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March 10, 2010


9th Life

Last night we each strapped on a baby, gave our old, wonderful cat Savina all the dry food she wanted (it was a forbidden luxury. she only got 3 pieces a night as a treat when she got her meds), put her in a carrier and walked to the vet. Our former 18 lb baby cat was light as a feather.
During the past week she did not get better. Everyday that went day we had to make a decision; today?
There’s never a good day. Even as I made the phone call yesterday a voice inside my head was crying “I don’t wanna”. But she was not happy and I could tell getting more and more uncomfortable.

I adopted Savvy from the Dallas SPCA in summer of 1992. She was around 6 months old. I had gone there with my gf at the time for her to get a kitten. While she was looking in the kitten room, I went to the older cat room. I saw this cat with beautiful green eyes and the friendliest personality. She came up, meowed at me and stole my heart.
My gf didn’t want an older cat, but you can tell who won that argument.
We found out that she had already been rescued once. An old man used to go around to the city shelters on kill day and rescue the animals he thought he a chance to be adopted at the big SPCA. He saved her life and now, I was saving another life as it was her last day at the SPCA.

We had brought her home to be a friend to our other cat, Bunny, who was already 6 months old. From the day she arrived he wanted nothing to do with her. And yesterday, 18 years later, he wanted nothing to do with her.
But we had other cats through the years and she was an excellent mother to all of them; bathing the other cats and taking care of them.

I taught her to fetch and come to her name when called. I would throw mardi gras bead down our long wooden hallway and she would run to get them, slide, and trot back with a string a beads dangling between her legs. She loved crinkly hard candy paper and would fetch those as well. Furry toy mice were always a big hit being thrown high in the air and attacked.

When the gf and I broke up, we argued over who got Savvy and I won. Great decision as I know she wouldn’t have had such a good life. My ex was pretty messed up and only went further downhill from there.
We moved, all the cats and I, from Texas to Florida to Massachusetts to New Jersey and finally New York. I believe we covered 12 apartments in those 18 years. She was horrible in the car, but nevertheless survived me driving her across the country on various journeys.

Savvy was the kind of cat who won over people who don’t like cats. She was a cat dog and the sweetest kitty. She wasn’t a lap cat very often, but she did want to be right beside you at all times. Even up to the end she laid beside me on the couch, as close as she could.

She preferred to lay on top of your head during the night and that was Chicken’s introduction to the ways of Savvy. The very first night we spent together, Chicken had a cat on her head. She already was suspicious that I might be one of those older, crazy cat ladies (I had four cats), but Savvy and the gang won her over and from that night on, Savvy was hers and she was Savvy’s.
She spent the next 10 years sleeping with Chicken, on top of her head and bathing her hair.
I taught her “kisses” where I could say the word, bend down my head and she would lick my forehead.
She loved to rub up against just about anything, but stinky shoes were her favorite. You could often find her splayed in the closet on top of a pile of shoes. It was her heaven.

Savvy had a ton of health problems through the years and we did everything possible to treat her and get her better. Time after time she amazed us by rebounding and staying with us.
We had known for quite a while that she was going down and it was just a matter of time. I had sort of hoped that she would go before the babies came, so that she still had my undivided attention. I hated the thought that her last days would be spent feeling bad and not getting all of the love she was used to. I feel pretty guilty about that.
But, she had a great life for 18 years and we did everything we could for her up until the very end.
Goodbye Savvy. I thought I heard you meow this morning when I stepped out of the shower and I cried all over again. You were so loved.
Last night we watched the light go out of your beautiful green eyes as your life faded away. We’ll never forget you.

Last night, giving me one last kiss goodbye.

Better days, fat and happy.