Viola Halsell, 2008 – January 16, 2021

Viola, stretching her front legs out

Viola died today. I did not expect that today would be the day she died. She had been lethargic all week. She spent a couple days curled in a ball on the bed. She rallied to eat some wet food earlier this week and I thought she was feeling better. Then she stopped eating and refused to acknowledge food. We put food in front of her and she would walk away from it. I thought she had a belly full of hairballs. This morning I put some hairball medicine on her paws and, rather than lick it off, she seemed to sigh and accept her sticky fate. That’s when I started calling around for a vet.

The vet today told me that Viola had a mass the size of a tangerine in her abdomen, she was dehydrated and sick. The vet said that it was likely cancer and, were it her cat, she would choose to euthanize her. The alternative was a battery of tests and a long weekend staying in the hospital, with no guarantee that she’d be able to recover. I did not want Viola to spend her last days scared and alone.

I adopted Viola in 2008 from the animal shelter in Seattle. I’d had Huey for a few months and thought she would like company (narrator: she would not). Viola was in kitty foster care with a brother, a fluffy white kitty named Chai. Viola was then named Viola Mae, but I’ve never once called her all that.

When I first brought her home, she was scared of everything and thin. But she always wanted to play and she warmed right up to me. She never slept on my bed until my then-boyfriend and I broke up. Once I moved, she was on the bed constantly.

Viola was a trooper who weathered several moves, including from Seattle to southern California, and from there to Sacramento. She was always by my side when I was home, either in my lap, purring next to me on the couch, or even sitting on the floor near my desk. She was a diva who wanted to be the only object of my attention. She sometimes harassed Huey by chasing her out of the bedroom and often tried to murder Kirk with her glare. She tried to be a bully, but the sound of the doorbell always sent her running to hide under the bed.

A eulogy

Viola, I love you so much and I will never be the same. You were my darling kitten. You were beautiful and fluffy and deserving of the best life. I hope your time on this Earth was cozy and worthwhile and that you felt loved and cared for. I wish I had known sooner that you were so sick. I wish I could have done more for you, played with you more, pet you more. I’m sorry you got cancer and you spent the last days of your life sick and tired. If there’s something after this life, I hope you’re getting the best of it. I love you so much and always will.

Here’s one last collection of Viola photos for your nerves.

Young Viola

Viola sitting on me

General Viola appreciation

Last Days on Earth

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