Max won his elementary school's presidential election last year
with this picture of him and Gladys
Gladys came to live with me in 1992. She was a young adult black cat with a scarred eye who was only going to stay until a permanent home could be found. She moved in and immediately told the five other cats that she was in charge, she let Ruth -- my old dog-- know the same. Gladys found her forever home -- mine. She lived in three different houses with me, and welcomed two kids into the family by sleeping with each one. She out lived Ruth and the other cats, and tolerated the cats who came to live with us after her. She totally ignored Nigel four years ago when we brought him home.
A couple of years ago arthritis set in, and Gladys couldn't jump on the counter any longer to get to her food bowl. It didn't matter -- she was still able to eat when she wanted. She yowled to be lifted up, which someone always did, and then she climbed down a scratching post positioned nearby. If she absolutely had to, she could climb up the scratching post to get to the counter, but she preferred the faster human lift-me-up NOW method. She liked to sleep on Max's bed, so he left his saxophone case next to the bed, Gladys used it as a step stool.
This past year Gladys' kidneys began to fail -- she was put on a special diet, which she hated, and she started drinking a lot more water. She stopped bathing herself and her hair matted. She lost a lot of weight and almost all muscle tone. Sometimes when we petted her, her skin jumped like she was uncomfortable. Last week I made the decision that Gladys' quality of life had deteriorated to the point where there was more bad than good. I decided that after more than 17 years of being a part of my family, it was time to let go.
Gladys was humanely euthanized yesterday morning. We woke up early, fed Gladys kitten food, and took her outside. Gladys was an indoor-only cat who spent many of her younger years trying to run out the front door. We walked with her in the backyard, she sniffed several blades of grass, contemplated sneaking under the shed, and then Gladys did something quite unusual for her -- she turned and asked to be let in the house. It was time.