I never wanted cats. G wanted cats. I always had dogs. Plus, my dad's allergic to cats and so I'd always heard bad things about them. I never trusted cats- they're too sneaky! I finally agreed one day. I'd always wanted to name my first born child Cassidy. One day in 2001 G went into a PetCo while a shelter was there for an adoption event. He came home and announced, "I've found your Cassidy!" Skeptical, I took the ride to PetCo (on Topanga Canyon and Ventura Blvd) and I saw her. I knew right away she was my baby girl. She was in a cage with an adorable black and white cat who would become her brother, my baby boy, because I couldn't separate them. I walked in thinking I was just humoring my husband, and walked out without knowing how much my life was about to change.
G's allergies and asthma started up within a couple days. We were in the urgent care center getting him inhalers and yet there was no way I was giving these cats up. I was in love. To this day G takes meds to control his allergies and asthma. It's worth it. Even he would tell you that.
Cassidy loved moving to Michigan. We put critter food out on our deck and it was like the Animal Planet in our own backyard. She loved it and always made those funny little kitty noises when she'd spot birdies.
Some of you might know that I was never the kind of girl that always dreamed of being a mom. I was never the kind who wanted to hold other people's babies or coo over them. Cassidy taught me how to be a mom. She taught me all about unconditional love. No matter what I did, looked like, ate, wore, etc she loved me. She was the snuggliest, sweetest, prettiest kitty in the world.
In 2006 I felt a lump in her leg. Cancer. We removed it. Well, a vet did. About 6 months later, it was back. We were told that it would keep coming back, but our best bet would be to remove the leg. In fact, the cancer was a result of a reaction to the rabies vaccine. Perhaps we need to Green Our Vaccines for our animals as well?? In September 2006 Cassidy's leg was removed. I nursed her to health and cared for her the best I could. It took her no time to master life on 3 legs. She didn't even miss that 4th leg. She freaking rocked those 3 legs!!
I was out all morning long, stopping home for lunch. I planned on being gone from 130 until early evening. I just happened to be here as my little girl kitty took her last breaths. I got to hold her in those final moments. I got to give her a fraction of the love she gave me in that moment. I won't tell you exactly how it happened because that's mine. But I will say that she did not suffer. She was not in pain. She was held by her mommy, who adored her. Within moments the vet was here. I wasn't ready to let go of Cassidy, so Andrea let me hold her until I was ready. Later, I found out that Andrea was actually rushing to get home to pack for a flight she had scheduled later in the afternoon. Still, she let me take my time with my girl.
I am so grateful I was home; I had that time with her. She got to pass while in my arms. My human daughter doesn't understand what's going on, but she did get to say "bye bye Tassidy" (she can't yet say the 'K' sound!) and she kissed her. Now, these two never were friends. They basically tolerated each other. But in this moment, LB gave her a kiss and a little pet. I kissed her toes, rubbed her chin like she loved, and gave her limp body to the vet.
Here's the worst part: G is still in China. I couldn't reach him for 7 hours. When I finally told him, he couldn't believe it. He asked "Cassidy who?" It was so shocking. Cassidy was not sick. This was some kind of heart attack. I feel terrible that he didn't get a chance to say goodbye. But that very morning, we were having a video chat on skype and Cassidy was so cute, all cuddled up on the floor. I put the camera on her and Greg and I kvelled about how sweet she was. She heard us talking about her and she lifted her head proudly. She knew how much we loved her.
G's allergies means that the kitties are not allowed in our room anymore. Since he's been out of town, I let her sleep with me this week. I figured that he'd never find out, so why not?! I'm so happy I got to have that time with her.
I miss her already. I go in and out of crying, sobbing, and shock. I am devastated. I will miss her forever. I will never forget the gifts she gave me: the ability to love, to mother, to accept unconditional love. I will never be the same.