Thursday, March 30

goodnight stinker

I had to put Sabrina to sleep tonight.

This was not an easy decision to make, but each of the possible scenarios the vet gave me seemed grim. At best, it would have been gall stones and would have required surgery. Or it could have been cancer or possibly even something worse. Her decline was so rapid. My brother came to the vet with me and couldn’t believe how bony and out of it she seemed.

At this point, I felt it would have been selfish to put her through more procedures. She was always so good at reading my moods, knowing when I needed a cat hug or a head but or to rub her belly. I could tell when I looked into her eyes over the last few days that she was ready to go.

I held her in my arms and it was amazingly peaceful. She was still purring until the very end.

I know every cat person thinks their cat is the best cat ever, but most people who met Sabrina agreed she was something special. Even the cat haters loved her.

I’m convinced she was at least one-third dog and for a long while her nickname was puppy because she would greet me at the door and follow me around. Her other nicknames included stinker (she had such horrendous breath for such a sweet cat), baby doll, big girl, cat face and belly cat.

Our life together began in 1994 when my first girlfriend and I moved in together and decided we needed to adopt a few cats. We came home from Bide-A-Wee with Sabrina, and another cat we named Foxy. Foxy hid all day long and barely interacted with us. Sabrina, on the other hand, jumped right up on the couch, looked up at me and got the purring motor running.

One day my girlfriend and I got into a nasty fight (this happened often), but this time the girlfriend hit me. Afterwards, I was on my bed, crying, when Sabrina jumped up next to me, put her paw on my cheek, smooshed her forehead into mine and flopped down next to me on the pillow. We were in love from that moment on.

Sabrina has been with me through five apartments with a few months of couch surfing in between, the deaths of my father and godmother, several failed relationships, a few soured friendships, all manner of artistic rejection, alcoholic breakdowns, and some very regrettable one-night-stands.

She was always there, purring, offering up a warm belly to rub. I often would wake up with her in my arms or she would be wrapped around my head.

For the last four years, we’ve lived with a Russian-blue named Lulu. They had a relationship reminiscent of the Peanuts’ characters Peppermint Patty and Marcie, except bitchier and with claws. Lulu practically called Sabrina “Sir.”

When I came home Monday night, Lulu seemed to be searching for Sabrina everywhere. She seems okay now, a bit more clingy but I’m not sure if she’s really aware that the other cat is gone. Perhaps she is secretly rejoicing, “At last, the empire is mine! I am queen of the apartment.”

Sabrina was my loyal companion for 12 years and right now I feel like someone ripped out a tiny part of my heart.

Thank you so much baby doll. I will never forget you.


Sabrina B.


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