Sunday, February 12, 2012

RIP Roxie

Just over 10 years ago, about a week before Ace moved in to my home, I went to our local animal shelter. My original intention was just to look at, and maybe hold, a few of the animals. I knew Ace wanted a dog, but didn't like cats all that much... more "tolerated" than anything. But, as a long-time animal lover, I came home with a cat.

Roxie, obviously Himalayan (mix, perhaps) was estimated at somewhere between 7yo & 10yo; she was not fixed (shame on the previous owners) and she had only been fed wet food (again - SHAME!). Within a week, I took care of everything -- shots, spay, proper food (she weighed 12 pounds and had obviously had multiple litters -- I wonder at what cost?)... I bought her some toys, as well; she was a happy kitty.

Ace was slightly annoyed at me, but grew to love her almost as much as I did. She was talkative, and liked to jump from the floor straight up into the nearest person's arms; usually without warning. She purred loudly, and when she wanted to be petted, she rubbed herself on your leg or jumped into your lap.

A couple of years ago, I had her on my lap when I realized she had blood on her fur near her mouth. When I went to check it out a little closer, I saw that she had lost a tooth. We took her to the vet for some tests, and they basically said she was fine; it was probably due to the soft food of her earlier life.

Since then, she lost most of the rest of her teeth (we had to put her back on wet food -- ugh), and started having trouble getting around as well as holding her bladder. When we put the new floors in, we moved her into the garage. We bought her a little doggie bed, which we put on top of a small plastic bin, and set up her litter & food/water dishes. We also made the decision to have her put down if ever she seemed to be in too much pain or discomfort.

She was content in the garage; talking up a storm when any of us went out there. Sometimes, we'd leave the back door open (while home, of course) so that she could go outside if she wanted. During the colder months, we bundled her in extra towels (she started "yowling" when she wanted to be tucked in), and she grew thicker fur.

A few weeks ago, I decided that washing her bed every time she peed in it was becoming a huge hassle; she was without a bed while it washed and dried. So, I covered it with a kitchen garbage bag, sealed it off, then covered in towels. I was still washing towels a couple times a day, so I told Ace that I thought she was "getting to that point".

Last week, she stopped eating. We tried giving her a different flavor (she's refused to eat certain kinds of wet food before; we thought perhaps this was the same kind of thing...?), but that didn't work. For five days, she ate nothing, drank barely anything, and stopped being able to even get out of her bed at all. It was time.

Friday, I called Companion Pet Clinic (where we take all our animals) to ask about the process of euthanasia (I've never had an animal put down before, although I have had them die on me). They gave me a run down, and the cost. When Princess got home from school, I told her what was going on, & had her get a snack. We bundled Roxie into her pet carrier, put a couple of towels in there, and took her to the clinic.

In the exam room, our regular vet (Brian) gave her a quick exam & asked me about her health issues. I gave him all the details I could remember. He then pulled up at her scruff to check for dehydration; sure enough, she was. He asked if I wanted to stay; I said, "No... just take her." I gave her one last hug & kiss, said goodbye, and watched him take her.

I spent the next ten minutes crying in that little office... interestingly enough, Princess consoled me (she seemed ok). I left the carrier & towels there. After paying our bill, I asked Princess to text her Papa the exact cost, while I drove home. He texted back, "Ok. It's done then? How's M*?" She texted back, "I'm better than mom. -M*" He said, "Understood."

When we got back to the house, I let the dogs out & was going to start a load of laundry... but I couldn't bring myself to even go into the garage. I let the dogs out & back in through the slider, instead. I kept my plan to go to Bunco, as well... thinking it would take my mind off of it. It didn't, but it did help to be around friends. I also won a little money.

We got home around 845p, and Ace told me that he started to pick up Roxie's things, but only got as far as putting her last two dirty towels in the basket to wash... "It's too quiet in there now." Even the dogs were more mellow & lovey than usual. We both posted on our FB pages what happened; the kids are devastated.

Yesterday, I had two clients in the morning & Princess went to a friend's for the whole day (they hung out, went swimming, to the park, & to the library), and Ace was home for lunch when I returned... both of us avoided the garage except to let the dogs back in from their backyard running around. It was, for me, a day of "chill".

Today, I am bound & determined to gather all her things because tomorrow, I will be donating them to the shelter from where I got her. We do not plan on getting another cat (two dogs is enough), and at some point (soon-ish), we'll get a small deep freezer to put into that space (I've wanted one for years; friends/family want to give us bison & elk).

Roxie --- unknown DOB, adopted 1/2002, humanely euthanized 2/10/2012.

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