by on December 14, 2008
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Leda at 10

Later today I’ll have a winner to announce, but right now I want to apologize for not having posted any new recipes this past week and to tell you a little about what’s been going on in my life. Those of you who follow me on Twitter will have heard about this as it happened: Just before Thanksgiving, we discovered that our second-oldest cat, Leda, had a tumor blocking her intestines. The prognosis didn’t look good–these tumors are almost always cancer–but if she were to have any hope, she needed an operation. On December 2, the vet performed surgery, removing a tumor the size of a ping-pong ball and one lymph node. Tests showed that it was malignant, but there was a slim chance that all the cancer had been removed.

Leda seemed to be making a good recovery, but then a few days ago she started to go downhill fast. Already emaciated, she completely lost her appetite and couldn’t keep down even food and water delivered through her feeding tube. When she was barely able to stand anymore, we knew that the cancer had spread and the end was near. On Friday, we made the decision to end her suffering, and D and I were with her when she died.

All cats are unique and special, but I do believe that some are more special than others. Leda was our special cat. At 4-weeks old, she’d been found in a drainage ditch with her brother and brought to a cat rescue organization. D and I adopted her at 6-weeks old, and the first thing she did was crawl up and drape herself over our shoulders and around our necks. For most of her 12 years, she was timid and afraid of everyone but the two of us. She’d hide whenever anyone came over, but every night she slept draped over either D’s neck or mine (usually mine). Fortunately, she was a small cat or we would have never gotten any sleep!

It’s been hard for D and me–the house (and our bed) seems emptier–but it’s been harder on E, who has never known a world without Leda and doesn’t understand why the doctors couldn’t cure her. I haven’t felt much inspiration to cook and have been sticking to comfort foods. I’m taking my time to grieve. As soon as I cook up anything new, I’ll be sure to share it with you.

Thank you to everyone who has sent condolences and warm thoughts–and for reminding us to remember her with love and gratitude for the happiness she brought to our lives.

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