"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened. " ~Anatole France
It was love at first sight. Almost 7 years ago, I walked into the Ottawa County Humane Society, glanced in the cat room and saw you perched on the fireplace. There were several other people in the room, but as soon as you saw me, you made a beeline for the screen door, weaving your way in and out of the 50 other cats meowing for my attention. You raised your paw to the screen and I knew right then, I would be taking you home. You were stunning with your ice blue eyes, dark face, tail, paws, and fawn body. I didn’t know your age, where you came from, what kind of cat you were, just that you already loved me and I loved you.
I think you are about 8 or 9 years old right now and it just doesn’t seem fair that I had to say good bye to you tonight. You have made me laugh so much these past 7 years. Let’s face it. You were not the sharpest pencil in the box. You were big and clumsy which made everything a little more comical. When we used to play with the laser light, I would make the light go up the stairs. You would barrel up after it and then stay up there for hours staring at the wall waiting for it to come back. Or another one of your favorite games - when I would put my hand under the comforter....
Shelby intimidated you at first. I mean, who doesn’t she intimidate? But, after the first year, you figured out that she was harmless and could easily tackle her, as you were double her size. I would come home from work and see little tufts of fur sticking up on your head from where Shelby boxed you. I am sure you deserved it and enjoyed every second of the abuse.
|Shelby and Oli's Christmas Photo.|
|Oli's spot in bed.|
This weekend, when I got home from a work trip, Shelby was a little different. She is a stand-offish cat but immediately came to greet me at the door on Saturday. I thought that was strange because that is what you usually do. I called your name and I heard no “thump” as you jumped off my bed but found you curled up under a dining room chair. You didn’t even lift your head to say, Hi. In September, you were diagnosed with Cryptococcus and have been on medication ever since. It seemed to really help, but I have seen a steady decline in the past few weeks. Last night, at the emergency vet office, they told me that the infection had crept into your central nervous system. They don’t know exactly what the problem is but could quickly find out with a slew of blood tests and x-rays totaling about $2K and then a trip to the neurologist that could easily be $4-5K more. When I spoke to the vet, she was honest and said that no matter what we find out doing all of those tests, you are still a very sick kitty. Treatment would improve the quality of your life, but it was not likely to extend your life. She recommended putting you to sleep last night. Selfishly, I could not do that. I wanted to take you home and cuddle with you one more night even though I knew you were uncomfortable and not having fun.
Thank you for purring me to sleep one last time. Thank you for all the times you comforted me when my heart ached. Thank you making me smile everyday. I will miss you.
|Thank you for giving me one more night.|
|Thank you for giving me one more afternoon...last picture.|