... who ever heard of a cat eating sloppy joes? Yeah, I suck. Ellie's last meal was dry cat food (the cheapest I could find since I knew she wouldn't live to finish the bag.)

Anyway, Ellie died peacefully on her bed in our kitchen on Jan 19, 2013. There were many tears that day, and I won't speak for Eric but my tears were mostly due to guilt about how little thought I have given to Ellie in recent years. The veterinarian left us with a bunch of brochures about grieving for your pets, including information about support groups, counseling and details about a workshop where you could make a collage out of photographs of your pet. Through our snot and tears, Eric and I could not help but laugh hysterically at an example collage, which featured construction paper, macaroni, and glitter. The words "MY BEST FRIEND" were spelled out above a picture of a cat. Oh my god we laughed at that. Not to discount the fact that many people might need help navigating this event, but having lost a chid and received similar materials from the social workers at the hospital, it was downright bizarre. Also, a cat is your best friend?

Anyway, here are some pictures from the early days with Ellie, back when we had time to spend with her and before other concerns took over in our lives. I hope that she runs into Seamus out there, and that he greets her with a happy squeal and "aaaahhh" (His word for cat).

We called this move "synchronized sitting."

Here is Ellie snuggling with Katie's cat Satan. They had a brief but passionate affair circa 2005.