The house has been a little quieter since Saturday morning. The kittens are trying hard to make sure it isn’t, but there is an almost hidden silence. It’s most noticeable when we come home, when we are cooking, or when we wake up. I notice it when I’m on the computer too, or when I’m having a shower. I feel the lack of presence. That slight imbalance in the universe where not too long ago a cat was by your side, but now she is not.

“as long as we could”

The last year was one of many visits to the veterinarian. None of which ever gave us an answer as to what was ailing her. And apparently that is how animal medicine works. You find out what seems to work, but that still doesn’t tell you what is wrong. Zoey had what seemed to be another one of her relapse episodes starting on Tuesday. When we got her to the vet on Thursday, he thought he could feel an enlarged lymph gland, indicating cancer. A biopsy on Friday, however, determined it was an enlarged kidney. Rock hard and in completely the wrong place. Obviously failing in a catastrophic way.

We realised it wouldn’t be much longer until we would have to let her go. And when we saw how weak she was on Saturday morning, we decided we had kept her for as long as we could. We took her to the vet at eight in the morning, without an appointment, but she died on the vet’s table before he could give her an injection. Thankfully she didn’t seem to suffer, she just decided that was it.

As a kid, I had seen my fair share of pets come and go. Dogs and cats that died of old age, had to be put down due to decease, a puppy dying during an operation, and a dog getting run over by a drunk driver on New Years Eve, not to forget about fish, hamsters, bunnies and chickens. But this time was different, very different. I think it was because I was no longer a witness on the side, but it was my call to make. In the end she didn’t let anybody decide for her, and I hope that was her choice, not me being too late to do the right thing.

“an extra year with her”

The vet said he was sorry they weren’t able to cure her for us, which I thought was nice of him to say, but they have given us an extra year with her, and that means a lot to us. It’s impossible to cure a cat, if you don’t know what is making her sick. At least it is not contagious for our other cats.

Jackie and Wilson seem slightly oblivious as to what has happened, although Jackie appears to check up on me every so often with a little cuddle. Harry seemed the most confused about Zoey not being home when he came back inside at the end of the day.

It is always a sad moment in life when you lose a pet. Especially a pet that has been with you during some of your loneliest times, and that has come with you across the world. It feels so unfair that she will no longer be part of this big adventure we embarked upon together, and that she was taken from me after only 6 years. Then again, no one ever told me life would be fair.

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