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Goodbye, Nixie

This is another belated post. As with Maggie, I didn’t have the heart to write it immediately. I finally wrote my post saying goodbye to Maggie because we were pretty sure Nixie didn’t have all that much time left; I’m writing this one because we’re going to visit a lovely pair of foster kittens this weekend, and one way or another I expect we’ll have new cats soon. Happier moment, same desire to speak before new emotions arise.

Nixie passed away on January 6th, 2023. It was not a surprise. S. and I were traveling to Dublin in a couple of weeks, and we scheduled a vet visit in part because we were worried about something happening while we were away. She wasn’t in great health; the muscles in her hind legs had been atrophying and she was never the hardiest cat anyhow.

Once our wonderful vet looked at her, it was a pretty clear choice. Nixie’s remaining time was measured in weeks, not months, and while she wasn’t in horrible pain — we’d have known, she wasn’t a quiet cat — she wasn’t having much fun. I don’t have good pictures of Nixie at the vet, which is fine. As is her way, she was slightly cranky and recalcitrant. Not much of a poser, our Nixie.

But extremely pretty. It’s funny; I go back and look at photos and unlike Bunny or Maggie, there’s little sign of aging. She just stayed a little bemused.

Sometimes she slept.

Sometimes she hung out with Maggie. I shared this photo in my farewell to Maggie, but it’s such a good picture, and it’s proof that Nixie didn’t hate Maggie.

She really did appreciate the six months or so of solo life she had after Maggie passed, though. I sometimes feel a bit sad about that — would Nixie have preferred being a solo cat her whole life? Maybe, but I also think she’d have been bored without her younger pal. Maggie used to groom her, putting her whole body into it, and Nixie usually wound up grooming back.

Here’s a picture from those last six months.

That’s from November. The eyelid droop was something else we were worrying about. She liked hanging out in my chair (and she liked clawing the hell out of it). We had these fabric cat steps set up so she could get up to the bed easily; she really enjoyed that. She’d hang out with us for a couple of hours before bedtime, and she’d climb down before we went to sleep, because she didn’t like our restless sleep patterns.

Sometimes we carried her up and down stairs, to be nice, although she was pretty capable of stubbornly navigating them on her own even with the rear leg problems. But she enjoyed being carried. Also a bit of a behavior change.

All three left us differently; looking back as I write, it’s clear that Nixie gave us the most clues, in her own way. She never ever suffered in silence, so I’m confident she wasn’t in pain, but I think she was rearranging her priorities because she knew where she was going fairly soon.

Miss you, little one. We joked about you being too stubborn to die and man, we were pretty close to correct. A few months short of 20 years. Long time for a cat; thank you for spending so much of it with us.

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