Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Jim's dad died at the end of 1996. I think it was that year that Addy began to notice the fuzzy orange cat who kept hanging around. By dint of much patience, and after several months, she managed to coax him inside for a good meal. It took several more months for him to get on her lap, but Addy quickly learned to keep a heavy towel handy, because he had very strong paws and very sharp claws, and really enjoyed kneading. In short, he often drew blood in his feral ecstasy over finally having someone on whom to lavish affection. Jim and I began to date late in 1997, and I was there for the sometimes painful process of Red's integration into Addy's household herd of ancient cats. He soon became Top Cat, and spent a lot of time sleeping with Addy in her favourite recliner, and later in the hospital bed that replaced it. He was a large, heavy, and very dense cat. He had pretty much reeked up the house by the time we managed to coax him into a cat carrier and take him to the vet. He was a mature cat when Addy got him (or he got her), which means he is at least fifteen years old.
And he is dying.
For a couple of years he has lived on gravy and tuna juice and soft cat food, because the only teeth he has left are his canines. Recently, I have noticed that he moves a bit stiffly, and, on Monday, my new next-door neighbour saw him outside and suggested I might want to take him in and have him put to sleep.
I'm still thinking about that.
He does not appear to be in pain. As of right now, my plan is to let nature take its course. Red is not sleeping much, and neither am I.
He is the last of Addy's herd of ancient cats, and the last living tie I have to her. Is it wrong for me to want him to pass in the home that she gave him? I like to imagine her waiting for him...
OK, now I'm making myself cry, so I have to go.
(Thanks for the picture, Surf!)