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Originally this was going to be a knitting-related blog only, and I intend to keep it that way save a few personal posts here and there that cannot go unacknowledged. We lost a member of our family today and that demands attention.

My sweet Igby hung out on my stoop in Brooklyn for a week. She kept coming back and she was so small I thought she was a kitten. Of course we started feeding her and before I knew it (and many “found” posters later that went unanswered), I was officially adopting her. She was malnourished, but fixed, so she was someone’s pet at some point. Her ribs were bruised and the vet said she had probably been kicked around. She was in rough shape but lovable and very beautiful.

I was never really a cat person. I didn’t like the hair everywhere or the smell of cat food. I’d rather play tag in traffic than scoop out a litter box everyday. That all changed when Igby and I found each other and we got each other through many tough times. Bad boyfriends, friendships starting and ending, broken hearts and broken bones, moves here and there… Through it all there she was, waiting patiently for me to let her out of her carrier and move onto the next phase together.

We moved from Brooklyn to Jersey City. Suddenly we were living with a guy who hated cats (my soon-to-be husband) which took some getting used to for both of us. Then a year or so later we really threw her for a loop and introduced Mercury, our pug into the mix. Igby hid in the bathroom for almost a week, scared of the happy puppy who made it her mission to lick Igby, jump on her and run circles around her. Eventually they became buddies, with Igby clearly the alpha female of the house. Sometimes they’d even squish themselves into the same pet bed.

We bought our first home in another part of Jersey City and moved the girls the night before we moved the furniture. Igby hid in the closet until the movers left, but seemed excited about the prospect of lower windowsills-perfect for lounging.

A few years later we moved to Washington, DC, a long car ride with Mercury and Igby in their respective crates wondering what the heck was going on. We had a small balcony in the new place and they seemed ok with the move after that, as long as we’d drag the pet beds out on the summer evenings for them to snooze in the breeze.

Suddenly, we found out a new addition would be coming (the human variety this time) and moved to the other tower of our complex. No balcony this time, but a long hallway perfect for playing fetch and a floor-length window under my desk ideal for both people watching and easy petting access.

We were never really sure how old Igby was. I rescued her in 2002 and the vet said she was at least 3 at that time. I took her for her check up last year and she needed a few teeth removed. The vet said she was pre-hyperthyroid but it could be a year or many years before it manifested. It was hard to estimate since we didn’t know how old she was.

We came home from Thanksgiving a few weeks ago and Igby was barely eating. Barely eating turned into not eating at all and suddenly my beautiful cat went from a robust 14 pounds to a barely there 6 pounds in a matter of a couple of weeks. Off to the vet we went again, but I knew it wouldn’t be good news.

I got the call yesterday that she was full-blown hyperthyroid, her liver was failing, she was prediabetic and this self-imposed anorexia was causing significant problems with her chance to ward off everything that was descending. Cats take medication through food and when they won’t eat… I have too much respect for my sweet girl to make her go through any more pain than she was in already.

My affectionate, marble-eyed beauty went to sleep today. I never liked cats but with her it was love at first sight. I’ll miss your forever, dear Igby and I know you’ll be waiting for me on the other side. Take care, my lovely.

Igby, pre1999-2011

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