The Oldest Cat has Left Us

Syrina died in her sleep Friday night/Saturday morning; she was 20 years and seven weeks old. “Died” is, oddly, a difficult word to say and to type when referring to someone you knew personally, even if that person weighs about three pounds (she was very skinny at the end) and is covered in fur.

Her last week was difficult, filled with seizures, blindness, incontinence, and coma. It was hard for me to watch, and it’s still difficult to think about without tearing up. This is going to be at least a three-tissue post.

My husband is an incredibly fine hospice nurse — it’s not his vocation, but it is one of his mutant talents.

He untangled her when her blinded wandering took her into the computer wiring. He offered her tempting tidbits of food, kept water nearby and dried her paws when she accidentally stepped in it. He made sure she always knew he where he was, and he comforted her when she came out of each seizure.

While I quietly freaked out from across the room, or (better yet) from another room. I don’t have that kind of strength; my strength is organizing and planning. I called the vet and arranged to have her cremated and the ashes returned to us. I know exactly where we’re going to keep them, too; on a shelf right next to Spooky Man’s office chair, along with his mineral specimens. She’s also one of his precious things.

Go chase butterflies over the rainbow bridge, Syrina/Sirena/Serena/Sarina. You deserve it. (Her name, at various times over the years, has been spelled all of those different ways; another of Spooky Man mutant talents.)

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