Goodnight, Isis

Finally out of the old apartment, after a long night of steam cleaning, throwing away stuff that neither of us had used in years, and one Queen Amidala standee bequeathed to our former next-door neighbor, who turned 21 last night. How that thing will be defiled, I don’t even think I want to know, but at least it’ll have a new home.

When I think I’m going to be fine and not miss Isis anymore, I see her on the sink, pawing at the air where it looks like she’s waving at me. She and I had more than a few adventures together, and the thought of her not in my life is pretty hard to bear.

The doctor said she had gone into renal failure, which didn’t surprise the doc with her health. Isis had always teetered on the edge of anemia and/or thyroid problems, but had never been on the side that had required treament, or even preventative medicine. I had no clue anything was wrong until Friday morning, and she tried to get up from the patch of grass which she had been sleeping in. She could barely stand, and when she tried to move, her legs couldn’t move in the confident rhythm that she always exhibited. One of her eyes had sunken in just a bit, and she looked ghastly and frail.

The vet told me in no uncertain terms that I could easily throw thousands of dollars towards her care, and even still she would be in considerable pain. With a decline as short and sharp as Isis’ had been, there was almost certainly no way she could come back. There was no coercion on the vet’s part, but I knew what she was suggesting.

I wailed, and didn’t stop for some time. The vet left us alone to say goodbye, after I held a pen and signed something that resembled my signature saying that I authorized her euthanasia.

I held her, and for the first time since we had been together she didn’t try to sqiurm out of my arms. She probably didn’t have the strength, but I like to think that she knew. Knew that I loved her so fucking much, and this would be the last time I would see her.

I thought about the first time I met her. My roommate at the time had rescued her from an animal shelter and brought her home. He named her Isis, after the cat from the Assignment: Earth episode of ‘Star Trek.’ I didn’t think a cat was such a good idea at the time, since I was going through chemo and he was bouncing between jobs. Two weeks later, he moved out without warning, leaving this nervous cat who cowered under my futon downstairs and barely came out to eat. I assumed that she was mine to take care of from here on out.

The next week, I came back from a chemo session, sick and tired and wanting to shrivel up in a ball and die. Isis came out from under the futon and curled up next to my side and started purring. This would begin a long trend of Isis knowing, somehow, that I was sick and needed a good strong purr to make me feel better. She was now my Lil’ Ma’am.

She was never a playful cat, in the usual sense. She loved catnip, but would never bat the toys around or whatnot — just lick the toys or eat the ground leaves, get stoned, and stare across the room.

However, she would get very loud when she wanted to be fed. In later years, my ex Lisa said that she was preparing a couple of boneless chicken breasts for dinner. Isis jumped up on the kitchen counter (uncommon, since she was usually quite well-behaved) and grabbed a chicken breast, dragging it to a corner of the living room. When Lisa tried to retrieve it, Isis growled at her, something she never ever did. Lisa told me later that she said to Isis, Fine, Gal. You want it that bad, have at it. Isis proceeded to eat the whole thing.

The vet came to take Isis to the back. In true Isis fashion, she sank two claws in my shirt when the vet tried to take her out of my arms. She let out a little peep. I told her I loved her, and always would. Then, she was gone.

I cried until I was dry, then did it some more. I was totally numb, and in some ways I still am. The crying has stopped for the most part (at least, until I try to write something about her), but I still ache. Probably will for a long time, and it’s not because I want to, but because I can’t help it.

Rose — thank Goddess for Rose — got my attention because she asked me, Do you think that she would still be alive if you loved her more? Of course I do. She needed to live forever, and always be there for me. Never mind that the vet said there was nothing I could have possibly done to save her. I don’t believe it. She deserved to outlive me.

Don’t think I’ll get another cat for a while. Don’t really want one. I already had the best one.