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Thursday, 01/28/2010 - 3:18 a.m.

She was a scrawny white cat with sores around her mouth from malnutrition, attracted to our patio over a decade ago because I was too lazy to walk the kitty litter down to the dumpster every time I changed the box. She had no collar and didn't seem inclined to leave any time soon. Maybe because I kept feeding her or maybe because she had been around humans enough to still be dependent on them or maybe she just needed the love. Exhusband and I took her in, on top of the other 3 cats we already had, and she became part of the family. The first order of business was to get her checked out by our vet. She got antibiotics for the sores, shots and a bath, and I cried when they told me she was declawed. She had been wandering around for who knows how long with no claws and that just endeared her to me more because she needed someone to take care of her.

I cried like my heart was broken the day years ago when she had blood all down the front of her from an abscessed bite. Apparently one of the other cats had bitten her chest, it got infected, and then the bite broke open. Bright red blood on a stark white cat was terrifying. I drove like a bat out of hell to the vet's, crying all the while. In that same scuffle, it seemed she had broken one of her top fangs off. So she got a patched up chest and a root canal on the broken tooth.

I cried the time a couple of years ago when she had the kidney infection and Dr P dropped the bomb that she was in renal failure.

I got downright hysterical when she had the seizure right before Xmas.

I held my shit together today remarkably well when Dr P told me her chest cavity was filled with fluid and her lungs had collapsed because of it. I continued to hold my shit together when I made the decision to put her to sleep. I held my shit together when I had to call DC and I held it together when she died. I held it together when he fell apart and I held it together when I told him he had to let go of her so the tech could take her body.

I'm tired of holding it together.

Goodbye, sweet pea.

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