Farewell, Sweet Nola
This past Sunday our little Nola died. This is the first time I've actually said it, and really I'm just typing it. I've told people we put her to sleep, we put her down (which sounds terrible) or that we lost her. But to say she "died" is so harsh sounding. Of course, it is harsh. Humane, but harsh.
We adopted Nola at the very end of 2005. She was one when we got her at the animal shelter. She had traveled three hours from Fayette, Iowa, under the hood of a truck. She wasn't injured at all; she'd just taken a very long ride in a weird place. Even at the time, it made us tear up to think of what she went through to find us.
We had a pretty good couple of years (almost) with her. She was a fantastic cat. Everyone who knew her thought so. She'd play fetch with a ball up and down the basement stairs. She'd even give the ball to different people each time so everyone could have a turn tossing it down the stairs for her to run after. She was incredibly good natured. She loved to play and be a wacky cat.
Her favorite place in the world was on our screened in front porch. She always wanted out there. Unfortunately over the summer it was too hot most of the time, but we let her out as often as we could. Especially since she was sick for so many months. The doctor didn't know what her ailment was, so we weren't sure how to help her. We did what we could to make her happy and comfortable. It's so hard, though, because most cats don't show pain that much.
This past weekend, though, it was quite obvious she was very, very ill. She could keep nothing down and was barely eating. And she loved to eat. Even when it kept coming up, the poor girl still had her appetite. And no wonder, she was so thin. She must have been hungry all the time. Our once robust girl was skin and bones.
There is much less chaos in our house now. We've gone from three crazy cats to two. One stays mostly in the basement, and the other is back to her old princess self. The Nola chaos had been missing for a while since she was feeling so poorly, but there's a big hole in our hearts and our lives.
I know we did the right thing. We took her to the Animal Emergency Center to some of the most wonderful and caring people in the business. They made her last moments as peaceful as possible. The doctor administered the medication as I held our Nola and Bill and I were petting her. Her last moments were filled with love, as was her life with us. It's an almost physical pain in my chest just to write all of this. I thought we'd have her for a long time. She seemed to strong for so long. But we lost her and we miss her. I miss her.
I want to think that she is somewhere sitting in a window and snacking on some bread (she loved bread and would rip into any package of it if you turned your head away for five seconds). I want to think she had plenty of bouncy balls to toss around whenever she wants. I want to know for sure that she is happy and knows that we love her and miss her and that her mom feels awful about letting her down and not being able to make it all better.
Good night, sweet Nola. You brought us so much joy.