Besides, there's a "Masen" in the mix...
I said goodbye to my 15 yo baby girl this morning and apparently I'm one of those people who needs to grieve by telling Juliette's story!
I got a fluffy black and white tuxedo longhair kitten for my tenth birthday-it was thrilling, and then, after 3 years she disappeared. After a few mos of grieving for Tiffanie, I was raring for a new baby. At the end of 7th grade my mom and I went to a local pet store (my sister and I went through this ridiculous 'have to get a cat from a pet store because they are the healthiest' stage and mom complied) to 'look' at kittens. Juliette was in a cage with 3-4 other tuxedo kittens. I immediately wanted the cute, 'quiet' one who happened to be the only girl. Mom tried to talk me out of getting a kitten that looked so similarly to my last cat but, at 12 years old I desperately wanted to try and replace Tiffanie. Even though Juliette was purchased... she was technically rescued from a dirty pet store in lemon grove... by a future vet tech, no less ;)
I had just seen the Leoardo Dicaprio/Claire Danes version of Romeo and Juliet and so JULIETTE she was. Juliette was my baby. Mom allowed me to miss the last or first period at school or a ballet classes if Juli had a vet appointment. Juli was an indoor/outdoor cat for the first few years of her life, but never strayed from the yard and, as her hunting skills weren't up to par with her cousin's (our family/my sister's calico chunk, Annie), she only brought home the occasional field mouse or lizard. Juliette was bossed around quite a bit by Annie throughout her life (which she used on Masen in later years) and didn't care much for our beloved family lab, Molly. In fact, Juliette kept completely to herself and to me. When Mochey (our family's now 12 year old chocolate labrapsycho) came to us, Juli was completely indifferent until she fell slightly in love with the insane chocolate lab puppy... Moch was the only animal Juli really ever bonded with.
Juliette moved with my parents while I was in Australia in 2006, after they renovated our mission hills house. She went from my little 9 lb cat to a big chunkachunk of a (nearly) 12 pounder! She eventually had to go on a bit of a diet. A year after I moved home (and put Juli in bootcamp-a-la-sarah) I fell in love with an obese, beautiful abandoned black english lab named Auggi who had made his way into the clinic where I have worked in since 2003. I adopted him solely because Juliette tolerated him. Eventually they were cuddling next to each other in my bed.
Last summer Auggi, Juli and I made a monochromatic home of our own until a cat that my clinic took in had kittens... I swore up and down that I had my hands full with my two geriatrics and that I would never, EVER consider another animal... Well, I fell in love with this little bugger of a kitten, he was irresistible and stared at me while I was with a patient on the treatment table at work... He matched my color scheme (I kid!), so I took him home. Juliette was furious for awhile. Eventually she seemed to decide MASEN was good entertainment for her golden years.
Earlier that summer her kidney disease began, about a year after she developed hyperthyroid disease. Juli lived for exactly 1 year with kidney disease and with very little trouble. Over the past week she went downhill quickly. I had kept to quite a strict schedule of checking her blood and supporting her kidney health as much as possible over the past year, but somehow over the course of 1 month, her renal values more than doubled. After a short trial of hospitalization, I came to the heartbreaking decision that she was probably done. I tried so hard to think about what I would tell a friend or a client-QUALITY of life is the top priority. Jul's quality was gone. I didn't want to let her whither away to nothing, 5 lbs was nothing enough. We spent yesterday evening on our back step with catnip and wine and this morning outside watching Masen slay a baby garden snake into 3 (terrifying-the one time I let my 1 year old indoor cat outside...!). The reality of my decision was terrifying and one of the most difficult I've ever made. Juliette went so peacefully in the break room at MVPC this morning, surrounded by love, sincerity and cuddled up in my arms. We were so lucky to have so much love and support around us between my family and coworkers and Juli's dr/my boss. I feel at peace knowing that she doesn't have to fight her diseases or age any longer. Love and veterinary medicine made her senior years amazing. I am beyond grateful to have had 15 years with her.
Cheers and bon voyage my baby girl.
Your Ever So Non-Twi-Posting Elusive S