Gypsy

My beloved Gypsy was put to sleep today.  

Gypsy came into my life thanks to an ex-boyfriend who paid her pet deposit and fees.  When we went to the shelter I decided I didn't want a kitten because kittens are always adopted.  I wanted to rescue a cat.  As I was walking around I saw Gypsy, a plain old ordinary cat (as I always told her).  When I walked up to the cage she did what I now call the flippy flop.  I continued walking around and then went to the room where you get to interact with the cats.  Gypsy was brought in and she mostly walked around the room and ignored me.  I was visiting with a second cat and looked out to where you could see the cages.  Gypsy was looking right at me and then she did the flippy flop again.  That was it.  I knew she belonged with me.  This was November 1997 and she was 1 and 1/2 years old.  She greeted me this way almost every day for the rest of our time together.  I am so glad I took this video to remember. 

I took her to the neighborhood vet with the name Kitty.  I had to return two weeks later and I was desperate for a name.  Nothing seemed to fit and I didn't want to walk in there again without a name for my new cat.  I was watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 and there it was.  Gypsy the robot who drives the ship.  I looked at her, tried out the name Gypsy and it stuck.

Gypsy has been my best friend for the last 16 years.  For the most part I don't have very many close friends and have had virtually zero romantic or dating relationships until last year.  Gypsy was my immediate family, my roommate and confidant.  I have always felt that she was put here to keep me company while I figured myself out, got my life settled and found someone to be a part of my life. I am not a religious person, but I do have my spiritual moments and this is one of them. Gyspy approved of Mr. Mellow.  She never spat at him and she walked on him just like she did me.  She just accepted him as part of my life.

Gypsy wasn't a lap cat.  She liked being in the same room with me, but not on my lap.  If she did decide to sit on my lap she would only do it for a few minutes before she decided to leave.  She also did not like to cuddle.  She would start complaining seconds after I picked her up and would put on the most dramatic display of yowling like I was causing severe pain when all I was doing was holding her.  It made me laugh. 

She was such a good kitty.  She rarely threw up or had accidents.  She broke only one thing the whole time she lived with me and that was the first night when she jumped on my dresser, slipped on a table runner and broke a decorative perfume bottle.  She never knocked things off tables or climbed the Christmas tree.  Her only issue was scratching the sofa, pulling threads out of things like towels and clothes, a bout of hair pulling that lasted a few years, and not always having the greatest aim when she went to the box.  She always walked with her tail stuck straight up in the air.  It was funny to be on the bed and see the tip of her tail moving around the bedroom, like a flag announcing her arrival. 

Gypsy lived with me in four different apartments.  She evacuated to the Valley with me in Hurricane Rita.  She made me laugh and comforted me when I was upset.  When I got the first phone call that there was something abnormal with my mammogram results I was in shock.  I wasn't crying or making any noise, but just laying on the couch in a ball.  She came right to me and sat on me for a very long time.  I'll never be able to thank her enough for her comfort that day.

Gypsy was diagnosed two years ago with kidney failure.  She was in the very early stages.  We began weekly treatments of subcutaneous fluids.  One of the technicians from the veterinarian's office came once a week to do the fluids.  She stayed on even after she left the clinic and has been cat nurse, cat sitter and friend.  To her I say thank you.  You gave me some extra years with my baby.

Anytime in the last few years when I would think about what would happen the day she passed away, I would cry hysterically.  I would cry hysterically any time I took her to the vet.  I was always so upset at the prospect of the day she would not be with me.  And now here I am.  I also always thought that it would be a much more dramatic decline in health.  Instead little things the last few weeks started adding up and she just wasn't the same.  She probably only had a few months left and it was better to have her go peacefully today then watch her decline even further and be sad every time I looked at her. 

I never thought in a million years that I would be the one to take her in or that I would stay in the room, but I did and I was surprisingly calm.  I think I have been slowly saying goodbye to Gypsy the last few years.  I am sure that there will be many rough days ahead and much more crying to come but for now I am so glad that she was in my life.  My sweet Gypsy.  My Gypsy Lou.  My beloved. 

24 Hours

Greg