My dearest love has turned into an old lady.
She entered the world in April of 1993. I was ten years old and blessed to adopt her into my life. We grew up together, caring for each other, both believing that the other was the child who needed nurtured. As a kid I snuggled her under the covers and waited for her to fall asleep against my side. I did foolish things too, like shut her in the bathroom with me when I dried my hair, even though I knew she was afraid of the hairdryer. I only did that so that I could rescue her, so she would cling to me for dear life as if I was the only thing that could protect her. I cherished that feeling of being needed, of being someone's hero. Even now, no matter how stressed she becomes, I know that I can calm her by lying on my back and placing her on my chest. I'll rub her ears, she'll purr, then she'll lick my nose. We're best friends.
Winter is 16 years old now, a geriatric kitty. I've watched her slow down over the years, sleep more, play less, lose weight and start looking, well, old. I monitored her weight, checked her blood work at regular intervals, but there's not much you can do for old age. However, in the past few weeks we've noticed a drastic change in her ability to see. I took her in to my part-time work place and the vet checked her out. Detached retinas. Her blood pressure is high. Her heart murmur has become louder. Blood work confirms kidney disease. I figured as much.
I started feeding her special food for her kidneys two days ago. I mixed in vitamins as well as a tiny quarter of a pill to lower her blood pressure. She has always been a bit of a piglet and canned food has been a special treat in the past, so she was extremely excited to start eating this delicious, stinky, wet food. That day was awesome, she ate happily, seemed to be feeling well, and had no complaints. Yesterday went just as smoothly, but early this morning she decided to stop cooperating and has had no interest in eating since.
Bribery with chicken broth hasn't worked.
I don't know what to do.
I hate knowing that she doesn't feel well enough to eat but not knowing how to make her feel better. I've been mentally preparing for her departure from this earth, but I don't look forward to that moment. I don't look forward to the hours leading up to it either.
Oh, my sweet child. She's been beside me through it all. She has been a constant friend through all of my ups and downs: puberty, those angst-filled teen years, the loves and break-ups, the growing up, the marriage and moving out. She has never let me down. I just hope I can return the favor.