An Everlasting Love

It’s now been a little more than 24 hours since my boyfriend and I made the decision to put down our cat, Donatella.

donnabag

She was diagnosed with cancer about two weeks ago, and just had her first chemo treatment last Friday, but her quality of life had deteriorated so much within the past week, we both made the decision to let her go – and not be in pain anymore.

Our vet yesterday agreed with our decision, and allowed us to say goodbye to her one last time.

donnablue

The last few days had been torture watching her. Literally a month ago, she was full of life and playful, crying for food, and following us around our apartment.

She was about 8. And we both made the decision that we didn’t want to prolong her life, we just didn’t want her to be in pain, so if chemo worked for her, awesome. But I think her diagnosis was too late – she was frail and could barely walk. Her spleen somehow became enlarged so it was assumed she had lymphoma or leukemia. But the vet didn’t want to hurt her spleen unnecessarily, so treatment was the next step, and luckily, both cancers are treated the same way.

Donatella came into our lives about five-six years ago when one early morning I was awakened to my boyfriend saying “we have a problem.”

“Oh my God! Who died?! What’s going on?”

I followed him to the hallway where I saw our two other cats staring in confusion at me from my bedroom doorway.

I kept hearing “meow, meow, meow….” He opened the door to a small and frightened light brown and white cat sitting on a towel with a food and water bowl next to it.

“Awwwww hi.” My heart instantly melted.

For the next two days, it hid, and then I felt it move under the bed one night. Found it!

We took it to the vet for treatment where we found out it was a girl!

“Oh,” I cooed, “You’re a girl!”

“Of course I am you idiot!” she shot back with a disgusted look.

The next few days she was fed in our bedroom separately from the two other kitties and was slowly integrated into their lives.

And then she turned into a diva!

A few people at work suggested the name Donatella to me, so we named her that. It was very fitting!

At some point she learned that when my alarm went off in the morning, that meant I’d get up, so she learned she could get food at the same time! I can’t tell you how many times she’d be literally in my face whhhaaaaaaaying away waiting for me! And if I wasn’t fast enough, she lay down next to me and wait.

Whhhhhhaaaay!

No, she didn’t meow like other cats, she’d whhhhaaaaaay. And in a small, sometimes quiet voice. You’d have to lean in to hear her.

It was the same cry that melted my mother when my parents babysat when my boyfriend and I went to Burning Man a few years back. When we came back the first thing my mother said was “She’s gorgeous!” “Ma! She sucked you in!”

From that point on, every time I’d call her, her first question was not “how you my lovely daughter Kellene?” NO! It was “How’s Donatella?!”

Ugh!

I’m sure my mother was ecstatic yesterday when she saw Donatella enter heaven! Lord, I can only imagine her taking Donatella everywhere showing *my cat off to *her new friends! You’re welcome mom!

And I know when I die the first thing she’ll say to me is “Donatella’s fine!” “Thanks for asking about me.”

Even my father would tell me, “She’s beautiful.”

I was just happy we could love her and feed her and give her a warm home. She was spade, so I assume someone loved her before.

But when my boyfriend saw her, she was drooling, her fur was matted, her backbone was visible and she had a chipped tooth. She’d become a garbage kitty to survive, which still breaks my heart to think about.

But she lived up to that persona to her last day. She loved getting in our kitchen garbage and opening cupboards. I finally gave in and got babylocks!

No food would go unexamined.

She especially loved milkshakes! Want proof?

milkshake

She loved playing with chopsticks and beer bottle caps. Her adopted brothers had passed on a giant hemp rope fish, so when she came along I showed it to her and said she could play with it.

Within 3 years, it was stripped bare of rope, so I stole it to my dad’s house for “repair” (new rope.) It didn’t get fixed in time. Which was fine; she couldn’t stand up for more than a few minutes at a time by that point. She’d get up, fall against the door/wall and lay back down in the bathroom.

On her last day, I got up, picked out my clothes and put them on the floor in the bathroom. She cried, got up, walked on top of the clothes, and then peed on them. I got mad, and moved her, but it was too late.

I walked out, grumbled to my boyfriend and got new clothes, and put the others, including the only pair of Levi’s I have in the washer. He let me wear a pair of his button-down Levi’s.

He then got up, went to her and started to cry. He knew.

He lovingly placed her in a bath towel in his arms and held her all the way to the vet’s office. It was very sweet to see how much love he showed her, and showed me at the same time.

We made sure to give her lots of pets and kisses. I took one last photo at the vet’s office.

lastdonna

I should be getting a call at any moment to pick up her ashes. She will be placed next to her two other adopted brothers, Plop and Sushi in the windowsill.

The day after her death I made a $100 donation to the Nevada Humane Society in her name. I wanted Donatella to live on, letting other kitties have the same opportunity she did. All animals deserve love.

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