Nutmeg, one of my two cats (sisters), had to be put down today. We had very little warning, as she'd only been a little bit poorly for a couple of days. I guess I'm writing this to try and process it, and to get some of my memories of her down for later when maybe I don't remember her so well.
We got Nutmeg and her sister Marble from their previous owners about a year and a half ago. They'd had them for a long time, having rescued them when they were about 1. They loved them dearly but their new daughter had a cat allergy, so they wanted to re-home them.
Nutmeg was terribly shy and anxious at the beginning, hiding away for several days (while Marble was confident from the beginning.) So when she did open up to me for the first time it was a bit of a shock. She went from timidly sniffing my hand to purring like a motor bike engine, rubbing up against me and thwacking her tail like an ecstatically happy dog.
She had very gradually come out of her shell over the last year or so, being less afraid of people walking past her and more eager to jump on my mum's or my own lap and have a good purr.
I don't know how well these pictures will show it when I post this, but she was a very beautiful cat. And so very soft. Marble is darker, a mix of darks browns and creams with dashes of crimson. Nutmeg has a similar patterning but she was all sandy and ginger with attractive bold markings above her eyes and on her front to legs. With a white chin and chest, she could look quite regal at times. Especially in the sun light, her fur was such a lovely colour.
And her meow was adorably. It was quite high and squeaky and most insistant at feeding times.
Oh and she malted like fur was going out of fashion.
It was really upsetting at the vets- we took her for an ultra sound, and they found the cancer. Nothing they could do. Operating wouldn't help because of something to do with her blood cell count. He could have given her some injections to bolster her and let us have her home for a few days to say goodbye. I was already in tears at this point and me and my mum and dad had a few minutes alone to talk about it. We didn't want to prolong any suffering. She'd perked up and calmed down a little bit by then so we stroked her and tickled her chin. It was very quick in the end- quicker than I'd expected. The vet snipped some fur of her arm while mum and me stroked her and even before he'd finished injecting her she'd relaxed and closed her eyes. I didn't know if that meant she'd gone. She was still so soft under my hand. I moved back while the vet check her pulse with a stethoscope. She looked the same way she did whenever she was basking in the sunlight, resting on one side limbs stretched out... peaceful. The vet was silent and I stroked her a bit more. I put my face to her fur, a kind of kiss. I think I probably said 'bye' or something. Then went outside to get some fresh air (I'd been crying pretty hard).
I wonder when Marble will notice she's gone. They were never exactly close (although they were known to curl up with each other when we had to take them to the cattery)... will it be when Nutmeg's smell starts to fade from the house?
I hope she didn't feel too bad in the end. I hope we did the right thing.
Good bye Nutmeg. Love you.