Antigone died yesterday between 16:15 and 16:30, aged 19 years and 3 months. She was euthanised on my say so over the phone. I did not say goodbye because she was 15 miles away at the PDSA.
I feel bad about that because I always protected her. Telling the vet to do the deed was difficult with an emotional, shaky voice. When I put the phone down I shed more tears than when my mother died but then the reason for that becomes clear from the previous posting regarding my mother’s death.
Antigone was a small Chocolate Burmese cat and she was the only other sentient life form in my house. She was an affectionate cat, too affectionate at times but I knew her ways and she knew mine.
She needed a dirt box (outside) because for the first 4 years of her life she and her sister Pandora, were house cats because I lived in a flat but once they were given access to the outdoors they still needed a dirt box because thats all they knew.
As a very old cat she was now shaky on her feet, but she still dozed in the porch when the sun was shining and still complained loudly with the annoying Burmese yowling noise when the sun went in. She tended to complain a lot and that annoyed me, but maybe she was right. She would tell me when her dirt box needed changing, when her water bowl was empty or when she thought she should be fed and many more times when I knew not why.
Pandora was a problem cat. She frequently soiled indoors and refused to use the dirt box and she occasionally lashed out with her claws. Antigone on the other hand was a gentle cat and never knowingly scratched anyone, except for dogs.She was fearless and would stand at the gate and tackle any dog that walked by. Many went yelping and howling up the public footpath no matter how big they were, because they pushed their luck too far. I even had one dog owner that was grateful that Antigone had taught her dog a much needed lesson.
Pandora died about 4 years ago, euthanised at the PDSA with “supposed” kidney problems. It seems that kidney problems are a way of persuading owners to have their cats euthanised. Antigone was diagnosed with a kidney problem 4 years ago but I could not see any symptoms in all that time, she appeared to be fine.
Antigone died because she stopped eating and I did not want her dying slowly of starvation. I thought she had a simple tooth problem – she wanted to eat but appeared to have a problem with her teeth and mouth whenever she ate. The vet could not find anything wrong in her mouth and tried to tell me it was probably a “kidney” problem and they would do some bloodtests and he would ring me in a couple of hours. I don’t buy that because the problem was definitley in her mouth. Anyway, I knew the only way I would be bringing her home was if the cause of her not being able to eat was found. It wasn’t so now she’s gone.
That’s the hard bit, not seeing her sleeping in MY chair when I come downstairs in the morning, not having her around because she’s gone now, ashes mixed with other euthanised pets, dead and gone just a memory.
Time flies allright. The nineteen years that Antigone became part of my life has flown by. Sometime during the next 19 years I’ll be gone too and just a memory.