I open with one of the quotes about my brother's cat that has stuck with us and somewhat formed who she was.
My brother may be an ass sometimes, but he hates loss and this was something that, even right now, just a few hours after, is still hurting him, not matter how hard he knows what he did was best. Church was a daddy's girl.
This is... An epitaph for a beautiful Russian Blue my brother found in a Dallas Animal Shelter 14 years ago.
I was 4 and he was 13. We had just moved to the North Texas Area with my parents who were both working at DISD. We had settled in and we wanted dogs and cats. It was winter. I remember because I was in my red "eskimo" jacket. My brother wanted a cat and had been saving his money to pay for the adoption fee himself.. We went to the main animal shelter in Dallas. Church was 4 years old and 12 pounds (overweight for a cat). Her previous owners couldn't take her with them because they we're going across the country.
Some may wonder what kind of name is Church for a cat. It's exactly where her family had found her.
As I said, Church was a Russian Blue. A beautiful breed of cats, I might say, that has skin that is a pale blue. Literally blue. Church was a husky girl when we got her. She knew how to hunt and she was evil at it. We had a mouse problem not long after we got her. Oh, she was evil. She would play with the mice. She smothered them with her body. It was funny.
Soon, we were relocating 2 cats to a much smaller area. My parents had split. My brother was quite happy to keep her. Church made it through that. As a cat, she was reserved. She was a lap cat though. If you knew her and she knew you, you belonged to her.
With cats... You don't own cats. They own you.
Not long after we put Ginger down, she basically married herself to Petey, who is a tonk male, my mom's cat. He was basically what you would call Church's boyfriend. It's a strange thing that happens with house cats. They pair together. He's looking for her as I type this. He's upset because they'd been together for 10 or 11 years. Petey was 2 when we got him.
After we moved to Arlington, Church opened up a bit more. She had a lot of space to move around in. My mom had our stepdad and we had a bigger family. One more person to love her. We loved her very much. Still do. One of the funniest things happened while my mom was driving with the cats to the new place. Church weaseled her way out of her carrier and got onto my moms lap. Church was just high enough for other drivers to see. She propped herself up on the steering wheel, which was hilarious to see. Church didn't like car rides if she was confined within cat carriers.
When we moved out here to Irving, she just came alive, personality wise. She always had a strong personality. She didn't like strangers. She loved food, laps, petting, treats, fish, Guiness beer, Blue Bell Ice Cream and a nice warm place to curl up. She hated baths, to which my brother still carries her testament of her detestation of them on his arm. She was a naughty kitty. If we left bags of dry cat food where she could get up to, she would bite through the bags.
If she laid down on you, you would be stuck. She was 20 or more pounds and it was so funny when she would trot through the house. Her tummy fat would swing from side to side. She didn't like being under blankets, but loved furrowing herself into a load of laundry that was fresh out of the dryer. If she caught you in bed, she would lay on top of the blankets between your legs and you'd be trapped.
Right now, I'm 18 and my brother is 27.
Her winter coat had recently come in. She was super soft and felt great when I petted her. A couple of weeks ago, she felt quite bony. She was more reserved than usual. She spent all Saturday in my brothers room and Sunday morning, he came into my room and said that he thought Church was looking for a place to lay down and do her old kitty thing and die. She refused food and water. She knew it was her time.
Monday, I woke up and he had already spoken to the vet, the appointment was at 4. We cried a lot . It was hard. I got home about 12:45 after classes and asked him if he wanted me to go with him, to which he replied no. I saw him cry for his oldest friend out of love and loss.
It came time for him to take her and while he felt he had to do this alone, he wasn't. We knew what was coming, but we didn't expect it to happen this soon. I didn't at least. He decided that he'd leave her time to just chill on his bed before having to get ready for this thing he was about to do. He left and came back.
She was jaundiced. It set it really quick, but she wasn't in pain. She was down to 11 pounds. She'd lost half her weight. The vet told him that they could do x amount of things, but in the end, it would just prolong her condition and make it worse, and that what Dave was choosing was the best thing for her. The vet shaved her wrist and did the injection. My brother stayed with her to the end. He did what was best because in the end, no matter how much he loved his little girl and it was her time.
Mom, Dave and I all wish that there was some magic cure all that wouldn't have ended in this, but it was her time. She may have been a cat, but cats are special animals, as are all of them. We just happened to be cat people.