Smudge, the 20 year old, old lady cat died last night.
For the equivalent of a 140 year old woman, she was in remarkably good shape until just a few months ago. Her kidneys started to fail, and her thyroid was so messed up that she ate constantly. She had no pep. She'd sit with her eyes half open, she seemed groggy. Pam and I had even been hydrating her with an IV and bag of water and that didn't do much good.
About a week ago, I wrote about how she fell into the water and somehow got herself back on the dock. Well, yesterday I saw her standing on the edge of the dock, staring into the water. I thought she looked confused, maybe even senile. She took a step towards the water and then stepped back. She then got back on the boat.
She was missing this morning. A boat guest said she saw Smudge sitting on the same dock at 11:30 last night. We looked around a bit but didn't see anything. Later, our guest was walking up the dock and found her floating by that same dock. She called to me to bring a bag, but Pam heard too and ran down the dock and pulled her out before I could get there. Pam is very distraught to have lost a family member that she's had for 20 years.
We'll never know, of course, if Smudge died and fell in, was confused and stepped in, or perhaps knew it was her time to die and ended it as animals sometimes do.
If you don't believe that there is a greater power, then consider this. Smudge fell in the water sometime during the night. The eight foot tide here in Stamford goes in and out twice a day, moving things pretty good. Smudge was carried out with the tide, but then brought back right to us so we could find her and have closure. Sort of her way to say goodbye.
This was Smudge in February, just a few months ago, healthy and helping Pam make jewelry. Rest in peace, Smudge. You were an awesome cat and a wonderful member of our family.