Our cat Nosey Dots died on Tuesday.
To say we are shocked and sad is not strong enough.
I’ve had to just sit with my sadness since then, saying nothing online and waiting to write a thing. Because he’s worth a thing being written about him.
But I wasn’t ready. I’m probably still not ready. I cried in bed last night again.
Just the week before, he lumbered up onto the table to help himself to a drink of my water.
The interesting thing about cats is that they have super powers at hiding their illnesses until suddenly it shows up as dire straits.
Nosey was one of the triplets we rescued from the Coal River in West Virginia in 2014, back when we took pool floats to rafting a gol’damn WILD RIVER, and sheewee was that a bad decision.
However, we found three teensy tiny kittens on the riverbank and brought them home, with the intent to save them and find them super loving families.
We did both of those things. The super loving families we were going to find for them just became one family, though, and it was ours. And that’s how our cat count quickly escalated to
They were the cutest kittens ever, these triplets. And I cannot believe I can’t find a picture of the three of them together, back when they were so cute our friends would just drop over just to see and play with the kittens. That’s how cute they were.
No one wants to just stop and see the cats now. Because they are old and big and lazy. Like their mama.
Once they grew up they didn’t always get along with each other, but Nosey favored Gussy and would often pin him down and let him know who was in charge.
Gussy was more in charge, but he was a third of the weight and no contender when Nosey decided to love him.
Our boy was only 5 years old.
Because he was a 26 lb. hulk of a cat, I never expected a super long life from him. But I thought his trajectory would be a 12-year path. In my mind he had 12 good years.
Apparently he had large masses on his insides, and they were squashing his lungs out.
Maybe that’s why he almost always preferred to sleep with his belly up.
We had to give him a bath on Sunday, he had poops all over his cat butt. He struggled against the bath – even though it was more of just hosing down his back end. We feel guilt, as we may have escalated the situation. He wasn’t the same after his bath. He was sick on Monday, throwing up. On Tuesday Kenny said he’d keep a close eye on him – we thought maybe he had a cat flu kinda situation. Kenny bundled him up and put him on the couch in front of the fire where he was purring for hours while I was working.
Right before I got home from work he was having a hard time breathing. We raced him to the vet, and at one point I thought he had died in my arms before we made it.
I did my typical push-myself-to-the-front-of-the-line move when I have a very sick cat, and they whisked him to the back and put him on oxygen. He was turning blue.
The vet asked us, “How long has he been like this?” and I interpreted it as accusatory because maybe I should have known. Maybe I should have seen some signs.
I don’t think the vet was accusatory. He’s been my vet for 25+ years. I just took it that way because how could I not know how sick he was? The bath, we asked him if we brought it on with the bath. He said no, it was just a bunch of huge masses on his insides and his lungs had water in them, but no from a bath.
So I guess he was just really sick and we didn’t know. Why didn’t we know?
He was never much of a cuddler, but we miss his presence in the house.
His brother Wally has started walking around mournfully meowing for the past two days. He’s never done that before.
We are all sad and have guilt – for not knowing, for washing his butt when he didn’t want it, for not knowing. Guilt is dumb. It doesn’t have to make sense. It just is.
When we returned after having him put to sleep, My Mister checked the mail and there was a postcard addressed to Nosey – his “given” name is Jesse, after the character on Breaking Bad (Walter White Ears, Gussy and Jesse are the names we gave the triplets) – from the animal hospital where he was right then.
He’d never gotten a postcard addressed to him before from the vet. It could have come addressed to any of his brothers, or any of the other three cats we have, because they all needed this same update.
My Mister felt it was a sign. To say, “It’s okay, I’m here, you did your best.”
I thought maybe it was a sign that meant, “What the fuck just happened, Mommy.”
Most likely it was just one of life’s super-random, not-so-funny coincidences.
We will certainly miss our 26-lb-life kitty. Our home isn’t the same feeling without him.