a few days ago, we learned that girl, virago's cat for 12 years (as well as mine for the past 2–3), had terminal cancer.
her health had been deteriorating gradually for a while—we'd taken her to the vet three or four times in the past several months for various things that we'd thought were unrelated, but in hindsight were probably all symptoms of the greater illness. she'd always been an intensely willful cat, one who despised going to the vet and was thus quite difficult to treat, so it was probably inevitable that we'd be unable to diagnose her cancer until it was advanced.
we brought her home for a couple days after her diagnosis, but by that point she couldn't walk more than a few paces and we had to give her pain medication every 8 hours, which she hated. the drugs kept her relatively comfortable, but it was clear she would never get better, only progressively worse, so last night we took her to the vet's office one last time to be put to sleep.
now there's a hole in our lives—i can hardly look around the apartment without seeing a spot where she used to she used to hang out. but the hardest part of the grieving process was probably this past weekend, when we knew what was coming but couldn't do anything to help her. now that she's gone it's kind of a relief, because i know she won't have to suffer anymore (nor will my wife).
girl lived a productive life for a cat, and was even memorialized in a few lolcats, one of which was featured on the wikipedia entry for lolcat for more than a year (until it was removed in june by someone who didn't understand wikipedia's copyright policies). she may be gone now, but she lives on in our hearts... and on flickr, where her photos will continue to bring joy to others.
goodbye, girl. you will be missed.