Today, we said goodbye to Annie. It’s a whirlwind of emotions and peace and regret and sadness, and I don’t have a lot of untangled words. I think I knew it would happen – why else would I think it’s a good idea to bring a new kitten home to keep Wolfie company so she wouldn’t be the only cat at home when Annie goes? I think Annie knew her time was done, too, because she held on just long enough for Wolfie to get her nose straightened out after she realized that the new kitten is actually friendly and chill and a lot of fun. I think she waited to be sure that her work here was done, because no sooner did Wolfie and the kitten start getting along than Annie took a gradual, then sharp, turn downhill. By the time I called the vet to move forward her scheduled regular checkup to an appointment for possible blood work to the tearful message on their voicemail that it was time to let her go, Annie was no longer herself. She was lethargic and sleepy, and she couldn’t seem to get comfortable, and while she griped about the water bowl not being filled she seemed to show no interest in accessing it herself.

This morning, I cried in the vet’s office, trying to explain all the little things that showed me that it was time to say goodbye. I could do blood tests and other things, but I honestly didn’t feel that that was right. Annie wasn’t Annie anymore, and no amount of expensive answers would improve her quality of life, even if they’d improve the duration of it. I stroked her fur as she quietly sat on the chair, as her spirit slowly left her. I could feel it when it happened – when Annie was no longer with us. I felt a sense of peace in a way I hadn’t felt since this whole thing started. I felt like she forgave me somehow… for what, I’m not sure.

You only have one first cat.
And for a first cat, Annie was the best.
She was quirky and funny and pretended to be all tough… but when the rubber hit the road with the other cats, she was always there to comfort them – but don’t tell anyone she would actually snuggle with one of those “lesser” cats. If a human was sick, she’d curl up with them and her hypnotic purr would force them to sleep, and make them feel a bit better; thus earning her the nickname of Dr. Annie. She once got so tired of the neighborhood bully cat that she launched herself out a window, screen and all, to beat the snot out of this cat that was twice her size. She’d find the one person at a party with cat allergies and refuse to leave them alone, because, by God, she was Annie and she demanded snuggles. She had this “mrow!” that got your attention if the water bowl wasn’t full to her satisfaction, and she’d keep “mrow”ing at you until you got the point. Early in her life, she was afraid of dogs… never knowing that she’d end up living with one for 7.5 years. She’s moved 4 times with me (in the span of less than 4 years), stuck with me through job loss and changes, new homes, marriage, divorce, roommates, a new partner, no fewer than 5 cats in her space (not all at the same time), visiting dogs… the list could go on and on.
This morning, Annie joined Dasher across the Rainbow Bridge; maybe now they can finally figure out who’s boss.
Run free, sweet girl! Sleep in all the clean clothes you want, eat the tuna, stretch on those back legs and scratch as high as you want on the cat tree. No one’s gonna try and get your picture, or see if your purr is able to be heard on the phone (it never was, but I never stopped trying… sorry!) Your pain is over, my girl. I love you.
Oct 5, 2004 – Apr 22, 2021