… that’s what I always tell my beloved kitty, Grumpy Cat. Some of you may remember that Jake and I adopted Grumpy Cat (“GC”) not quite two years ago, after our other cat suddenly passed away. GC was 13 years old when we got him; we chose a senior kitty so he’d have happy golden years. We would give him the highlight of his twilight.
On a recent Friday night Jake and I found ourselves rushing GC to the pet emergency room after he became gravely ill. It didn’t take the vet long to find the cause: kidney failure. lymphoma. anemia. Jake and I were stunned. Our cat had cancer and kidney disease? How could we have missed the signs?
After a long night in the ER during which Jake and I resigned ourselves to another pet loss, the vet was surprised and encouraged because GC began gaining strength and improving. So we took GC home—laden down with medications and instructions—with the possibility that he might pull through. He could have more time, more life, and quality life too.
With plenty of prayer and round-the-clock care—which included 6 different medications and daily subcutaneous injections of hydration—GC began improving and getting stronger. We were so encouraged!
But there must have been a kitty respiratory virus lurking in the pet ER, because GC came down with a nasty respiratory illness mere days into [what we thought was] his recovery. He stopped eating. Couldn’t groom. Couldn’t walk. Lost a third of his body weight. It was bad.
Back to the vet. More medications.
For days, Jake and I literally did everything for GC, including assist feeding him with a feeding syringe. To avoid facing reality, I became obsessed with keeping GC clean and groomed and making sure his convalescence room was super tidy. Dignified.
But soon Jake and I had to admit that we were fighting a losing battle. It was time to say goodbye.
We arranged for a veterinary service to come to our home to humanely end Grumpy Cat’s suffering. I petted and hugged and cried all over him. So did Jake. We softly sung Jesus Loves You to him (“little cats to Him belong; they are weak, but He is strong“). He fell asleep peacefully in his kitty bed while I held his head and whispered love to him. Then the final injection was given. I both heard and felt GC breathe his last.
We read Ecclesiastes 3:18-21 aloud after his passing:
18 I also said to myself, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals.
19 Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless.
20 All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.
21 Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”
I’m so heartbroken, but I take immense comfort in verse 21.
His paw prints are etched deeply into my heart. I’m so thankful to have adopted and loved GC. It was a privilege to have shared in the last few years of his life.