Our cat died today. Well, it's after midnight now, so I guess it was technically yesterday. She was old, it was time, and I guess there isn't really a lot to say. We knew it was getting close, and about four days ago she started to refuse food and water. She stopped purring when someone would pet her, but she still lifted her head to be stroked. For about three days she moved back and forth between a comfortable spot in the bathroom and a dark corner of the closet, but she would slowly get up and come to greet us when we'd come in the room. Clearly she still wanted to be touched.
Today (yesterday) she came out toward the front of the closet and just re-positioned herself there in the doorway. She laid down on her side, and she stayed that way all day. She "spoke" to my son once in the morning (her first and only little "meow" since this began), and then put her head back down. About five hours later he was sitting with her when she let out her last breath.
Here's what is interesting to me: This was my 20-year-old daughter's cat. My daughter has had her since she was five years old, named her after Josie and the Pussycats. Well, now my daughter is preparing to move away from home within the next few weeks. All the buzz around our house lately is about my daughter leaving, everyone is making preparations, everyone is talking about it. One thing she was concerned about was who would take care of her cat, and knowing the cat was old and might not live through the next six months (the earliest my daughter can come home again), worrying about whether she'd see Josie again at all. Well, Josie timed her exit just perfectly. It sounds dramatic, but it really was like ending a chapter in my daughter's life, and Josie's passing being the final closure to the final open plot-line in that chapter. Now my daughter can grieve, and in a few weeks move on to the next stage of her life - her adulthood and career.
Sad, and yet not sad. Two lives that were shared and then parted in an almost synchronized way. Maybe Josie knew it was the right time. That sounds silly, but I'm just saying...
R.I.P. Josie, you grumpy old kitty cat. You'll be missed, and fondly remembered.