I’ve had my sweet tortoiseshell Abbie (aka Miss Abbie, Abigail, Miss Gail) for a bit over 16 years now. I found her in the warehouse at City Paper Company in Birmingham. She was just a tiny little thing, was running a very high fever, and also had an abscess on her back, probably from another cat’s bite. And me, with my sick sense of humor decided to name her Abbie for abscess. She didn’t seem to mind. :)
I already had three cats in the house, and didn’t really want to have a fourth, so after getting her well, I gave her to a co-worker who took her home, but brought her back the next day. Her husband didn’t like that she kept jumping on the bed to sleep with them. I took it as a sign that she should be with me, and she’s never been away from me since.
I think that’s what I’ll miss the most, having a cat who loves nothing more than being in my lap or sleeping on the pillow by my head. My other two cats love to be with me, but Abbie was insistent that she be given preferential treatment… and she got it.
At first, she didn’t like it when I got the two orange kittens a little over six years ago, but over time, she grew to accept them, and most of the time, she and Tigger slept all curled up together. However, in the last several days, she wanted nothing to do with them or me, and just wanted to be under the bed. She hadn’t had a normal digestive process in over two weeks, twice in to the vet for an enema just to give her some relief. She stopped eating and seemed weak and confused. It’s time to say goodbye to my faithful friend and companion.
I did not want to traumatize her (or me) by taking her into the vet tomorrow, so I called an in-home euthanasia vet. They happened to have an opening in the early afternoon. I set the time, got off the phone, and wailed.
The vet and her technician were prompt, professional, and so very compassionate. It made the whole ordeal so much easier on all of us. All of the paper work and payment was taken care of ahead of time, for which I was grateful.
When I was ready, the vet gave Abbie the shot that would cause her to sleep. I held her in my arms and talked to her and stroked her and kissed the top of her head until I felt her relax. During this time, the vet was asking me about Abbie and her life, and it was a sweet retelling of what a wonderful cat she’s been. After holding her for about five minutes and knowing she was totally asleep, I gave her to the vet to administer the final injection.
We had a towel for her on the floor in my den. After the injection, the doctor listened to her heart until she was gone. Not 10 seconds after she said Abbie was gone, the sun broke through the clouds, came in through my window, and shone through the beveled glass on my coffee table. Right next to Abbie’s body, a beautiful rainbow was cast on the floor, and was there for about 30 seconds and then was gone. I said to the vet and her tech, that I guess Abbie was crossing the Rainbow Bridge. The tech said it gave her chills at the timing of the appearance of the rainbow.
Abbie was given a good life, and she did nothing but give love in return. As hard as it is to go through this grief at the end, the only way to avoid it is to not have a pet. I hope I am never without one.
Goodbye, Abbie. I love you.