30 January 2008


Goodbye, Mr. Cat

Tom, Survivor

We put down our 15 or 16 year old (no one knows for sure) cat, Tom, yesterday. He was a good cat for us: hateful, mean, and cranky often, but affectionate in just the right ways, sometimes at the right times. I'll carry scars on my hands for years from plenty of fun and games until someone (me) got hurt with him. The Death Paw from behind the couch was always good for laughs until he drew blood.

We got him from Mack's sister when they moved to Denver from Memphis and only wanted to take one of their two cats with them. He was three or so then, and we'd had him for all but about three months of the almost thirteen years we've been together. He'd lived everywhere that we've lived.

A couple of weeks ago, one morning after we'd left him outside (screened porch with cat door) on a nice night, Mack found him next to the big planter in the back yard. He was on his back, almost motionless until he'd writhe and twist like he was falling and trying to land on his feet. He spent a couple of nights at the vet, where they put him on antibiotics, seemed to get his balance back, and came home. But it was down hill since then. Over the last week, he'd been pretty much curling up in one spot and waiting to die. He lost a lot of muscle mass especially in his back legs, and he could barely make it a few feet before he'd just lay down and wait until he'd either try again or just forget where he was trying to go.

He was a good buddy, and it hurt to seem him in such a pathetic state.

He taught me that you can't bully a cat, and that helped me to think about whether you ought to be bullying anyone or anything.

Goodbye, Mr. Cat. Thanks for spending some time with us.

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I'm so sorry. It just hurts to have to say goodbye and to be the one who has to figure out when it's time.
I can feel his seething hatred of me emanating from the picture. I miss that.
Sorry for your loss. Ditto John's comments about having to be the "decider". We had to put down a cat a couple years ago that was obese and did the "scoot" placing skid marks all over the carpet. I'll never forget her biting my ankles immediately after I'd get out of the shower. I boo hooed when I took her to the vet....
My condolences. That's always a difficult thing to endure.
@all: Many thanks. It wasn't as hard to do as I thought it would be, once I got it clear in my head that he wasn't going to get better.

@Patty: Tom, channeling Dorothy, would say, "And you, Patty. I hated you most of all."
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