Sadly, we had to say goodbye to feline family member Tasha today. I came down to the main floor this morning and discovered her standing, seemingly lost. She had been sick numerous times. Tasha was also having intestinal distress; so we took her to the veterinary clinic to try and understand her condition. Tasha, at about age 16, had been in failing health for some time and was thought likely to have lymphoma. Dr. R., new to us at the clinic, was kind and gentle in her examination and in her discussions with us but reported Tasha likely had only a couple of months to live. We agonized over the choices: treat and “make comfortable” or euthanasia. The awful choice was made to spare our cat the continued and increasing suffering. So, at a little before 3:00 this afternoon, Tasha’s life ended.
The beginning of our time with Tasha came when we adopted her at a big box pet store from a local cat rescue group; that was on July 1, 2000. We took our new kitty to our vet for tests and found, to our horror, that she tested FIV-positive. We nearly returned her to the agency. We did crash research, however, including a call to the Cornell Feline Health Center, on the risks to our resident cats of sharing life with an FIV+ animal; we determined the risk was low. We also learned Tasha’s rescue story: found in a box, discarded with trash, her murdered kittens with her. There are everyday monsters out there living among us, posing as decent human beings.
With us Tasha found love and care and, we hope, a happy life. We nursed her through several health issues including hyperthyroidism, and high blood pressure.
The last couple of years saw Tasha lose sight in one eye, lose most of her hearing, and develop a limp in one leg. What we’ll remember, however, is an affectionate cat that would often snuggle with us in bed, sometimes sharing my pillow, and who waited at the door for me to come home from work on late nights.
We will miss you, dear one.