Stinkerbelle is Dying

Stinkerbelle in better days. Note the evil gleam in her eyes.

I think my cat Stinky is dying. She’s fifteen years old, and she has taken a sudden slide into not eating much, not moving much, and not using the litterbox, instead deciding to go on the blanket where she lies. She is still eating, though, and purring, and she doesn’t seem to be in any pain, so I don’t know if it’s time to put her to sleep yet.

Stinkerbelle (her full name; she’s also been called Stinky, Stinkerbelly, Soccer Ball, Sockerbally, and Turnip Head) has always been a trial of a cat. I adopted her at four months out from under a friend’s porch, and she always has been a little bit feral. She earned her name from the time when she was a kitten and she crawled on top of me while I was semi-napping. She walked up to my face and looked at me sweetly, then punched me in the eye with a paw. 
Stinky then unleashed her reign on terror on the house. Fighting with the other cats, escaping the house, swatting at us — Stinky was our cross to bear. I loved her in the way I loved my bratty inner child — with a combination of exasperation and awe. 

Now Stinky stands only long enough to rearrange her old bones. Her head hangs down and she wobbles. She doesn’t have enough meat on her bones anymore. She lets my husband and I pick her up and hold her like a baby. She purrs instead of fighting us.

It will be time soon, I think. When she stops eating, when treats are not enough to entice her, when she has trouble breathing. But for now, she’s still on the couch waiting to get petted again.

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