I had slept in my daughter's room with her, because she had gotten hurt right before bed and wasn't sleeping well. To save myself countless trips up and down the stairs, I caved and stayed with her. At 6:30 in the morning our white cat, C.A.T. woke me up. She was laying in the middle of the room whining for no apparent reason. This in and of itself is not extremely unusual. It usually means that she is out of food, or just want's us to know that she is there - so I blew it off. I got up and got the boys ready for school. Checked her food dish to ensure that it wasn't empty, and forgot all about it.
About half an hour later, my oldest son came to tell me that there was something wrong with C.A.T.. I remembered the whining and went to check right away. She was in the process of coming down the stairs, but something was definitely wrong. She wasn't using her back legs. With great disapproval from the very self sufficient cat, I picked her up and put her at the bottom of the stairs before going to call my husband. He said that it had happened to her once or twice as a kitten. She had had issues with seizures off and on throughout her life, and sometimes they caused temporary paralysis. This hadn't happened for more years then I can count, but I had witnessed a small seizure last fall, so it made since. He suggested keeping an eye on her, and thought that she would recover within an hour.
But she didn't. I had to run an errand, and when I got home she was back upstairs. I couldn't bare the thought of her falling her way down them again so I put up a baby gate, brought up some food and water and sat with her until my husband got home. He took her to the vet, but there was a long wait due to a trauma that had came in between the time he called to set up the appointment and the time he arrived. They suggested that he left her, and they would call us when they were able to see her.
Several hours later we received the call. We went back in only to find out that she had heart disease, and a blood clot was blocking the blood flow to her legs. Much worse, her circulation was so bad that there was nothing that they could do. She wasn't eating or drinking, and they didn't think she would survive much longer. For a cat that appeared so healthy, I almost didn't want to believe them. The only outward sign of illness was her lack of leg movement, but that was pretty major.
After lots of tears and discussion, we made the difficult decision of letting her go. We didn't want her to suffer any more then she had to, and since there was no way to cure her, the option was to put her down or to let her suffer her way through a painful death on her own. In the end, despite the tears, I know that we made the right decision. Her circulation was so poor that it took about 10 times longer than normal for the sedative to take effect to put her to sleep. She wasn't in any pain that we could tell, but she definitely wasn't happy.
C.A.T. was my office cat. She liked to lounge on my desk, or stand in front of my computer monitor while I was trying to write. She was very independent and strong willed - evidenced by her climbing two flights of stairs using only her front legs. She didn't like to be petted, but did enjoyed being scratched - and there is a difference and she would let you know if you crossed the line. She liked being in high places. Being upstairs or on top of a shelf always made her happy. She brought me a bird once... I mistakenly told her to let it go, and she obeyed. It took me forever to get that bird out of my kitchen. And of course there was the time that she was trying to drink out of a vase that I had in my desk and knocked it over, soaking everything. She was very much a part of my life, and I will miss her greatly - we all will.