Monday, July 12, 2010
This is Sweet Lucy. Lucy Lu. Lucy No. Little One. She was born with a genetic heart condition that cut her young life short this past weekend at the age of 2. It was very traumatic, for her and for us, and for her surviving brother Tedy, who has the same condition. But beyond the sudden pain and fear, there were good things to hold on to. She was outside where she most loved to be when the massive clot paralyzed her hind legs. We were home and at her side right away. Able to bring her to emergency care to alleviate that pain quickly. And in the end, after our heartbreaking decision, she graced us with her trademark purr and a kiss before she left this world.
We have loved and lost a collection of kitties during our time together. And it never gets easy. How could it? It sucks. There is no easy way. Finding them already gone leads to lots of questions and hope that there was no pain. Being the one to guide them out of this life feels unfair and backhanded while they look at you so trusting. Watching them suffer from declining health feels guilty. And losing them to unforeseen forces is cruel.
Lucy and Tedy were rescued from a feral neighborhood cat by a friend because the rest of the litter didn't survive. A year after we brought them home we learned why - this matter of their hearts. Never once would you know that Lucy had a bum ticker. She was all movement or all sleep. An eternal kitten. She would awaken from a dead sleep to the sound of paper rustling. Bleary eyed and with bed head she would appear, begging for a wad of paper to be flung across the room for her to chase. And chase she would - launching over her lazing brother in mid-stride, crashing into furniture while sliding past her target. Batting it around better than any soccer pro. And when it came to a stop she would pick it up in her mouth and trot it right back to us to throw it for her again and again - the fetching cat.
She had a favorite felt toy that would appear magically in random parts of the house - on the stairs, in the basement, outside our bedroom door, next to the bed. It would let us know where she had wandered during her day while we were away at work. Lucy Was Here.
She was constantly leaving paw prints on the TV, nose prints on the windows, and tattered pieces of our couch in shreds from her scratching. Her middle name quickly became "No" because of the mischief she couldn't keep herself out of. "Lucy! No!" was a common refrain in our house. She was named after Lucille Ball and her crazy but well intended antics - and she lived up to her namesake quite well.
But more than anything, she was sweet. She hated to be picked up and placed in a lap - wriggling away as if she was being smothered. But you wouldn't feel rejected for long. Under her terms she would come bounding back, tail sticking up proudly and trotting lightly on her paws. Up into your lap she would land - when it was her idea there was no stopping her from a snuggle. She licked and licked and licked - fingers and blankets - while kneading away. And then she would curl herself up into a tight, warm, furry ball like a potato bug - snug against you for the night. Because you couldn't bear to make her move - so sweet.
She packed a lot of punch into her small little body and her ailing heart overflowed with love for everyone she met. She was the official greeter and enjoyed being where the people were. She was a valiant hunter of small critters, many of whom we rescued again and again. She never turned down her brother's requests for a bath, regardless of how tired she was. She knew how to climb up into and back down from trees all on her own. She loved our daily routines. And that is why it is so hard to overcome her death. Because she was such a large part of every part.
We love her. We miss her. We want her back