I just got back from the vet. My baby of twenty years, Tigger, has passed on. The last several months she's been having trouble. I was struggling to find things to entice her into eating but even the things she loved started to hold no interest. Last night as I was heading down for a snack she started coming up the stairs and could only make it up about four steps before her strength gave out and she curled up on the step. When I stepped over her she eventually came back down but it was clear she was having trouble. She could barely stand, let alone walk. I tried to entice her with a bit of turkey freshly opened but she didn't even walk over to her bowl. She wandered around, stumbling, and clearly looking for someplace to hide. This was very new and strange behavior for her so I was worried and heart-broken knowing that her remaining time was limited. I've been worrying about this for months but she seemed to be doing more or less ok, getting around the house and eating a very little here and there. I picked her up and held her most of the night and called the vet the first thing in the morning. The appointment was scheduled for 3pm so we waited out the last five hours cuddled together. The vet gave her a sedative before the final injection, and while I waited for them to come back with the final injection she stopped breathing. The doc declared her heart stopped once he returned.
I picked her up at 8 weeks. She's the only pet I've had as an adult. She was always very cuddly, more than I wanted sometimes, but when I brushed her off she'd come back in a bit to try again and eventually I'd relent. When I was home she'd find a place where she could keep an eye on me and usually followed me around the house. When I was gone she'd camp out where she could watch the door, or where she could watch for my car, and always be right at the door to greet me. She was a bit of a trouble-maker, she was determined to get her own way, pretty much like any cat. She was very loving, very devoted.
She was an oddity, as a kitten she had the odd patches of color like a calico, but she had the tabby-tiger stripes over the top of it. As she got older the colors blended somewhat leaving her with more of a tan-gray fawn colored coat. Even the stripes mostly disappeared except for the ones on her head. I named her "Tigger" partially because the weird coat made me think of the original Tigger - it was the zaniness of the color pattern - and partially in memory of a girl I met at a con some years ago that I had a crush on who went by that nick-name.
I kept her collar to remember her by. I'm very glad I have the one photo of her I posted some months back as well.
She's going to be missed for a long time.