Friday, January 07, 2011

Goodbye Nebulous. I love you. I will miss you.

Update: 9th of January, 2011. Recieved a letter from the Vet we took Nebulous to.

She died today, Thursday the 6th of January 2011. I had to put her down because of a hyperthyroid condition and cardiomyopathy; she spent her last day gasping for breath, unable even to miaow, disoriented and perhaps in growing pain. Süheyla watched over her, the last day; she gave her the best care. But Nebulous was unable to walk, her left hind leg failing from a blood clot that separated from her heart; she wouldn't eat and couldn't drink at the end. She had been struggling for a week. I took her to the Glenvale Vet on Tuesday when I noticed her go into wheezing fits any time she was picked up. (And she was so skinny, her ribs poking out, too clearly delineated.) Rohan - the veterinarian - gave me two sets of tablets for her, but within two days she would not even eat.

On Tuesday, Rohan had a grave manner, soft spoken; it was the first time I had come to him, being the local vet in a new neighbourhood. He explained that he heard fluid in her lungs and her heart beat at twice the expected rate for a cat. He was 99% sure her heart was "too big" but that there was no way to be sure without performing exactly the kind of invasive tests that might kill her anyway - especially given my description of how she reacted last time we tried to deal with an ingrown claw.

Today I came home from work ready for a swim in the pool, but it soon became obvious that Nebulous was at the end. She could not walk, but lay on her side without seeming to know where she was. She was breathing through her mouth in short, sharp gasps, and Süheyla explained that she had seen Nebulous twist suddenly during the day; thereafter being unable to use her left hind leg. At first I hoped she would make it through the night at least. I petted her, and realised that it was a death watch. I rang Rohan - and he stayed open long enough for me to bring Nebulous in.

Now I can only remember you Nebulous; my companion for so long. She was with me in primary school, high school, university; she lived in my first house away from Mum and Dad and my first house with my new family, Süheyla and Talya.

Nebulous showed up in late November or early December of 1984. I met a school chum Tim, who was carrying around a box with two kittens; a beautiful white one and an ugly grey one. I wanted the white one but needed permission first. I went home and asked Mum: "ok, but Dad's the sticking point. Tell you what, bring home the kitten and we will make it Dad's birthday present!" I found Tim again, with the asking price of $5, but he only had the ugly grey one left. Oh well. I took her home and lay on Mum and Dad's bed with her nestled on my chest. I remember almost falling asleep until - what, she just piddled on me!

When I was away, studying on campus at Monash Uni, Churchill, Nebulous would fret until I returned each weekend. As if in punishment she would occasionally vomit on my keyboard at home and - when I returned each weekend - would give me the cold shoulder for an hour or so before letting me pet her again.

When I first moved into a house with Süheyla, she had a beautiful pair of dogs: a German Shepherd named Shiela who would bark whenever we kissed, and a dopey but oh so cute Terrier named Foxy (who was so unbalanced that she would fall over any time she shook herself). I brought Nebulous over after a few days to see if she was OK with the whole situation; as soon as I let her loose in the lounge room, Shiela leapt after her (in my mind all I heard was "LUNCH!") and Nebulous (who I swear heard the same thing) raced up the curtains and taught me just how well cats can ignore gravity when they need to. Nebulous went back to Mum's place after that, even though Süheyla swore "Shiela was only playing - she is good with cats!"

She broke her arm in 2009 and - despite having an unwieldy cast - would still jump up and down from my bed. Indominable; I thought... hoped... she would live forever.

Nebulous was not a playful cat. She liked to sit in odd places; drink water from plants; give and get snuggles. She would lick my arm clean when needed, and lay on my chest purring and dribbling, the perfect massage device for the soul.

Goodbye Nebulous. I love you. I will miss you.

Update: 9th of January, 2011. Recieved this letter from the Vet we took Nebulous to. Form letter or not, the thought and effort is deeply appreciated.

Dear Robert,

On behalf of the nurses and myself we wish to convey to you, our sincere sympathy over your loss of "Nebulous".

We realise what a difficult time this must be losing a wonderful friend and we can only express to you our deepest regret that you can no longer enjoy her company.

Our thoughts are with you.

Yours sincerely,
Dr M.R. Nicholls