Monday, January 24, 2011

The Prettiest Kitty I Know


Ellie Mae the Fat Cat....aka Cindy Crawford (she has a beauty mark...above her lip) has been a fixture in the house for the past 12 years.

Fiercely independent and not at ALL interested in cuddling or being a lap cat, she's pretty much ruled the roost. We lovingly referred to her as Ellie Mae the Fat Cat because...well...she was FAT!! A big FAT BLOB!

Though independent, she's always been a fan of accompanying me in the sewing room. She loves to tear thru the room when I have blocks laid out on the floor...just to mess them up.


She also likes to pose on every quilt once it's done. Regularly trying to build her self esteem, I always tell her that she's the prettiest kitty I know.

But things are not good for Miss Ellie Mae. I took her to the vet last summer because we had sudden weight loss...and LOTS of hair loss. Several hundreds of dollars later...the tests they ran all came back "fine". HUH? C'mon...there's something wrong!


Poor Ellie Mae is now a walking skeleton pretty much. The vet has now conceded that she believes Ellie has intestinal lymphoma and will die.


I don't know how long she has. The vet doesn't know. Ellie doesn't know. She's started some unsavory behavior...namely using the bathtub as her very own personal litter box...and also going freely on any tiled surface. This is very annoying! Never has she not gone anywhere other than her litterbox in all of her 12 years.

We've been told to just monitor her "good days" vs her "bad days" and then decide when her time has come. How in the WORLD do you distinguish good v bad days!? And how in the world do you decide you've had enough of the unsavory behavior and it's time?

I certainly don't want to see her suffer. Yet I feel so guilty taking her in and saying "Okay...she's gone in the bathtub for the LAST time." She has fallen off of the back of my chair...nodding off to sleep and lost her balance. Otherwise she walks around like a skeleton, chatting us up every now and then.



Decision-making of this nature....not my strong point. I find myself trying to put some distance between her and me...as if that would make it any easier. *SIGH*

For now...I have a skinny cat named Ellie Mae...and she is the prettiest kitty I know!

*Peace!

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

OMG, we were told the same thing about our cats...we would know when it was time, and we did. It is so hard to lose our furry companions who have given us so much joy over the years. Our cats, in the end, basically did the same thing. They never , ever made a mess other than in their litter box. When the time came, and they started using the carpet and floors, we knew....it was time, yes, it is very hard thing to do, but it is the humane thing. I am sure you will make the "right" decision when the time comes. Peace

Jackie Dundon

Glenna said...

Oh, we have that too! With Yazziebear. She lost a huge amount of weight, went to 4 vets, none of whom could find "proof" of the lymphoma, but suspect she has it (of course even though we've spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars on tests, they want to do more, none of which show anything). No medications seem to help it either. In the meantime, she has diarrhea about 6 times a day in the bathroom on the floor, in the tub. And now sprays the wall as well. We love her, and we know we need to "pull the plug," and the constant splat/clean/splat/clean/spray/clean is wearing on us, but how do you end it for your long time friend (we've had her 16 years) just because she's become incontinent? She loves us! She's still our grumpy little girl. How can we kill her?

FatQuarterQuiltFarm said...

oh Gawd!!
My Mom has been having a similiar " issue" with her cat ( loss of muscle in the back end) and had been asking this same question. Personally I think it comes down to the quality of life for the both of you..so very sorry to hear this..its never easy.. but always a sense of relief and peace when it is time.

KathieB said...

Tough decision, but so many of us have been through that. It sounds like, outside of the litterbox misses, that her quality of life is still pretty good. When THAT deteriorates, you will know it's time. All through her life she has depended on you making good choices for her and you've never let her down.

Chris said...

Oh Ellie Mae, it is so hard to go through this. I know that you will make the best decision for her and anything that you do is out of love.

Littlebit said...

Oh, KK..I am so sorry about your kitty. It's just the worst decision to have to make. :( My thoughts are with you. MM

KsMaryLou said...

Kim continue to love Ellie Mae and cherish her company. Try to remember that kitties are clean animals and don't like making messes anymore than you like cleaning them, also bathtubs and tile floors are easy to clean. We lost two kitties in just a couple of months and it was a hard decision to make after more than 17 years, but much as it broke our hearts we knew it was the right thing to do. You will know when the time is right to make the hard decision about your sweet Ellie Mae. Meanwhile just love her.

regan said...

Enjoy every minute you can with her.....the decision day could be sooner than you think. You'll never regret giving her all the loving you could, right to the end.

I'm so sorry this is happening to you and your family.....it's so hard to lose a dear little friend.

Margaret said...

I'm so sorry, Kim. What a decision to be faced with. Poor Ellie Mae. Poor you. :( Wish I could help.

Terri said...

What a touch choice, but believe it or not, as already stated, you'll know when it's time. Don't distance yourself. You both need each other and you don't want to have to deal with the 'what ifs' you'll put yourself through if you distance yourself.

Karol said...

I understand what you are going through. It is hard to watch our 4 legged babies suffer. All I can say from my experience with a very similar situation is that you will know it is time. Sending special thoughts for you and and Ellie Mae.

Melissa said...

Oh, Kim, how sad! Ellie Mae sounds like our Daisy in temperament. Years ago we had a great cat called Tigger and around 15 years old the same thing happened to him that happened to Ellie Mae.

When we first went to the SPCA to inquire about what to do, they said things that just made me burst into tears in a room full of people. My husband had to usher me out. We kept Tigger at home and cared for him and his messes. My husband wanted him to die at home which he did. Tigger never complained through all of this. We'd like to think that he was happy till the end.

A big hug to you, Kim, and a gentle one for Ellie Mae.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear about this sadness. I always think about my kitty named Connie...yes, a strange name for a cat! We also learned about her cancer because of unexplained weight loss. I always feel cats like to maintain their dignity, so for me personally when she got a glazed look in her eyes, wasn't eating, and started drooling, I knew it was definitely time. Cats are much too neat and dignified to drool! Since you know your kitty best, I suspect something like that will signal to you that her happy days are gone, and you will feel at peace with your decision.

Sylvia said...

Oh I am so sorry to hear about this and its such a tough decision to make. We love our pets, but definitely don't want them to suffer. You will make the right decision at the right time, because you love her.

M.T. Pocketts said...

So sorry to hear about your pussy cat. We went through this with Alex (18 years old). Eventually he didn't want to eat anything but liver (his favorite food--gross!) It became obvious that his quality of life had deteriorated too much. It was a hard decision to make, as we had been through so much together! (I got him the year before I went to college.)
Just remember that your pet trusts you and knows that you love her, no matter what!

Cari said...

Oh Kim...I have such a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. I am so sorry. Ellie Mae is beautiful. I know you'll do what is best. Warmest and heartfelt hugs to you and Ellie. ;(

woolwoman said...

Kim- I could not be sorrier to hear about your kitty - I think all of us that love our companions can relate to what you are going thru and have probably been thru it ourselves. Having to make decisions like this is very tough but I agree with another commenter who said it is about the quality of her life and I think you will know the time. Peace be with you my friend - Love Mel

Laurie in Iowa said...

Kim, So sorry that your Ellie Mae is doing so poorly. I think we've all gone through similar experiences with our aging kitties. Love her as best you can. You will both know when the time has come to put her to rest.

Michelle said...

So sorry to hear that you and your sweet kitty are going through this. It is oh so hard. Big hugs, my friend.

Erin in MI said...

Oh Kim, I'm so sorry :( Our cat lost a lot of weight last summer, too, and had fur issues and litter box issues. Since we have no extra money right now, we switched her to 100% soft food. She's been able to gain back some of the weight and is enjoying snuggling with us on a blanket. I don't know how long she's got, either. Maybe you could try soft food for Ellie Mae?

Alice ~ Folk Art Primitives said...

You know I'm thinking about you, blogfriend Kim. It is so hard ~ my story is that I always wait too long to make that final dreaded decision ~ but I'm never ready until then. I'll keep your sweet kitty in my thoughts ~ and you, too. In friendship, Alice

Jill said...

We just lost our Fatboy, aka Simon. Same thing. And I kept saying, it's time and my husband kept saying no. Simon was an indoor/outdoor kitty, 13 years old. She (yes, Simon was a she) loved to hunt. We had her gravesite picked out and I was even looking for rocks for a headstone, but she fooled as as usual - she took it into her own hands and just disappeared one day. Cats will do that. DH and I were disappointed in a way because such a good cat deserved a burial. Don't wait too long.

Paulette said...

I'm so sorry, Kim. :( I know it's hard.. ((hugs)) I wonder if maybe cats think that the bathtub is somehow more "private" bc it's deeper? I have no idea.. just seems like an oddly common behavior.

I'm thinking of you, dear friend. You know I always loved the photos of Ellie on your quilts!

Dona said...

My heart goes out to you and Ellie Mae. What a wonderful life she has shared with you, and it's so hard to know what the right thing to do is. How wonderful that she is so well loved!

Deb said...

That's so so sad Kim.I hope the rest of your time with her is not too traumatic for either of you, but I suspect that I hope in vain. She has you - that's a good thing. Much love,

Deb

Catherine said...

Sorry to hear your news. Hugs to you and your kitty.

Robin C said...

our pets are like our children. I know how hard this is for you and can only say that I understand, have had to make the hard decision for a little poodle of mine and we have one female cat that has issues. We try to just give her a happy life and keep her comfortable. The time will come to you and you will do right by her. Just know you're not alone. Many understand and wish you well on this journey.

Renee said...

Kim, I'm so sorry. I have a 14 year old. And I know that time is coming.
And for knowing when it's time? You will know. I went through that with my Shih Tzu 2 years ago. My husband was ready before I was.
One day I looked at the poor dog. And I knew. It was time.

Lori S. said...

Just because Ellie Mae is missing the litter box, does not mean to put her to sleep. I had a cat for 10yrs and she had FIP. It is Feline Infectious Peritonitis, it is a disease that is not curable as of today. I had raised that cat from a bottle and when she was suffering...having major pain, I knew it was time to say good bye. If the only thing Ellie is doing wrong is making "potty" messes then I don't think that should mean it is her time. You would not put an old person to sleep just because they stop using the toilet and make messes in their pants or beds, etc. I believe if she is not in pain and seems to be living as normally as possible then let her be and endure the mess cleaning....it won't be forever and there is always bleach.
Lori Shepherd

Anna said...

Oh my gosh...I lost my beloved Toby more than a year ago with these same symptoms. He went from fat to skeletal so quickly. No bowel control...It was awful. He passed away on his own and it broke our hearts. I am so sorry about poor Ellie. Love on her and help her enjoy her time she has left.

esblack said...

We don't have a cat, but we have a dear, sweet 15 yr old yellow Lab who goes in and out constantly thruout the day (and a little less so thruout the night), but she has her appetite and even though she can't see or hear as well as she used to, she is not limping (which indicates the arthritis meds are working and she's not in pain). I think she's a little scared and lonely now that her senses are not as sharp, but we love her and give her treats-- when the appetite goes or she seems to be suffering, then we'll decide if/when it's time.
Good luck-- our prayers/thoughts are with you