Friday, October 3, 2008

rest in peace, babykitty...

baby checking out his new house in 1992...

in his fat, fluffy prime...

and yesterday.

just a few days ago, tam lost her beloved kitty, and i said in comments that my family expected to share similar grief soon, as our 16-year old persian mix, who was so small we had to wait an extra week to bring him home from the humane society in 1992, was ill and getting worse.

well, that time came sooner than any of us thought, as over the last few days this beautiful, gentle creature began having labored breathing, his belly bloated, his hip problem worsened and his front legs and paws swole up like a tiny elephant's...yet he still never complained.

so when we took him to the vet this morning after my toughguy 24 year old son said goodbye with tears streaming (he was eight when he came home from school to find a surprise kitty waiting), we had a pretty good idea what he would say; babykitty's heartbeat was irregular and it was unlikely he would survive attempts at treatment or even going back home for the weekend...and even though he suffered silently, the doc said he had to be in pain. so we did what we had to do and let them inject whatever potion they use...baby went to sleep with his head in my hand and my wife stroking him and soothing him with her sweet, sorrowful words.

wifey and the kids love cats and we always had one or two...i'm more of a dog person, but from the beginning baby was extraordinary; he knew the sound of my truck and even if he was down the street he would run to be the first to welcome me home from work with gentle cat words and a forehead rub; he softly spoke whenever one of his family walked by, and over the years, he welcomed (sometimes just tolerated) a dozen or so other cats and dogs that came and went; even groomed, comforted, and protected some of them. but he was a big...and he was the neighborhood alphacat; when my wife or i took the dog for a walk on leash baby went along, staying several feet behind and facing down with a silent, icy stare any wannabe badass cat that challenged him or us...yet i never saw him actually have to fight. funny, even when he was old and ill and could only make it part way on the walk my wife would have to carry him home, and the other cats still gave him wide berth.

babykitty (he got his name based on the humane society lady telling us he was a girl, and by the time he went to the vet and we found out otherwise, the name was his to keep) truly loved us and we loved him...i will miss his deep eye-to-eye silent communication, and his loving, uncomplaining, never pushy companionship...

my wife, son, and i buried baby in the center of the raised flowerbed where he would lie in the sun, relax and survey all that was his, with a peace lily that seemed so appropriate for him as his headstone.

goodbye, babykitty; may your gentle cat soul rest in peace.

jtc

6 comments:

Tam said...

Oh, no!

My heart goes out to you.

I am dog-sitting at a friend's house but had to go home yesterday to get some stuff, and in the mailbox was a bereavement card from the animal hospital. As I read it and the numb shock returned, an obviously lonely Random Numbers brushed against my leg and uttered a plaintive "Wheerrre?".

I held her in my arms and sobbed my heart out on the dining room floor...

Bob said...

My condolences. My own little cat isn't getting any younger, and if cat deaths come in three's the way celebrity deaths do, you have me seriously worried.

A pretty little cat. Hope your weekend is peaceful so you can remember her.

crankylitprof said...

My condolences. We have a fifteen-year old crabby cat (he used to be a fighting tom before we took him in and domesticated him), and he's starting to get that bony, slow-moving look that presages nothing good.

Remember that we see them all again someday.

rookie bebe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rookie bebe said...

My heart also goes out to you.

We didn't know it was going to be Bumbies' last year and we got a kitten cause I said she was lonely since losing another beloved cat.

Kali made Bumbies last year better and she also retained fluid and couldn't even lay on my lap anymore because she couldn't breathe. The day after we took her to the vet she died in my husband's arms and he made sure to get up at 6am when I got home from work to tell me.

Xavier said...

I share my sorrow sir.....