Friday, August 25, 2006

Yesterday I put my cat to sleep.

Luthor was old (13) and had gone into kidney failure and the prognosis was not good. So rather than stress him to the pain of tests and treatment (and having worked for veterinarians I know how bad it can get), I elected euthanasia. I felt bad about it, but I know deep down it was the right thing.

Luthor came into my life at four months. My ex-husband and I went to the Humane Society to look for a companion for our other cat. Luthor was in his little cage, rolling and purring and sticking his paws out to grab at passers-by. He was selling himself like a feathered whore on a streetcorner. It worked on us, and we took him home.

He purred non-stop almost the entire thirteen years I had him; I always figured he was so grateful to get out of the pound he never wanted me to forget it. He was tough and scrappy and loved catching birds, especially chickadees. Chickadees are so stupid; they come to your feeder by the dozens and never post a sentry like other birds will. He would wait, the picture of patience, disguised under the skirt of the Weber grill cover, and watch the birds feed. Then he'd sneak out and WHAM!!! He'd pin one of them under his paw and it was lights out for that bird.

Luthor stayed with me through six moves, childbirth, a puppy, divorce, a new dog, two new cats and a new man. There was never any doubt whose boyfriend he was though he did occasionally take a shine to a family member or friend. He came to bed with me nearly every night, snuggled as close as I would allow and purred like an Evinrude motor. He was the longest love relationship I have ever had and it was all good (except the occasional vomit piles, naturally).

I noticed last week he wasn't as glossy as he normally was. When I lifted him he seemed lighter. I began to monitor his food intake; I noticed the litterboxes had less in them. Then he stopped eating altogether, started showing weakness in his legs, didn't want to be held for more than a few minutes, and preferred hiding behind the couch to sleeping with me. And yesterday was the day, the point of no return.

Luthor, my precious one, my loverman, my Mr. Meow, my purrbox boy, my fat boy, you were so loved, and you are greatly missed. You carved yourself a place in my heart that feels weighted and sore today. I know you're in Kitty Heaven, catching chickadees and getting stoned on catnip and eating all the cream cheese and chicken you want without gaining a pound. You will always be with me, and when I pass from this place I hope you'll be waiting, ready to jump in my lap again.

1 Comment:

spy scribbler said...

Ohmigod, Elizabeth. Oh geez, I'm so sorry. I don't know what to say.

I lost a cat last year. Glenn shoved me in the car after two hours of crying, and drove me to the pound. He put another kitten in my arms right away.

I felt like a horrible traitor, but I stopped crying. Even laughed the next day.

But gosh, Elizabeth. Pets are such big friends and loving companions. I'm so sorry!