Early this morning, my dear sweet kitty Fifi lost her battle with lymphoma. She had been hospitalized overnight on December 23 to receive fluids, a blood transfusion, and her latest round of chemotherapy. But on Christmas Eve, she came home with us, feeling better than she had in a long time. We spent a wonderful Christmas Eve with her and our other kitties, eating, decorating, and watching Christmas movies. Christmas Day, Fifi played with her new toy, a little catnip stuffed duck, which she seemed to love.
On Monday December 26, we could tell that she wasn’t feeling well. On Tuesday, she couldn’t hold down any food or water for very long. On Wednesday, we got up early and took her back to the hospital. They ran tests and gave her supportive care, but the news was not good. Her white blood cell count had plummeted and it looked like her liver was shutting down. Wednesday evening, we visited with her at the hospital. She had been given some pain medicine, but was alert, purring, and swishing her little tail. She seemed very glad to see us, and kept looking from one of us to the other while we talked to her and petted her.
On the ride home, we agreed that while she was very sick, she didn’t look like she had given up yet. We didn’t really know what to do, and hoped that a new round of tests in the morning might clarify things for us.
At 1:30 am this morning, the phone rang. The doctor said she was going into cardiac arrest. I told her we were on the way.
We reached the hospital about 35 minutes later. She was still with us, but obviously dying. She didn’t really respond to us, but I could tell that she knew we were there. We spent about half an hour with her, talking to her, petting her, telling her that we loved her, and thanking her for being part of our lives. Then, we let go, and let the doctor help her say goodbye.
We stayed with her a while afterwards, just petting her and talking to her, even though she was gone. I know that we did the right thing, helping her fight for as long as she was able, then letting her go when she was ready.
I can’t even begin to express how much I will miss her. To me, wherever Fifi was, that was my home. She was more than a pet, more than a companion. She was a part of every aspect of my life. She slept on the bed with me at night, lay on my lap in the evenings while I watched TV, sat on my amp while I played my bass.
She was a tiny little thing who thought she was a ferocious panther, much to our amusement. She was funny, entertaining, loving, and affectionate. And she was stronger than I ever could have imagined, given how tiny she was. She was an immense source of happiness for me every day, and she will always, always be with me in my heart.
Our house is lonely and quiet without her. Her pain is over, but ours is just beginning as we try to find the new normal in a life without Fifi.