R.I.P. Stripe

StripeJust talked to Mama. She put Stripe to sleep today. The poor thing had a bowel disease and just wasn’t going to get any better. Mama took Stripe to one vet who was all about treating her, and wanted my 74 year old mother to give a cat five different kinds of medicine every day. You ever try to give a cat medicine? And Mama was supposed to do this every day? To a miserable cat who most likely wouldn’t get any better?

After the first cat-wrestling session, Mama called our old vet, Dr. Eskeridge. He told her that there really was nothing that could be done for Stripe. The medicines might prolong her life, but there was no cure for her disease and her quality of life would be minimal, at best. In short, as brutal as this sounds, it would mean putting out a lot of money on an animal that was going to die anyway. Dr. Eskeridge thought that the humane thing to do would be to put Stripe out of her misery. In the end, that’s what Mama decided to do. It was a hard decision for her.

Before anyone can start whining about the way I phrased the situation, Mama did not put money over Stripe’s life. That was my clinical assessment of the situation. Mama loved that cat dearly. Which is one of the reasons she couldn’t bear to see her suffer like that. I won’t go into the nasty details, but it was a bowel disease. Stripe couldn’t even sleep comfortably because she wouldn’t quite lay down on her side.

I’ll miss Stripe. She was the last of the line for me. The last surviving child of the mighty Hannibal. It occurred to me that this is the first time since I was a kid that there hasn’t been an animal in my life. Stripe wasn’t mine, but there was a connection to her because of Hannibal. My wife helped Stripe be born. And true to form, Stripe came a few days later than her brother and sister. She was as stubborn as her father and as simple as her mother and received none of the better qualities of either, but somehow she was still an endearing combination of frustration. Mama did, after all, name her after a gremlin.

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