It was early July of 2006. My rear left leg had been amputated at the hip but I learned to use the litter box with 3 legs by propping my butt up against the wall. Jim laughed, then bawled the first time he saw me do that. But, we, Dr. Peterlin, Jim and I thought maybe we had licked the cancer. I enjoyed another year of life after the leg amputation but then the pain came back and I knew.
We took one more road trip. Oh it was wonderful. I got to see all my working girls at the truck stops. Pretty as ever, they all fussed over me and said their goodbyes. Seems like every state has a ‘Baby Doll’ or ‘Brown Eyes’ or ‘Precious’. They were all precious to me.
I had ice cream for dinner every night and lots of canned tuna. Jim brought back from the buffet table something he called prime rib, but, really, a can of tuna suited me just fine. French fries, however, are another story. I wasn’t allowed to have many of them.
Of course, we stopped at all my favorite rest areas. Jim and I took a stroll around. Quite often he would have to carry me, but that was okay. People would stop and talk to us and pet me. Some thought it was silly to let me suffer like that, but what do they know? I was still enjoying my life and I didn’t really have much pain until the last few days.
I don’t know if felines are supposed to cry or not but, I’m sure I did at a rest area in Texas. It was nighttime and we had some extra time. Jim parked in a space nosed up to a gnarled old tree, the kind you see lots of in west Texas. He helped me out on the hood to take in the sights and smells. Then, knowing how much I love climbing trees but couldn’t with just 3 legs, he hiked me up into a crook in the branches. And there I sat for hours just looking around and loving what a great life I had lived. I was one lucky pussy cat and I had no regrets.
The euthanasia was painless and efficient. I wish humans could leave their physical bodies as humanely, but, I digress again. Dr. Peterlin, the kind man I told you about earlier, and his assistant shaved my leg and, while Jim and Larry said their goodbyes, prepared me for my departure. As I transitioned, my two humans stood aside each other and knew they had encountered a most unique feline who would be deeply missed. But they also knew the past 14 years trucking around the country north to south and coast to coast were a most memorable experience to be cherished. Few others, humans or cats, would have a story as profound.