It’s taken me a long time to even be able to think about writing about our Sabbie here, but I’d regret it if I never said anything, so here it goes.
On a cold November day in the year 2000, Ed and I went to the SPCA to get our first pet together. We’d been caring for his mom’s cat for a while and she was taking her back, so we wanted to get a cat of our own. I was hell bent on getting a female orange cat–it was all I could think about. And then we walked in to the room full of kittens, and this tiny little boy cat, white and orangeish brown, scaled my leg and body until he was perched right on my shoulder. And there he stayed, even as we looked at other cats. He wasn’t what we were looking for, but there was no questioning that he was ours. He picked us.
For his nearly 15 years with us, he was my constant companion and who I always called my real first born. He started acting weird on a Sunday. By Tuesday we had him at the vet. An xray showed that he may have ingested something he shouldn’t have–maybe a tree ornament hook, but a sonogram was ordered to be sure. We had to decide then and there, if it was a foreign object, were we going to pay for the surgery to have it removed and have his stomach and intestines repaired. We decided to keep him there to run the tests to see if he was strong enough for surgery (old cat, heart murmur, hadn’t been eating) and to wait for the ultrasound to get a better look.
The initial news was great–aside from being dehydrated and having lost a good deal of weight, he was in great shape. No organs were failing. The vet wasn’t sure whether the ultrasound would be that evening or the following morning, so I kept my plans to have dinner with some work friends and tried to relax. We’d just ordered when the vet called to say that the ultrasound had been done and that the prognosis wasn’t great. Sabbie hadn’t actually swallowed anything but had a huge tumor in his stomach that was blocking his intestines. Cancerous for sure. We could have the tumor removed, have his stomach and bowels resectioned, and deal with recovery, BUT he’d also need daily meds and chemotherapy. All of this meant that if he even survived the surgery, he’d have maybe 6 months to live.
So, I finished my dinner and went to pick him up to spend a few days with us at home before we took him back to be euthanized. They were good days. He nibbled small amounts of tuna and had tons of snuggles. I slept with him on the couch for all 3 of those nights. He was exhausted and weak from not being able to eat much, but he was still happy to be snuggled up with either of us and to be loved on.
We took him in on that Friday morning, so, less than a week since it all began. Ed walked us in and said his goodbyes but couldn’t stand to stay. I sat with him while everything was taken care of, and sat with him for a while after. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
He was a really good boy. I still think I hear him, or see him out of the corner of my eye, or sometimes think I feel him laying on my feet. It’s weird that he’s not here. I will miss him forever.