Even though the vet assured me it was the most compassionate thing I could do, that my boy would no longer be in excruciating pain, that I was being a loving and kind owner...it felt wrong, really wrong. It felt like I was giving up.
If I went through with a complex surgery there was no guarantee he wouldn't become sick again. It's impossible to put a price on love, but I learned that in my heart I would have spent A LOT of money to fix my handsome man...if only they could have told me that he would never get sick and suffer again.
From day one, I loved Mr. Cat.
|His first peek out|
I had him as a kitten. I held him and played with him and picked him from the litter my parent's had. When I moved out, I brought him to live with me so I wouldn't be so lonely, all by myself in my new apartment.
I remember putting his litter box in my bathroom. Every time I went pee, he would waddle into the bathroom and climb into his box on his little roly-poly legs, going to the bathroom whenever I did.
He slowly grew into himself and I watched as his personality evolved. For the longest time it was just Mr. Cat and I. It might sound stupid to you, but sometimes when I cried at night because I felt SO lonely, Mr. Cat would climb onto the bed and curl up on my chest purring.
You might not believe it. You may be skeptical, but Mr. Cat was deeply intuitive. He knew whenever I was sad. Matt and I would fight and I would lie in bed crying and he would climb onto my chest and start kneading and purring, as if to say, "It's okay. I'm here for you."
I knew that he had accepted Matt when one day Matt was upset and Mr. Cat climbed onto him and started his purring bit.
He had an unfortunate habit of matting his fur. It usually happened after I went away on vacation, leaving him at home. I think it was a stress mat. I had to have him shaved to keep him looking decent.
He was a funny old-man cat. He always seemed rather critical and grave to me. He had no shame in putting everything out there for the world to see. There was no sense of embarrassment about him. He just didn't care what people thought. He loved laying on his back and having his tummy rubbed. I always joked that his white spots were his "bikini".
He had a playful side, even as he grew older from kitten to adult.
What will Yemi do without Mr. Cat? What will I do without Mr. Cat? Watching him grow from kitten to adult cat was a fun and informative thing. We bonded deeply. He would eat out of my hands and come when I called. He once stole and ate a piece of bok choy off of a plate of Chinese food. He had the strangest taste buds.
People have said to me many many times, "It's just a cat". If it's "just a cat", then how did he dig himself so deeply and entrench himself so firmly into my heart?
I'm firmly convinced that because I spent so much one-on-one time with him, we became very good buddies. He settled into new routines with some protest, but eventually accepted them, even the dogs.
It's hard to believe that I took the picture of them on Saturday. There was no way of knowing how sick my poor man was.
When I took him to the vet wrapped in a blanket, he didn't move or protest. He lay in one spot all night and was probably in severe pain. As the vet gently touched him, he cried out. There is no doubt in my mind that he was suffering.
Anna, the vet, took him into the back right away and inserted an IV into him, immediately giving him pain meds so he wouldn't suffer. I could tell he was sick. He lay completely still, his eyes were closing, his breath was laboured and he didn't purr when I gently petted him.
I pulled him close to me on the table and I said sorry to him over and over and over. For not always being nice to him, for somehow failing him by having to bring him to this place. I kissed his head and held him as the vet slowly injected him and he finally fell fast asleep.
I really loved that cat, that grumpy, old soul, my comforter and cuddle monster. When I was sad I would pick him up and squeeze him and he would purr. His fur has held countless tears that have dripped onto him.
My buddy, Mr. Cat. I love you. I'll miss.