Sunday, January 27, 2008

In loving memory of our kitty

Our beloved cat Giselle had to be put to sleep on January 5. We'd noticed that she hadn't been eating as much as usual off and on since Thanksgiving, but she often went through periods of eating less (especially when left at the vet's for boarding or after major changes) then her appetite would perk back up again. I took her into see the vet for a routine checkup, and it turned out she had lost a lot of weight. Giselle, never a fan of any vet, declined to let them take her blood without anesthesia. They took other samples and thought it was just a UTI. I took her back home, doped her up with antibiotics (which she loved!!), and over the weekend she was lethargic and barely ate anything. Back to the vet the following week, where they finally got the blood test and found that she was suffering from end stage renal failure. Our only treatment option would've bought her a few months at best before she declined again, and would've required a stay of at least a week at the vet's, with daily anesthesia so they could give her IV fluids. They usually give cats tube feedings, but they knew that Giselle would never let them do that due to her extremely high anxiety in veterinary procedures. So after much discussion and tears, we decided that the kindest thing to do for Giselle would be to have her put to sleep.

We brought her home for a couple of days, and gave her lots of hugs and cuddling, and all her favorite foods. She snacked on her beloved weed, salmon, tuna, and even ate a little of her normal food.

She actually jogged down the stairs when we put out the weed, which was wonderful to see. It is some consolation that she enjoyed her last few days and is now at peace and free from discomfort. She was a wonderful cat, and we miss her very much. It's very strange to come home and not hear meows welcoming you back (and demanding attention and treats immediately!).

I adopted Giselle (aka Stampey, Gizzard, and Bucky) from Wayside Waifs in the spring of 2004, when she was about 2 years old. She was quite well-traveled, living in Kansas City twice and Ohio, and visiting Toledo and Michigan several times. She earned the nickname "Stampey" because of her habit of running up and down the stairs so frantically and somehow contriving to sound like an elephant rather than a 7-lb. cat. She loved napping, sitting in boxes, curling up with people or fluffy blankets, looking out windows, and batting at fishing toys and ping pong balls.

Stacey once spent a harrowing night in the guest room at my condo, waking up once during the night to find Gizzard staring intently at her from atop the scratching post. She woke a few hours later and found that Giselle was chewing on her hair! It was probably a normal feline attempt to try and groom Stacey, but as I can attest from one of Giselle's subsequent attempts on me, it was quite the disturbing experience!!

Here are some of our favorite photos of Giselle. She had the habit of looking adorable and staring right at you...until the camera came out, at which point she'd totally change positions and refuse to follow any pleas/threats/bribes to look at the camera.

The infamous 'HEY!! Get the hell away from my weed!" picture:

Finding a sunbeam on the condo stairs:

Plotting with Darth Tater:

With Mom & Dad:

Here she is this Christmas, investigating the the dancing robots that Tony sent us.

She looked,

and promptly decided she was having nothing to do with them!

We miss you, dear kitty. Thanks for all the wonderful memories.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A big milestone!

My wonderful car, Henry the Honda, turned 150,000 miles today!

For a belated birthday gift, he will be going to our friendly neighborhood Honda dealership for a brand spanking new exhaust manifold in a few weeks. I got my Civic in fall of 2000 before I left for my internship in Albany, and he has been a very reliable car over the many miles I've driven. What say we aim for 250,000?