Carbon came into my life late in 2003, from friends who had rescued a litter of kittens found behind their shop. She was in the worst shape of the lot, but my friends were able to nurse her back to health, and felt I could give her a good home.
She was never terribly bright and she was shy even at the best of times, but she loved being held, even if she didn't like sitting still, and she sought attention often, sometimes at inconvenient hours of the morning.
This past week, she'd been a little out of sorts, and looking thinner than usual. On the weekend, she stopped coming out altogether at feeding times. Concerned, we took her to the Vet on Monday.
She'd dropped from her previous weight of 9lbs to 5lbs. The vet found a sizable lump in her abdomen that test showed was likely cancerous, but because her body chemistry was so out of whack from weak kidneys which were on the verge of failing, exploratory surgery would have been as harmful to her as the lump itself.
We decided to euthanize her, so that at least she could die painlessly, and be near those who loved and cared for her. When the anaesthetic (administered to ease the body's reactions to the euthanasia) started kicking in, she got up and crawled into my arms, where she stayed while the vet administered the final injection. She gave a couple coughing breaths and died.
I have never owned a pet right through to the end of their life like that, and while I feel the decision was the right one, it was incredibly hard to watch her go. She was my little girl, and I miss her.