09 December 2008

Purr-less popoki puddles. Pondering petlessness

About this time last year, evil kitty Kaliko'opo was diagnosed with Chronic Renal Failure the same thing that killed her litter mate brother Makahupo.

Although her name had nothing to do with the reference, the cosmic consciousness winked and endowed her with a personality that made her short form name of
Kali, quite apt.

She wanted nothing to do with the Rx food that would perhaps have prolonged her life and since I wasn't going to win any fight about her changing her ways at her then advanced age of 17 I didn't even try. Just recently I gave the almost full bag of food away to co-worker whose CRF kitty was auditioning various prescription foods as she was embarking on the same journey.

Kali made 18 and she was seemingly well on her way to 19 with the kidney failing by centimeters or perhaps millimeters rather than inches. Through it all I've done frequent nose, eye and behaviour checks just to see how thing were going and there hadn't been any big shift that I couldn't just attribute to pure ornery aging.

That said, of late I have been indulging her with extra lap time, and have occasionally wondered if her increased desire to be close indicated health issues. But mostly she was just Kali and if you ever met her you know just what I mean.

The psycho kitty, the hoochy kitty, the popoki with issues -- the all lovey turn on you the next kitty. She terrorised cat sitters, vet techs and even some vets and she did it all never tipping the scales at more than 8lbs of sleek limited vocabulary bitchiness. Other female cats maybe queens but Kali was a queen bitch and my baby girl.

During the recent total upheaval of prep for server reorg work of Herculean stable muck out mode, she was not amused with all the shifting of the familiar but I think the quality time with me not at work was appreciated.

Yesterday morning she was her usual demanding and follow along in front make life harder than it needs to be self but when I came home she was little more than a puddle of popoki lying in the hallway.

Initially I thought I'd arrived while she was in the midst of one of her occasional seizures and that it would pass. It didn't and as the evening progressed it was increasingly clear to me that the balance had shifted from failing kidney to failed and we were looking at end days. As if a switch had been flipped from leaving that morning and coming home that night it was that dramatic and that sudden.

When she was diagnosed and knowing what I knew and had been through with her brother I had made a pledge no matter how difficult she was I wouldn't put her down just because she was inconvenient or difficult -- afterall she's always been inconvenient & difficult -- but I would only put her down when I was clear that she was ready and that her quality of life was frankly shite. My gauge was that the day she didn't purr was the indicator.

She wasn't purring. She didn't purr at all. Kali had a purr you could hear across a crowded room -- sometimes even when she was savaging you -- and there was no purr. So this morning, I made the call, I made the damn I hate being an adult trip and I sent her on her way and stopped the pain sooner rather than later.

So suddenly. 18 1/2 years later, I'm pet less and I'm not sure I know how to be that.


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