18 years of Sweet Pea

This is my beloved cat Sweet Pea. I rescued her in 1998. She was just a kitten but she had been badly abused. She was very timid and did not trust people. Over the years she grew into a beautiful cat and eventually she came around and would let us pet her. She got plenty of love and affection after that. Sweet Pea was the best cat ever, she would never leave the yard, and mostly stayed in the house. She loved to groom herself, always keeping her beautiful coat looking it's best. She had a long happy life growing up with my children. Sadly, one day, in the summer of 2015, she had a stroke which left her back legs paralyzed. She couldn't walk. I lovingly cared for her, providing her with all her basic needs. She never gave up trying to walk and would crawl using her front paws. Sweet Pea loved sitting on the back patio in the sun. However, in February 2016, she began to cry, it was a different cry from her normal meow. This was something that sounded very sad, like she was in pain. I tried comforting her but over the next several weeks her cries just became more frequent and more distressed. She was no longer enjoying life. All she did was sleep and eat and I would carry her outside to relieve herself. Sometimes she would stay out in the sun, but she mostly just slept and cried. I knew the time was here, she was relying on me to take care of her, but there was nothing more I could do. I held her extra close her final few days, giving her as much love as I could. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but on February 25, 2016, at the age of 18, I took Sweet Pea for one last ride to the vet. It was time to say goodbye. She was purring when the vet came in. She looked at me and went to sleep, purring loudly, as if saying thank you and farewell.
Anita L Beesley
Apple Valley, CA