Today sucks, and it sucks bad . . .
About a week ago, my daughter was sick.
A few days after that, my wife was sick.
I returned from a trip for work a few days ago and, you guessed it, I am now sick.
This in and of itself is not the worst part of the day though, it just sort of amplifies every thing else. No, the really terrible part about today is that my wife and I had to take our 19 year old cat “Jack Frost” to the Vet today where we all concluded it was time to put the old boy to sleep. Hold on a sec, having a lot of trouble seeing my PC screen . . .
I remember when we first brought him home. He was this little puff ball about the color of dirty snow – hence my wife naming him “Jack Frost”. At first, he sort of adopted me. I’m nit sure why, as I’ve always considered myself sort of an a$$hole. He used to come to bed when I did and curl up on the pillow, often wrapped around my head, and purr while we both went to sleep. Damn it, I can’t see the screen again . . .
Well, the Army took me to Korea for a year with out my family, and when I had returned Jack was 100% my wife’s cat, curling up on her pillow every night, purring more often than not at the slightest touch or movement.
When my son, now 19, was only 2 or 3, we caught him pulling the cat across the table by his head, and trying to suck on the cats ear. You know that cat didn’t scratch or bite him?
When my daughter was still sleeping in a crib, he used to jump in her crib and sleep with her. I’m sure he didn’t realize we were concerned about it, but he never slept right at her face so we didn’t worry about her suffocating or anything.
Hold on, got something in my eye again . . .
He was the only pacifistic cat I’ve ever seen. I literally never saw him hurt anything, and certainly never killed a mouse. One of the best laughs we had was watching him laying on the couch while watching a mouse run around in circles on the floor below him. I guess he had no idea that we might expect him to take care of that mouse for us.
He also had impeccable table manners for a cat. I know you will think I am exaggerating but he would not eat anything that didn’t come out of a cat food can. We offered him meat, chicken, turkey, etc, and he would NOT eat it. If he managed to get on the table at dinner, he would walk right past the plates and try and lay down on any empty spot.
His manner weren’t so good when it came to library etiquette. He figured that any book that was open was fair game. If it was laying open on the table, he would lay across it. If you were holding it in front of you trying to read, it was his mission to get between you and the book, apparently feeling that your time would be better spent paying attention to him rather than the book.
Well, about 4 months ago he started going to the bathroom all over the house. He had been house broken for more than 15 years and all of a sudden couldn’t be bothered to go outside to go to the bathroom. Add to that the fact that he was eating twice as much as normal but still loosing weight, and we thought it best to take him to the vet. Turns out his kidneys were probably failing, but the doc thought we should give him some antibiotics and see if that would help. It did, but just a little. He stopped loosing weight, but got worse about going to the bathroom all over the house. We tried getting a cat box, thinking that maybe it hurt him too much to go through the pet door, but that didn’t help – he wouldn’t use it. Eventually we had to make him a 100% out door cat. In the last few weeks we noticed that had stopped grooming and was getting very thin again. The last straw was yesterday when I found him laying under the dryer exhaust. It was in the mid 90’s and the poor old man was laying under the exhaust of the dryer with the hot air blowing on him.
Took him to the vet who told us it was time. His gums were blue from lack of oxygen, and his temperature was below normal . . damn it . . can’t see again . . . which pretty much means that his organs are shutting down. We could have dragged it out a little longer, but it wouldn’t have been a kindness to him.
You know, I’m 43 years old and he’s the first pet I’ve ever lost?
So good bye Jack Frost. Thanks for watching over my children, and thank you so much for the gift of your purrs and the laughter you brought. These were gifts more precious than gold and far more precious than we knew.