Sasquatch celebrated her 20th birthday on May 30. On June 23, we sent her to kitty heaven. She had arthritis and kidney failure and took more medications than I do. But she was as happy and snuggly as a kitten until she… wasn’t. And we couldn’t watch her suffer just because we didn’t want to suffer.
So we did the right thing. And then we cried.
I’m still crying, off and on. The first time I made the bed without turning down the corner of the blankets on the end where she used to sleep, I went through six tissues. The first time I pushed my desk chair over to the accessibility stairs Tech Support built so she could safely climb into it? Six more. Now I’m deliberately breaking those patterns–leaving doors open into rooms where she wasn’t allowed to go. Dropping a piece of bubble wrap on the floor without worrying that she’d murder it and get a bowel obstruction. Sasquatch loved to pop bubbles with her teeth.
I’m still convinced I’m catching sight of her out of the corner of my eye. That comes from being hyperaware of her location over the last couple years–that cat LOVED to sneak up right behind you, and with her gimpy legs, she couldn’t get out of the way of clumsy human feet. She also had stealth mode: she could blend into our living room carpet and practically disappear. We never understood how, because the carpet is pink. Fortunately, Sas had developed the habit of meowing to announce herself when she saw us coming.
Losing our fur baby is much harder this time. When her full sister, Jagular, went to kitty heaven, we still had Sasquatch. And Sasquatch got all of the love that had formerly been split between the two of them. Now, it’s just me and Tech Support… and when he’s on the road, just me. He’s on the road now, in fact–his first overnight trip since. And the house is very, very quiet with only one heartbeat in it. I’m keeping busy and trying not to judge myself for how much more I’m talking out loud, to absolutely no one. Hearing my own voice makes the space less lonely.
My right leg is especially lonely. That’s the leg that Sasquatch slept on every night, during TV time. She’d climb the accessibility staircase (we had them in every room), put her two front feet into the hole in my criss-cross-applesauce, and FLUMP against my right hip. And yes, it had to be the right leg. The one time I tried to sit on the other side of the couch, offering my left leg for snuggles, she was NOT HAVING IT. We never tried that experiment again.
I loved the way she used tip her head back so she could look at me and purr. She had the funniest little purr–rusty and staccato, like a coffee percolator. And I loved her pointy little teeth, even if they did dig into my thigh. In her later years, she’d sometimes sleep so hard, she’d leave a tiny little drool patch on my pants. And if you left the room while she was napping, she had to find you as soon as she woke up. Sassy loved to be in the room where it happens.
She slept under sun-warmed blankets, in the “easy bake kitty oven,” until she got so hot she panted. She could never be warm enough. And I think she was secretly a Winchester–she was convinced there were monsters in the basement that she needed to hunt for us. She was a championship moth hunter–no crunchy bug could escape her oversized paws.
I miss her. My only consolation is that Sasquatch and Jagular are together again, because they loved each other almost as much as we loved them.
Rest in peace, Octopuss. Rest in peace.