September 20th, 2009


Morning breaks

Last night was a long one. It was time to get ready for bed, and we didn't want to leave Mimsy in the kitchen sink for fear she would try to jump out and not be able to handle it. So we took apart the cat carriers, which are vaguely sink-shaped, only have openings in one side so she can leave if she wants, and put the bottom half of each one side by side in our bedroom for her to spend the night in, and so she would be within close reach if necessary. She didn't like the idea much, though, and after sitting in one for about a minute, she got out and headed for the bathroom. We followed her to make sure she got settled, then went off to bed. But she didn't give us a chance to finish our bedtime prayers before she started meowing again.

We had been debating giving her pain killers, because the doctor said two a day, which meant we might want to give it twelve hours and it had only been about eight, but then again what's the worst an overdose could do? She was still fidgety and meowing, so we decided to go ahead and give her the medicine. And she still wouldn't quite get settled, so we got our pillows and set up camp in the hall outside the bathroom, so we could still lie down and get some sleep, but be available for Mimsy when she needed us. My hope was that in her restlessness she would eventually get to the doorway, where I could still pet her while I was lying down, but in the end, she got us to pick her up and put her in the sink.

All night, one or both of us would sit next to her and pet her until she settled down, then we'd sneak off to our camp in the hallway until the next time she meowed. Then we'd take turns staying with her, repeating the process. There were probably a couple of hours (non-consecutive) where we were both asleep, but we don't know if Mimsy ever got that far. After one of those hours, at about eight, I woke up to Mimsy meowing again. It felt very cold, despite being 74 degrees Fahrenheit, so I left her for a few seconds to get a sweatshirt, then came back to keep petting her. I was determined to keep at it until the alarm went off at nine, then I'd ask Athena to switch with me during the time we normally let the snooze button go.

At one point, Mimsy started coughing. She had been having trouble breathing all night, and she'd had a few coughing fits before. When the coughing stopped, her left hind leg starting kicking, like it was having a spasm. There were two spasms of about four kicks, and then, just a few minutes before the alarm went off, she stopped moving. Her breathing had been so shallow by that point that it was really hard to tell if she had stopped or not, especially because we were so tired that things seemed to be moving when the weren't. But by the time the last snooze alarm went off, we were pretty sure she was unresponsive. And now she's gone.

Mom will be over soon to help us wrap her up, then we'll be taking her over to Mom's house to bury her. We always imagined she would live forever, even though we know cats don't tend to do that. But they say cats have nine lives because they live so long, right? Ah well. She's done suffering now, and probably surrounded by people and/or animals that love her. We're definitely going to miss her.

Today I'm thankful for the fifteen years of happiness and comfort we got to have from Mimsy, Mimsy not being alone when she passed on, getting to clean her up a little before she left, getting to talk to our cousin Jonathan last night, and the story he told us in the little time he had to talk. He loves animals probably at least twice as much as we do, and he had a cat (who also died of cancer) who one time brought in a bird. He didn't let the cat finish it off, but took it out into the backyard to let it die, and he said a prayer for the bird. And he said he got a very strong impression that there were angels around, for the bird. So we think there were angels for Mimsy, too.
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Thanks for all the support and everything, everybody. We took Mimsy to Mom's place and we (Mom, Celeste, and us) watched as Steve buried her, and we all cried. Then Sarah showed up and we spent time talking and generally cheered up. We didn't consider that coming home and realizing Mimsy wouldn't be here would come as such a blow, but we've recovered from that, too. We're still sad, of course, but we're at a point where we can go on with life relatively closely to normal, but maybe with a little bit of extra crying here and there.

In the meantime, there seems to be a lot of tragedy all around. While we were at Mom's house, there were three extra children there. They belong to the neighbors across the street, and their mother had been dealing with osteo-arthritis for a really long time. She had been taking pain killers for it, but the acetamenaphin in them destroyed her liver, and she was rushed to San Francisco last night for a transplant. Mom was only going to watch the kids for the night, I think, but the dad got a call this morning informing him that the mother wasn't likely to make it through the day. And here we thought we had it rough. (Not that I don't still think that, but if our loss was so hard, it's really difficult to imagine what those kids and their dad are going to go through.)

And in the midst of it all, we're going to Disneyland tomorrow. It almost doesn't make sense. But that's the day our friend from Japan is going to be there, and chances to see him are very uncommon. Plus we still need to give him the autographed Trigun stuff we got for him at Anime Expo. We talked to a bunch of people about it, and they all encouraged us to go, assuring us that it wouldn't be too insensitive to go so soon after losing Mimsy. There was one person (Han), who was convinced we wouldn't be able to have a good time because we'd be so sad, but when I told Cousin Jonathan, he said of course we could have a good time, we have to have a good time for Mimsy. And after spending time with people tonight, we're pretty sure we can at least put the tears on hold if they try to sneak up again. Our biggest concerns are that scheduling conflicts mean Gaston will be driving us down there, and he's a fun guy, but we're just not used to him yet, so it's a little nerve-wracking. And the other concern is leaving Oreo all by himself, but he seems pretty chill at this point, so we think he'll be okay, too. And when we get back, we'll make sure to give him lots and lots of attention.

So anyway, we thought we should probably mention that, so nobody gets too worried if we don't update tomorrow. Thanks again for all the support!