Monday, May 31, 2010

The End of an Era

I no longer live in a house with a cat.

I guess we've known for a while his time was near.
He was 18. That's a pretty good age for a cat. Angel was Eric's cat.
Come to me by marriage. I knew he'd gotten him as a kitten when he was a junior in high school. I thought he named him Angel when he thought the cat was a girl, and just never fixed it when he learned otherwise. Only like 3 years ago, did I learn the ex's name was Angela..uh huh. Well, Eric was going to be taking his cat when he graduated, and when we got married, I got a cat, 2 actually. A Dog person marrying a Cat Person. It was a mixed marriage. The Cat did NOT approve. He peed on my stuff, our bed. Repeatedly. I wanted to change his name from Angel to Lucifer! (Or Roosifee (as Gus gus says it in Cinderella) My MIL missed having him around, she made a point to mention it all the time. Finally when he peed on all my scrapbook supplies from my bridal shower, well that was the last straw, I yelled, if he does that again, he can go live with your mother.
He didn't do it again.
At least, not that we counted. When we moved to L.A. less than a year after our wedding, we drugged the animals and took them with us. When we arrived in our 1 bedroom furnished apartment, decorated in shades of hotel white...the cat jumped up on the bed, with it's white bedspread and peed on it. He objected. So did I. I burst into tears, and never did I want to go home so badly. Angel got that, and we bonded while we were in LA. And as he got older he got nicer.
He and Dusty became "the Welcoming Catmittee" whenever anyone came over, they'd greet them at the door. Even without Dusty, whenever we had a new visitor in our home, they got a cat in the lap. And if you were allergic, he had a 6th sense, and would stay even longer on your lap. My 88 year old grandfather, came to our house to visit, and the cat sat on his lap. Later, at lunch, I noticed Grandpa Jim's red eyes, and asked if he was allergic to cats, he said, I don't know. Well, I think you are...Imagine! Finding out at 88 that you're allergic to cats.
Leave it to Angel to smoke out the truth.
He loved to escape, or try to. Sometimes he wouldn't get far. Sometimes we'd take his cat food tin, walking and shaking to get his attention. I remember being out looking for him for 1/2 hour after the maids let him out in LA. After surrenduring and coming home, he was waiting at the front door, eager for me to let him in.
And the boys, oh how he loved them, and vice versa. When Chris had his ostomy, and we had to "bowel prep" at home for his second surgery, the nurses came over to do it. The nurses were worried that Fina would try something, try to defend her baby or something, but when Chris started crying, it wasn't the dog that leapt to his defense, it was the Cat. The Cat started Meowing at the feet of the swing, and climbing in my lap, and running around everyone involved, as if to shout, FIX THE BABY! Yup. Angel was Chris's cat. But Chris declared the cat his a long time ago. I've made the recent mistake of saying that the cat was Sam's cat, because Sam would chase him all over the house calling, DAT, DAT, DAT. And when he caught him, he'd wrap him up in a full tackle, and roll his entire body over the cat. He was Sam's cat too. Both the cat and dog would stand guard at the nursery door or at the front window, making sure all was safe on the mid-western front.
But then in the last few months, he started losing weight. Then his fur started getting all matted, and he wasn't effective at cleaning. He started randomly puking, sometimes food, sometimes not. He wasn't eating as much. My friend said when he stops eating, or if he's hiding, it's time. Then I found him hiding in Sam's room, behind the door. Then last week it started falling out, in clumps, the matts, and bunches that weren't matted. It was time.
I was blessed to have two friends able to come over and help me end it. Really blessed, that it was quick and he just drifted off into gorky sleep, no more pain, and we didn't even have to put him in a car. He hated going in the car; he would cry out and make noises that sounded like someone pulling his intestines out his nose. And his hair would fall out, somuchso that the clumps would make it hard to see while driving, and if I opened a window, he would try to dart out it to escape, or try to creep down the front of the dashboard. If we crated him, oh the noises! I decided like 6 years ago, maybe more, when he was an officially Old Cat, that we weren't going to take him to the vet anymore. He was an indoor cat. It was more harm than good to torture him. And to have him go, in our own home, well, that was the best way, with me petting him. Even though Angel and I got off to a bumpy start, I really was honored that we had enough love for each other to be there at the end.

Bye Bye Kitty. You were a Good Kitty.

I feel like now I should change my blog name, since we are no longer a household with dogs and cats. If you have any suggestions, I welcome them. In the meantime, I ask for prayers for healing hearts for our little family. It's going to be hardest on the boys.


Melissa A. said...

Aww, he was a beautiful cat. It's so hard to lose them, because they are just as much a part of the family as everyone else in it. My kids still talk about our kitty, and he's been gone for a few years now. We had lots of great memories of him though, and it sounds like you have the same.