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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Farewell, Winnie

Last night was an unexpectedly terrible night.  As we sat down to eat dinner and watch the Tiger game, we heard Winnie making some unusual sounds, and they continued to get louder and we realized something was wrong.  Matt got up to check on her and offered some treats, which she never refuses, and she wouldn't get up to touch them.  Then, she tried to get up and it seemed that she could not use her back legs.  She continued to squawk and we knew that she was either hurt or very sick, and quickly looked up the number for the 24-hour emergency vet.  While we rushed around to get Norah dressed and grab a few things before running out the door, Winnie crawled into our room and hid under the bed.  We were very worried that she knew something was wrong, too, and we didn't want her to be scared or in pain.  Matt coaxed her out and wrapped her in a towel, and we got in the car to rush to Ann Arbor.  Despite getting behind two trucks with horse trailers and one very slow elderly driver, we got her there pretty quickly.  

Once the vet was able to examine her, she determined that it was probably a blood clot which had moved to somewhere in her spine, causing the sudden onset of paralysis.  They gave her a sedative and some pain medication, but ultimately we decided that the treatment for something like this would be too risky, not likely to succeed, too painful for Winnie to endure, and too costly for us to afford.  We had to put sweet Winnie to sleep to end her pain, just a few hours after realizing something was even wrong.  As terribly hard as it is to have to make a decision to do that, we talked about it on the way in and knew that if she was in pain it would be the right thing to do.  I said goodbye to her, and then took Norah out of the room to feed her, and Matt stayed with Winnie until the end.  I'm so proud of him for being there with her and comforting her, because I think if I had stayed I would have been sad and made her more anxious rather than calm.  It was quick, and the staff was considerate and kind.  Today we took her over to Mark's and buried her next to her best buddy, Willie.  I hope that they are already together at the "Rainbow Bridge"...eating and lolling about and generally being fat, happy, lazy cats together like they used to.    

Winnie meets Lainey...little did she know she would soon be outmatched in size

Such pretty markings

Always loved to burrow and snuggle somewhere cozy

Watching prey through the window...a fearless hunter indeed :) 

Claiming the baby's items as your own - you spent your last night in her pack and play downstairs, and I hope it was cozy at least!

Thank you for being by my side through the end of my pregnancy and for being a good kittie to your human sister, Norah.  She won't remember you, but we'll show her pictures!  We miss you already, sweet Winnie.  I hope you are no longer in pain and you know that you were loved by this family.  Sleep peacefully now, and eat lots of chicken! 

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