I remember that I got her when i was round 9 years old. She was a couple month old kitten with tan and black strips and I played with her the whole night instead of hanging out with my friend on her birthday. I stayed in my friend’s room with Ziggy all night and we had loved each other ever since.
I was going through extensive bullying and i was an introvert and shy and quiet girl so Ziggy was the only one that I felt I could turn to for comfort and love. My mom didn’t really show me any affection and neither did my dad. My sisters were older than me and didn’t want me around much because they were with their friends. I turned to Ziggy and grew more and more dependent on her for support and love.
9 1/2 years later and she starts to not eat. My mom starts to freak out for the next 2 months about every little thing. This is also the summer before I start my freshman year in college. I tell my mom not to worry as she did’t ever eat much to begin with and the thought of her leaving me made me break down and made me depressed for a few days after the thought occurred.
Turns out that Ziggy had lymphoma cancer and it was too far gone to treat. the vet gave us some steroids to ease her pain and he even took multiple giant needles worth of fluid out of her chest and lungs so that she could breathe better. We could’t do this again because it would hurt her too much and the vet gave her 5 days. She lasted a week, and in that week i stayed with her the whole time. She loved the outdoors so we let her go onto the patio from sunup to a little past sundown to give her the experience. I took my laptop to watch movies and music as i sat out there the whole time, not even coming in to eat so my parents took meals out to me.
Every day i sat outside with her no matter the weather and slept in my parents room so that she could be in the window sill at night. I cried as i watched liquid slowly fill her chest again the whole 7 days and I couldn’t stand that she was suffering but she looked so happy outside and not panicked as she became inside because she could feel it more without the distraction.
Monday came and we took her to the vet around noon. I kept trying to tell myself that they would be able to do something or that she would somehow come home with us even though i knew deep down that she wouldn’t. They tell us they can’t do anything and to think about what we wanted to do. After 20 minutes of loving her, holding her and crying the nurse came in and gave Ziggy the first shot of anesthesia to fall asleep. I kept asking why she wouldn’t close her eyes and the kind nurse told me that animals most times wont close their eyes when under anesthesia. I picked Ziggy up and held her as she breathed regularly in my arms like she would each night when i held her before we went to sleep each night for a few hours. I kissed her and petted her while she slept and then she just seemed to stretch and then stopped breathing in my arms. At the time i thought ‘aww she’s so tired, she’s stretching’. But that was the moment that she died and her body seized up. I set her on the table and unwrapped her to listen to try and find her breathe or her heart beat but she had passed. I cried over her for I don't know how long round 20-30 minutes but I couldn’t leave her. My body wouldn’t move from her and i kept kissing and petting her and calling her name. I always say ashiteru (I love you in Japanese) and i couldn’t stop telling her that as i seized with my screams but i didn’t scream. Even as i write this i am having this same reaction. I got some of her fur and put it in a bottle that the vet provided and then i picked Ziggy up again and held her one last time before i gave her to the nurse and asked her to make sure to give her the second shot of anesthesia to make sure. She also told me that the bad cases went with the first shot.
We had Ziggy cremated and the nurse mad a clay heart with Ziggy’s name, fur, and date, and her ashes went into a sealed tin that i keep with me. For the next week or so i had kept the bottle with her fur on me clutching it in my hands because i couldn't stand to not hold her and that was my lifeline then. I had promised Ziggy that we would always be together and that i would never leave her and that she would always be with me. I feel guilty that i made the decision but i knew she was suffering from cancer and hurting so bad and that it was the right decision. But i feel like i killed her and i blame myself. I haven’t told anyone this full story and the only other person that was there with me was my mom and she is dealing with it on her own so i feel alone in this. I miss her every moment I'm alive and i can’t say her name or hear it without crying. This happened a month before college started for me this past year and my friends here don't understand our connection. They say that she was just a cat and that i can get another. i did get a black kitten named Barracuda, Bari for short, and my parents are 10 minutes from campus so i can visit him frequently. But i still miss her with everything i have and i will never be able to forget her. she is still more to me than many people in my life. thank you for reading this.