Thursday, April 14, 2005

Chiquita, R.I.P.

Today we had to put Marci's cat down. Chiquita was a little Calico that she met down in SoCal about 13 years or so ago. This cat attached herself to Marci and eventually tagged along when Marci moved to Washington.

When I met Marci in '93, she had 3 cats. Chiquita, Coco (Chiquita's baby), and Kitty (later to be named Grand, as she was HUGE). As the years passed, so did Coco (car) and Kitty/Grand (ran away). In the meantime, we acquired another cat, Raddy (aka: The Grey Menace) and that's how it was for years.

TGM and Chiquita didn't so much live together as they did coexist. TGM would harass poor Chiquita all the time: chase her around, tackle her, bite and nip her. And what would Chiquita do in return? Give love. She'd clean Raddy and just keep her company. That's how it was with that cat. She was a lover.

At the end, it became apparent something was wrong. For the past few days, we'd noticed that Chiquita had lost a lot of weight. That she was all bones. She hadn't been eating, and what she ate came out in, let's just say, not normal form. We made a decision to take her to the vet, not knowing what to expect. Turns out, the vet said she was 7 pounds (usually she was around 15 or so), that she had fluid around her lungs, and that if we hadn't brought her in today, that she probably would've died in 36 hours anyway. Decision time. We decided to not have her suffer anymore. I held her for a bit (I'd always joke that I loved the cats, as in I loved to hate them) and scratched her cheeks. She loved that. Haley gave her a hug and kiss (Where Cheeta go? she kept asking). Even Riley gave her some love.

Finally, Marci took her to a back room as I took the kids to the van. A few minutes later, she came out to the parking lot, in tears. That's when I was most sad; seeing Marci lose one of her oldest friends. For me, it was tougher than I thought it would be. But I'm glad we did it before she got worse. It was the least we could do for such a sweet kitty.

Goodbye, Chiquita. Have fun chirping at the birds. We'll miss you!