On the Saturday before Easter, we said goodbye to Mr. Cat – he has been with me for 16 years – my first baby. I lived with him longer than my husband.
From the first day, he was my cat. My roommate at the time picked this giant orange tabby cat while I had my eye on a smaller gray one. As usual, I gave in and became the crazy cat lady to Mr. Cat. From the early days to his very last days, he frequently slept at my feet with his head on my ankle. After a long day at work, he would curl up on the couch next to me while I caught up on email on my laptop or just watched TV. I miss him – there is an emptiness in the blue house.
He adored the twins and even when they were infants, he would sit on the floor between them as if he was checking to make sure that they were being well taken care of. . . over the past year Genevieve may have started to replace me in his heart as he would nap at the foot of her bed and brought her a gift of a dead mouse. He kept her company during her recovery and perhaps, he stayed around longer to make sure that she was going to be okay before leaving us.
Saying goodbye was a family affair. After nearly a week of him barely eating and being lethargic, we knew it was time to take him to Angell Animal Medical Center. We tried to prepare Harry & Genevieve for what we knew in our heart would happen. Genevieve kept asking me if they were “good doctors” – I struggled with that a lot. Angell is known as the place you bring your sick pets – their doctors are considered among the best – much like Genevieve’s team at Boston Children’s Hospital. At the same time, we knew that it was unlikely they could save our beloved cat.
While being examined, Mr. Cat went into cardiac arrest and had to be rushed from the room to be moved into an oxygen tank. All color drained from Genevieve’s face – I thought for a moment that she was going to pass out and that we had scarred her for life. Thankfully, he rallied back for a moment and we were able to offer him a proper goodbye, holding him as they adminstered the sedative and without any further fight, he left us.
I am still not sure what this will mean for our family long term – especially Genevieve as she works through the knowledge that not everyone survives no matter how good the doctors are . . . .
It is a tough life lesson especially for my heart warrior.