My wife's day started with a pleasant wake up call-- no school. Couple that with it being Friday and you have the makings of a great start to the weekend, because our girls had a scheduled day off in their district. But a 10:00 vet appointment changed all that very quickly.
Thirteen years ago on a rainy night in Lansing, my wife rescued a black cat from a dumpster outside her apartment at Dover's Crossing. She nursed her back to perfect health, got her shots, and gave her plenty of love. Soon her thick black furry coat came back and she took the name "Annie"-- short for Anorexic-- because of how thin she was when she found her.
Annie has been with Julie 3 years longer than me and I always joked that if she had to choose between me and the cats (Millie came along shortly after) she'd have to think about it. Annie had this cool thing she'd do, she'd walk into a room looking for some love and attention and you would stick out your hand, point and shoot, and she'd fall over and play dead.
When the kids came along they naturally fell in love with her too. Which made today all the more tough. Last night, Annie suddenly wouldn't eat or move for that matter. Her long hair had gotten matted recently and with this recent turn, Julie tried to cut out the rough spots. Today at the vet we learned she'd probably been suffering from liver disease for some time and it finally got the best of her to the point she couldn't hide her illness anymore. It's sad because just this past summer she was still sprinting across the backyard when she'd sneak out and come running when I'd whistle, because that meant chow time.
I've had pets throughout my life, but never had to put one down. I wouldn't even call myself a cat person, but I definitely feel like a member of the family is gone. Julie's pain was tough enough, but walking back into the house without the cat to my 5-year-old asking, "Where's Annie?" was tougher still.
All I could tell her was the first two years of Annie's life were probably pretty miserable. You came along and gave her 13 years of bliss and family and friends who loved her.