Goodbye, Piper

Piper, c September 2006 - April 7, 2017

Piper, c September 2006 - April 7, 2017

In April 2007, I adopted a little brown tabby cat from a country vet's office. I named her Piper due her constant "talking."  She would become my furry companion, vile familiar, and best friend for the next 10 years.

Piper was a mischievous, curious little kitty. She got into things. She broke things. She made noises at 4 in the morning. She'd jump on the bed and chirp to wake us up. She drank water by touching her paw to the bowl and licking the moisture off her fur. She chewed with the side of her mouth in a loud grinding maneuver. But she was my kitty -- the first kitty I could adopt as an adult. She sat in my lap, kneaded my stomach, and purred. She actively sought out my lap, my hand, and whatever she could to get my attention.

A few weeks ago, we noticed some changes in Piper's health: diarrhea, weight-loss, and lack of appetite. The vet ran blood tests to find out her white cell count was way above what it needed to be. A round of antibiotics later didn't do much to improve her health. This week, we brought her back in to do more tests, and the vet confirmed what I had feared most: Piper had a huge, softball-sized mass in her belly -- most likely caused by lymphoma. The vet recommended that we consider euthanasia sooner rather than later.

Of course, my husband and I had long ago agreed that if something happened to any of our furry roommates, we would not prolong their suffering. That doesn't mean it was an easy decision, though. I didn't want to make it. I wished she could have made it for us, like Thor did in 2013. I agonized over this decision just like so many pet owners. In the end, my only peace was knowing she didn't suffer more than she had to. 

I'm not ok right now. I thought I was, but little things are causing me to burst into tears. Piper would run figure-8s around the living room and dining room just before breakfast and dinner. We called them her Piper Loops. When we fed Roland and Phoebe, I expected to see her soft brown body scurry around, weaving around the coffee and computer tables as always. I also expect to feel a gentle brr? and a plop on my lap when I sit down at my desk. I miss hearing her myriad of strange meows she had learned over the years. I'm still looking for her to brush against my legs just for no reason other than to let me know I belonged to her. I'm hoping that writing this helps me heal even just a little bit. 

My sweet little 'Per. I loved her for so long and gave her a comfortable, happy life. While she was mine, she lived in kitty luxury -- never going hungry, never being too cold, and never going a day without pets and scratches.

My heart is broken. She was the bratty, chatty, fuzzy, fussy love of my life. I now have to live in a world without her. I miss her so much.