Brooks passed away at home on November 29, 2001, after having been a member of the family since February 1983. (The picture at right is one of the last pictures taken of her, just a couple of months before she died. Doesn't she look like a little angel?)
We'd noticed more than 2 years earlier that she was losing weight and becoming rather frail, and the vet diagnosed chronic renal failure. She was put on steroids and a special diet, and I think we were all suprised by how long she hung in there, and that she outlasted Nike by almost a year.
But maybe we shouldn't have been surprised. Even though she was always a small cat, and rather delicate-looking, she was actually the tough one. She was always the first to explore some place or something new, the first to slip out an open door, the great huntress, the one who would make friends with the pet sitter. Alas, she can no longer serve as our official greeter.
After Nike died, we decided not to get another cat right away, because we thought Brooks would prefer being an "only kitty". That way she wouldn't have to compete for lap space, which she was getting increasingly demanding of.
During the last couple of weeks of her life, I spent a goodly amount of time making household adjustments for her comfort. Even though it was too warm out, I was contantly adjusting the blinds on the windows to let in a maximal amount of sunlight because she seemed to enjoy it so much. I watched way too much TV because I thought it was important to make a lap for her. I placed boxes on the floor to make it easier for her to climb up on the bed at night. When even the boxes became too big a step, I built a ramp. When she still insisted on jumping down even though she was too weak to land successfully, I switched to sleeping on the floor so she could be by my side, where she wanted to be, without having to get up on the bed.
I am thankful
she chose to die at home rather than force me
to make the awful decision. Bob likes to say that was
her final snooker on us, because she bygod did not want
to go to the vet again.
The one thing that made me smile the day she died
was when someone suggested she was now back with
her friend Nike in Kitty Heaven...
I could just picture it: Brooks seeing Nike up there, and
saying "Oh, no! Not YOU again!"
(But they still hang out together because they
really are friends :-)