www.whyville.net Jul 7, 2013 Weekly Issue

Veteran Times Writer

14 Years

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Once upon a time, there was a little girl. This little girl was lonely because she was too young to have any friends, and her sister was too young to play with her. What this girl wanted was a cat. Yes, she had a fascination with cats alright; she had cat stuffies, cat shirts, cat everything! Whenever the little girl would see one of these felines, she would plead to her parents "Mommy, Daddy I want a cat pwease!" And every time she would receive the same answer "Maybe one day sweetie." The little girl thought that day would never come . . .

Now living just down the street from the girl, was a beautiful brown tabby cat. This cat was not satisfied with it's home and would wander the neighborhood. She was expecting kits soon, and wanted better homes for them than she had. One of the places she would most frequently visit was the house of the little girl. The little girl would be playing outside and exclaim "Mama cat! Mama cat!" as she saw the pregnant tabby strolling up to her. This would happen every day of the summer until the cat finally had her kittens and stopped coming around. The girl was sad, she missed seeing the kitty every day. Then one day, the cat came back! And she brought with her a little white mewling kitten! The little girl was overjoyed and ran to her parents "Mommy, Daddy mama cat brought one of her kittens! Can I keep it?" only to be heartbroken when her parents replied with "No sweetie, sorry" and sent the cat away.

Fall turned to winter, and one by one all the kittens from the litter were adopted and sent off to live in other homes. The tabby cat was once again alone, and back to wandering the neighborhood in the cold snow. The cat would go visit the house of the little girl, and jump up onto her window sill peering in. The little girl would squeal with excitement, open the window, push the screen out into the snowbank below, and let the freezing cat into the house to warm up. The little girls parents would come into the living room to find the girl and the cat curled up on the couch together. "Get that cat out of the house!" her parents would say "It probably has fleas!" And they would take the cat, open the door, set her back out into the cold, then go back into the kitchen. A few minutes later, the cat would be back on the window sill, and once again the girl would open the window and let her in, only for her parents to come back into the room and throw out the cat again. And thus was their routine. Then finally, one cold Christmas eve her parents finally gave in when they saw the cat in the house, and allowed her to spend the night sleeping quietly underneath the Christmas tree. And that was the beginning of it.

The cat would spend many nights and days at the home of the little girl, whenever she could get away from her own "home" down the street. Spring had rolled around and the little girl was sitting in the front yard playing with the cat, while her mom watered the flowers. Suddenly, the cats owner came walking down the driveway with a bag of cat food, and handed it to the girls mom. "You have the cat, so you might as well have the cat food too" the lady said "She's all yours now." And that moment right there, was the happiest moment of the little girls life. She finally had her cat.

The cat and the girl were best friends. Every night they would sleep together in the little girl's bed, side by side. Never missing a night. When the little girl would go on vacation somewhere overnight, she would cry and cry at the thought of leaving her kitty for so long. She would cry so hard that her parents would have to turn the vehicle around so the girl could go say bye to her cat just one more time. As the years went on, the little girl wasn't so little anymore, and the cat wasn't so young. Throughout the course of time the girl had acquired two more cats, but her heart was still with her first kitty. She was still her best friend and always would be.

The girl had grown up, and would soon be moving away to college if she chose to do so. The problem was, she didn't want to leave her best friend in the world; the girl didn't want to leave her cat. Because you see, just as I said before, the cat wasn't so young anymore. In fact, the cat was getting old. Very old in cat years. After all, she had already been a full grown cat when she finally belonged to the girl, and they had spent 14 years together so far. Deep down, the girl was scared that if she moved away to go to school, something would happen to her cat while she was gone. Recently, the cat had stopped spending the night beside the girls head, and had moved down to the end of the bed. The girl would stay up late into the night just petting her cat and worrying about how skinny she was getting and how frail she seemed.

Then one night, at 1:00am on Saturday April 6th, 2013 the girl woke up to a gagging noise coming from the end of her bed. It was the cat. The girl thought the cat just had to vomit, like she sometimes did. So she lifted her off the bed, set her on the floor, and began to pet her. But the girl could tell something was wrong. This wasn't how her cat normally acted when she was sick to her stomach. Her suspicions where confirmed when white foam started coming out of her cats mouth, instead of vomit. The girl tried to wake her mom up, but her mom thought the cat was fine and told her to set her on the bathroom floor. So the girl did as she was told. But the cat just kept foaming from her mouth. So the girl finally got her mother out of bed and into the bathroom to see what was wrong. The look on her moms face told the girl all she needed to know; the cat wasn't all right. Suddenly, the cat freaked out and tried to run out of the washroom to go hide somewhere. The girls mom caught the cat just in time and kept her in the washroom. Then all of a sudden, there was blood everywhere. The cat had just started bleeding and the girl didn't know what to do. Leaving her mom with the cat, the girl ran to wake up her dad crying "Daddy help, Spice is dying, Daddy. She's dying." and sat down on the floor having a fit. After a while, the girls parents came downstairs to comfort her "Spice is alright right now, you can go up and see her if you want". So the girl went to the bathroom where her cat was sitting by the toilet breathing heavily. The girl sat with her cat and began to brush her fur, and the cat started purring. The girl's mom called the vet and they would take the cat there right away. So at 1:30 am the girl and her family got into the car and took the cat into the vet. Everything was so surreal, and the girl couldn't believe any of it was happening.

Finally, the vet called the girl back into the room after talking alone with her mom. She told the girl that the cat was very old and there wasn't much that could be done for her. She told the girl she had to make the decision right away as to whether she wanted the vet to put the cat down, or try keep her alive overnight with the possibility that she could die at any moment. How could the girl make that decision? How could she just go ahead and tell the vet to take her cat's life away? In the end, she decided for the vet to do her best to keep her cat alive overnight.

The next morning, the girl had to go to work but couldn't focus and ended up spending her time in the back room sobbing. In the middle of her shift, her mom called and asked if the girl could leave work early. The girl did, and her mom picked her up right away. She explained to her daughter that they had to go to the vet, and it was time to put down her cat. Her mother suggested that the girl stay at home and not go to the vet. But the girl refused. She HAD to go to the vet. She had to say goodbye to her cat. She had to be there for her, like her cat was for her every time the girl was sick. So off they went to the vet. Once there, they were taken into the most despicable room the girl had ever seen. The room was darkly lit, pictures of deceased animals covered the walls, a fake fireplace was lit with a table holding a tissue box beside it, velvet curtains covered the windows, and two leather chairs sat and faced a red velvet pedestal in the middle of the room. Oh, and did I mention they had a music player on playing opera music? It was like a funeral home. The first thing the girl said when she walked into the room was "Turn off the music."

Her cat was brought into the room and placed on the pedestal. The cat had spent the night in a metal cage, and the girl thought she should have a chance to go outside again. So the girl carried her cat outside so she could enjoy the sunlight one last time. When she was ready, she brought the cat back into the room. The girls mom fed the cat some treats one last time, and the girl held on to her cat, refusing to cry. The girls mom kept stalling the process, but the girl knew the longer she waited, it wouldn't get any easier. So she told the vet she was ready. The vet started the injection, and the girl kept petting her cat. Telling her how much she loved her, and what a good girl she was. The girl held back all tears to not upset her cat. She then started singing a lullaby to her kitty, the same lullaby the girls mom would sing to her every night when she was little sleeping in her bed with her cat. The cat laid her head down in her paws, and then she was gone. The girl felt the exact moment she was gone. Then she couldn't hold back the tears any longer and flung herself into her moms arms.

It's been months now since the girl lost her cat, her best friend in the world. It doesn't get any easier, and the girl still cries herself to sleep every night in her empty bed. But she hopes that one day she can see her cat again.

Rest in peace Spice, I love you and I miss you.


Author's Note: I apologize for the length of this article, but I wanted to get everything out. Also, this article was written over the course of months because it was a really difficult thing for me to share, and even harder to go back and proof-read. So if there's any spelling/ grammar mistakes I'm sorry.


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