I think, despite creating the idea myself, I’ve had more exceptions in my Money Mondays than I’ve had rule-following ones. This was not what I was planning on blogging about today, but well, sometimes life takes your plans and takes a leak all over them.
We spent 302.50 DKK today, and it didn’t make me happy, but it needed to be done.
Let’s start at the beginning. Lidja is my first cat. I never had one growing up, and a lot of apartments near colleges don’t allow them, so I was in grad school before I could get a cat, and Lidja was it. She was about 10 months old when I got her in 2002. The entire time I’ve had her, if there was ever a pile of clothes or towels on the floor, she would pee on them. She was cleared by a vet, so it wasn’t a medical problem. It’s just something she’s always done. I’ve always joked that she makes sure I keep things clean, so it’s a good thing.
That excuse worked pretty well for a while, but it’s extremely hard to keep clean with a family of four in a very small flat. I found that with a toddler and a newborn to take care of, there was just no way to get all the laundry put away immediately. And in a tiny one-bedroom flat, there are only so many places you can put it. It was getting peed on, and my stress levels were rising steadily. Mind you, it wasn’t just the peeing, but the peeing certainly didn’t help… we came to the decision of rehoming the cats, at least temporarily. There just isn’t space for four humans and two cats here. It’s too much.
We thought we had found a temporary home for them, but that didn’t work out. Then we thought we found a permanent home for them, but that didn’t work out. Every day just seemed more stressful than the last. At over 10 years old, Lidja seems not to be adoptable in Denmark. Everyone wants kittens. Even Tycho, almost 7… too old. None of the shelters take cats over 5… except we found one with no age limit. They still strongly recommended against giving up cats over 5, because they aren’t adoptable. After some discussion, we decided to give up Tycho to the shelter anyway. Despite being over 5, his boisterous personality and energy might make him seem younger and more fun to a potential adopter, we thought.
Then yesterday, right in front of us, Tycho peed on a shirt on the floor. Tycho.
It had never occurred to me before that it could be Tycho peeing on the laundry. Lidja has always been a pee-on-the-laundry cat! When I see pee on laundry, I know it’s her! But… it wasn’t. If it’s Tycho, it could be a medical problem!
Today was fully booked for both of us, so we couldn’t get him to a vet right away. Thomas went to work and I lugged the girls off into the cold Scandinavian air for a LINK committee meeting. When we came home from the meeting, both girls were cranky. I asked Dagmar to nap, and a fell into a chair to nurse Maggie. About an hour later, Thomas came home. Dagmar was still sleeping, and Maggie was still resisting a much-needed nap. I was still exhausted from dealing with that.
Thomas wanted to put a sweater on over his T-shirt, but when he found the sweater he wanted on the bed, it had been peed on. “There’s more pee on the bed,” he said, “but Tycho’s sleeping on it.”
Well, that’s odd. Cats don’t usually sleep in their own pee. After a moment…
“Um, Tycho’s dead.”
I looked up from Maggie, who was still letting me know she was not down with this napping thing. “Wait, what?”
I don’t know how to describe how I felt. Shocked that it happened so suddenly. Relieved that we wouldn’t have to rehome him. Sad, because even though he was the hugest pain in the butt from the moment I got him, and he wasn’t a great cat at all, he was a great cat. Upset that my negligence could have led to this. Confused about what to do next.
Apparently what you do next is call the vet and tell them you’re coming in with a pet in need of cremation. And it costs 302.50 DKK. About half an hour later, Thomas walked out the door with Tycho in his carrier. It was the only time he neither resisted going in, nor fought to get out.
RIP Tycho Brahe Fach-Pedersen
1 April 2004 – 21 February 2011