Friday, April 25, 2008

Today we are going to the vet and our old boy Puff will take the long Cat Nap. Our Very Good Dog, Pekoe, will be waiting for him on the other side of the Bridge when he arrives.

The oldest asked me to pick her up at school early so she can be there, so I will. She will hold him while he goes to sleep for the last time, because he is her kitty, her first kitty and he has been her Good Companion since she was a little girl of two. This will be hard for her, but I think it'll also be good for her to understand the other side of having a pet. That this is the hard part and you're as obligated to do that for them as you are to provide food and water and pettins.

In our old neighborhood, he roamed around outside and he was a regular Six Dinner Sid. He had several families on our block. There was one neighbor, a single guy, who kept a bowl and cat snax for him and on weekends Puff would come over and stroll in and they'd watch movies together. He was that guy's part time kitty. He worked really hard to provide companionship to all those people. We didn't find out about this until he was shot in the back, with a BB gun, by some neighborhood kid. We put up reward posters asking for information about who'd done that to him. Suddenly we were deluged with phone calls from neighbors saying, "We don't know you, but we know your cat." and telling us how he'd come by for dinner or snacks or just pettins. And people dropped off bags of salmon treats at our house and he had more snacks to fuel his recovery than any cat should have.

Once he followed a neighbor to the movies, 5 blocks away. The neighbor missed the previews so he could bring him back. Once he showed up 3 blocks away, and followed a woman into her house at 6am on a Sunday morning, demanding breakfast. She called us to come get him. His hopes of being Seven Dinner Sid were thwarted that day. When we'd have garage sales, he'd sit on the lawn and people would stop just to pet the big fluffy tuxedo cat, and then they'd buy our stuff. He was 28 pounds at his heaviest. He had friends on his terms, not just because he was ours.

He did not kill me when I made him wear antlers at Christmas. Every year for 11 years. Antlers.

death? or death?

"Sure. Go ahead. Laugh while you can."


He's been a really good cat. I'm going to hang on to all this, these memories that make me laugh so hard at the Person he's been. Today we are going to say goodbye and let him go and that's going to be really hard, but it's going to be okay. He's had a really good run. 18 years.

We love you, Puff. You've been the very best kitty.

14 comments:

Jane said...

I'm so sorry.. We lost two of our furry-kids last year and it's rough. {{{{HUGS}}}} to your daughter.

KnitNana said...

AH...BB will welcome him with open paws and they'll keep each other company till we all get to the Rainbow Bridge to see them again.

I'm soooooo sorry...but you're handling it EXACTLY the right way with DD.
((((hugs))))

The Meanest Bean of Them All said...

I'm so sorry...and at the same time, I have to agree with knitnana, you're doing the absolute right thing including your daughter. It hurts my heart to read this...sending hugs your way!!!

Phoe said...

I'm so so sorry. Best wishes to you all.

Lynda the Guppy said...

When I was 6 I got my first pet. A pure white German Shepherd. I've had many pets since then, but she still holds the biggest part of my heart. During her last year we did everything possible to make her comfortable, and when I was 17 we had to put her to sleep. My parents did the same thing you did...I was called out of school just before lunch so we could take her to the vet for the last time. I remember sitting on the floor and holding her as she took her last breath. It was so incredibly hard. Even now as I write this I'm crying. But I don't regret that act for anything. She was with me through my entire childhood, the very least I was able to do was to provide what comfort I could in her last moments. And even though it was so very very difficult, in the end I knew it was what was best for her.

Shrinky Inky said...

He totally rocks the cat kingdom and I will miss the antler picture. I'm glad your daughter is holding Puff when he goes to that great beyond. In a strange way, it's one of the memories I cherish with my old Rockola Wurlitzer Seeburg, aka Rocky "big blonde and stoopid" who passed on 13 years ago.

big hugs to all of you today.

if time exists said...

This made me all teary...I have lost a few kitties in my life, but never got to have the experience at the vet, and letting them go. They have just disappeared into the hills behind my parents house, prey to the bobcats or coyotes. It's a weird feeling...thinking maybe one day they'll show up again.

Good luck with this difficult process.

Mouse said...

*hugs* I'm so sorry for your loss.

geogrrl said...

Dang, I'm sad for you all, but I also understand.

Our Tiffany went a few years ago at nearly 20 years of age. Even though it was obviously time, it was the most difficult decision I'd ever made.

I still remember the first time I saw her in the cage in the shelter. All the other cats were vying for our attention, and she was huddled in a small, scared ball in the back of the cage. I picked her up and cuddled her. She promptly peed on me and then proceeded to shake uncontrollably. I knew then and there she needed a home with us.

I promised to take good care of her, and I all her life I did my best to keep that promise. My final decision was a continuation of that promise. Trying to keep her alive past a certain point would have been painful and bewildering for her, not to mention an exercise in futility. So I said goodbye for the last time to my little princess.

He had a good life with good people. RIP, Puff.

Jess said...

There is nothing harder than losing a beloved pet.

One of my dogs is getting older, so we will have to be going through the same thing soon.

You are doing a fantastic job at keeping upbeat about it. Keep that PMA!

KnittingEmily said...

Sorry for your loss.

Amanda said...

I am so sorry for your loss. It's been a little over a week since Maggie died and things still feel... off. Puff sounded like a Very Good Cat.

Ina said...

Bai, sweet kitteh.

Lucia said...

I am playing catch-up again, so I just read this, and I am so sorry. I'll bet Ed was waiting for him too and showed him where the best catnip plants and catnap spots were.