Mike and I went on vacation last weekend, and we left my cat at home by herself - with clean litter, plenty of food, and plenty of water, of course. We left Thursday night and came back pretty late on Monday, and when we returned, we noticed that at some point, she had knocked over her water and she barely even touched her food. She was pretty thirsty, given that I don't think she'd had any in at least a couple of days and it had been hot last weekend, but when I gave her some Monday night, she drank quite a bit and seemed okay. A little upset, but I assumed that was because we'd been gone for a while.
She was acting weird Tuesday, but I chalked it up to her still being upset when we left her. It wasn't unusual for her to act funny after vacation, so I let it go. A few days ago, though, I noticed she was sitting in the same spot in the bathtub; she wouldn't get up to eat, drink, or use the litter box. I brought food and water to her. She ate a little, drank some, but she still never got up to use the litter. She just urinated where she was. She was extremely lethargic.
I meant to take her to the vet yesterday, and didn't have time because of work. I'm glad I waited.
Today, after a job interview that I had that went pretty badly, I picked her up and headed over to the animal hospital. As it turns out, kidney failure is pretty common in a cat her age - she was eighteen and a half - and the veterinarian was sure that they'd likely been failing her for a while, but the symptoms didn't seem to become present until she ran out of water, thus dehydrating her. So I'm basically blaming myself right now.
They could have treated her, but honestly, she was eighteen years old, deaf, and treatment would have been long and difficult. It didn't seem worth it. It was honestly the hardest decision I've ever made, and I miss her so fucking much, it hurts. I couldn't even bring myself to return the empty cat carrier and blankets up to the apartment, so they're still sitting in my car. I did nothing by cry and sleep after I got home.
My mom had to pay for the euthanasia and the cremation, since I didn't have the money to. She also let me do the private cremation, which means that in about a week, I'll get a call letting me know I can pick up her ashes... Yes, I'm that crazy cat lady who keeps her cat's ashes. But given that she was my first real pet, and I had her for eighteen years (making her family, really), I think I'm entitled to be a little crazy and keep her ashes around if I want to.
Rest in peace, baby. :(