Monday, October 22, 2007

Stardust is Ill

There is a particular Russian composer whose music I like to play on the piano because it is challenging and deep, even a little bit dark. Khatchaturian. Admittedly, part of the reason I like his stuff is because his name sounds like "cat" a little bit, and the first song of his I played was "Cat on a Swing."

There was one song in my book of his that I kind of liked, but didn't quite get until today. The song is titled "Liado is Ill." It's very depressing and dark, and thought, "Geez, for being sick, this is a real downer of a song! It's kind of dramatic . . ."

But today, my partner in crime, Stardust, is ill, and I keep crying and crying, and I think, "Oh, I get it now." And, I kind of wish I didn't. It's not that I haven't lost someone I've loved before; in fact it's because I have several times that it's so much harder.

When I met Stardust, it was something really special. Before I even got to the Humane Society, I knew what she would look like, her name, her personality, and that I was bringing her home that day. I was a little dismayed when I didn't see her at first; they had her in a cage on the back counter, possibly because she was scheduled to be put down that day because no one wanted her. I took her home.

The first year was horrible. I got no sleep, she was mean, she scared my guests, and we had a kind of battle for power . . . and then, one day, we both realized that control didn't matter that much to either of us, and what we really wanted was companionship. I'll never forget that day, because it was the first day she ever purred. All those people who said that I spoiled her, that they would never put up with a cat like that, and even called her a "demon cat" couldn't possibly understand the tenderness of our friendship, that we'd stayed close despite everything, and that made us inseparable. We were best friends.

Stardust was there for me when I was the most lonely. Jesse had gone away too college and was too busy for me at the time, and I was living alone in my studio apartment. My only friend in my age group that was really in communication with me lived half-way across the country and then disappeared later on. While Stardust and I weren't as close as ever back then, and we had our ups and downs, we were still each other's family and we counted on each other.

When I moved, I was afraid she wouldn't like it or that she'd want to have stayed behind or her attitude would suddenly change. Instead, what I saw from her when she realized we were moving and I didn't leave her behind was relief. To Stardust, this was the sign for the first time in her life that she would never have to be alone again. I hadn't realized that was why she hadn't opened up to me entirely. She was afraid of being hurt! Go figure! Everyone else had given up on her, until I had come along.

Stardust and I have been best buddies ever since. I don't think anyone else could understand us better, save for maybe Jesse. But, then Jesse and I moved in together to solve both of our dilemmas (getting me out of a bad neighborhood and getting Jesse out of a house far away from everything), and when we both started working full time, she was really lonely. So, we got Tatsu.

I was really worried that Stardust would feel replaced, and once she accepted Tatsu, I thought things would be okay. But, she's been melancholy ever since, even though she enjoys playing with him, and she's wanted more attention from me . . . I've kept a close eye on her, consequently, wanting to show her that I still love her best, but she seemed to still lose a little shine over time. She had gotten sick when he first moved in, but it passed, or at least seemed to . . .

And then, I came home Friday, and there was kitty vomit everywhere. At first I thought that it must be Stardust and Tatsu, and that they had both eaten something bad (usually if Tatsu starts eating it, Stardust will push him out of the way and finish it; it's surprising she isn't fat sometimes). But then, it became clear that it was just Stardust, and she desperately clung to me the whole evening between continuing to vomit. I was cleaning up vomit until 1am, at which time I fell asleep only to be woken up an hour later when Jesse got home.

First thing in the morning, we called the vet and got an appointment. I was relieved by their assessment; they thought the same thing that I had: Stardust has an obstruction. There's no blood in her feces from what we can tell, and she's throwing up the food and water immediately after taking it in. This happens from time to time; he gave us some medicine and told us to use petromalt, which I have, and I felt good, that things would get better.

Stardust threw up less, but she also started eating less, so I wasn't sure if things were going better. I don't feel like she's going to die, but I was really scared, so I tried to curb my fear and wait it out . . .

And then, yesterday afternoon, she stopped eating altogether. Consequently, there hasn't been any vomit, really, but all she does is sit and look tired . . . And the expression on her face reminds me all too much of another cat I used to know . . . Her name was Penelope, and she died from a tumor in her stomach. AHHHH!!!!

So, like the pathetic cat-loving mommy that I'm not ashamed to be, I spent the entire morning crying until I had to call in "sick" to my new boss, leaving her a voicemail explaining that I wasn't coming in because I was horrified my cat would die and I had to take her to the vet. I can only hope that she's not one of those people who thinks that animals aren't sentient or aren't as important as humans are. :b I don't think that she is, but the thought of getting in trouble over this makes me want to punch someone in the face. It's astounding to me that people can look at animals and see nothing when my relationship with Stardust is so strong . . .

So, I'm just venting here. I can't imagine life without Stardust. Well, I mean, when I got her, I knew that if we both lived happy, long lives, which is the goal, then of course I would outlive her. But, it would be okay, because I'd know that she would be happy, that I had kept my promise to her to take care of her and give her a full life. I guess I'm even more upset because this seems to happen a lot. Not just with pets, either! I get close to someone, and they do one of three things: 1.) They stab me in the back, 2.) They disappear for some unknown reason, leaving me to wonder for the rest of my life if I did something wrong or if they were just jerks or if something horrible happened to them that I could have prevented if humans just weren't scared of opening up, or 3.) They die an untimely death. I'm sick of it! It's not fair, and Stardust deserves better! She's such a good kitty! She's so horribly misunderstood, though. * sigh *

Anyway, we've got our appointment now, so I'd better get ready. Ugh. I guess I'll have to follow up later. Hopefully, it will be with good, amusing news or something.


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