I had to have my cat Luna put to sleep on Friday. It was almost 8 months to the day since I had Rugrat put to sleep. She was 17 1/2 and had kidney failure. It came on suddenly on Halloween, although there were some subtle signs that I missed in the last few weeks.
For those of you who never met Luna, she was a badass honey badger of a cat. She picked me out at the Chapel Hill SPCA, and proved to be an intelligent, quirky, alpha cat with a sense of humor. Although she was not particularly big and had asthma most of her life, she was the queen of the house and the neighborhood, primarily by through sheer force of will. She would take on all other cats, rats, racoons and most dogs. Despite being such a badass, she trusted me completely and was very bonded to me. However, as a total one-person cat, she was not all that social to people other than me. She let Rugrat take care of that. Later in life she started being friendlier to other people and had a good memory for people whom she had met before.
Due to her asthma and her tendency to get in trouble, she used up more than her given nine lives. She may've borrowed a few from Rugrat. I made many after hours trips to the emergency vet with her, as well as a lot of regular trips. I always assumed that she wouldn't live that long. A few years ago, when I was between jobs and was home a lot, I realized that Luna was actually more active than Rugrat, who was two years younger, and had a premonition that she would outlive Rugrat. Unfortunately, that proved to be right.
Luna took Rugrat's death hard, even though Rugrat loved to annoy her. She had a lot of digestive upsets and became more lethargic. I got Molly for myself and as a playmate for Lucy, but she and Luna really bonded and Luna perked up a lot once I got Molly. I think that Molly probably prolonged Luna's life by a few months. I don't know if she reminded Luna of Rugrat, or if it was something else. In the last month, Molly spent a lot of time sitting with Luna.
I'm not very religious, and most days I don't know what I believe, if anything. Halloween is the modern incarnation of the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when the veils between the worlds are thinnest. The Catholic Church preempted this custom and converted it into All Saints/All Souls Day/Day of the Dead. It gives me comfort to think that Luna picked that time to leave this life and go join Rugrat in the mists.