Rugby made it just less than 6 months before the cancer got the best of her. In the weeks and months following her surgery we joked that she had gotten a brain transplant. She was the most demanding, lovey, affectionate and playful she had ever been. That just made it all that harder the last two weeks as she entered her final, rapid declined. She stopped throwing up, but she also stopped eating. The distress on her digestive system was obviously taking its toll. On Tuesday we took her to the vet for the last time.
One of the wonderful things about Barb having worked at our vet office is the staff all know us; as soon as we walked in the door one of Barb's friends whisked us into a room where she signed the papers and handed them a wad of cash so she wouldn't have to deal with it later. It was hard saying goodbye, but it was the right decision. Cats are very good at hiding pain, and she was obviously in far more than we realized. She didn't exhibit the slightest reaction when the Dr. injected the sedative to knock her out before the final act of putting her down. Barb always wants to be there when they're put down so we stayed and she helped hold her as he administered the final overdose that would kill her. True to form, Rugby was a pain in the ass even in death. She died very quickly, but her postmortem spasms were noticable enough and lasted long enough to make even the Vet uneasy. He checked 4 times for a heartbeat to make sure she was really gone. When he was satisfied she was gone we went out the back entrance (another perk of being a former employee) and of course got hugs from everyone on our way out.
When we got home we buried her in the hay field next to Tar, with one of Tar's ribs that the coyotes had dug up moths before and covered her with rocks to keep them out of her grave. Yesterday we bought a blue spruce and today Barb planted it between their graves.
In the end we paid a lot of money to get just shy of 6 more months with our kitty. We were lucky to get that much. It's what Barb needed, so soon after loosing Tar and I'm glad we did it.