Naomi always said that he was my cat, because he walked up to me in the shelter and told me so. She had to translate for him. I picked him up, and held him, and he purred for me, so quietly that I could barely hear him.
I hadn't realized how much of a cat person I was. He was the first cat I'd had since I was a child.
He was the most outgoing and easygoing of our cats, always willing to accept attention from anybody, but I'm the one he followed around, and asked to be picked up and carried by. He spent a lot of time on Colleen's lap, too, and when he started getting picky about food, she would empty a can of catfood into a small bowl and make sure he ate it. He may have been "my cat", but he spent more time with Colleen, and she was the only one who could keep him on her lap.
At night I would pat the laundry hamper in the hallway and say "Up", and he would jump up for me to carry upstairs to bed, though he often leapt out of my arms and ran up the stairs ahead of me. Most nights he slept on our bed.
I made a pad of folded leopard-print, fuzzy fabric and set it on my desk so that he could lie or sit there and be petted while I worked on the computer. He made an excellent villain's cat. He liked high places; I once found him on the highest shelf in our bathroom, afraid to come down. Perhaps he knew I'd come rescue him.
In the end, though, I couldn't.
I held him in my arms, where he loved to be, while the sedative took effect, Naomi stroking his head. There was a little while, at the end, when his breathing became easier; he looked calm and contented. He must have known his people were helping him the only way we could. We laid him on the counter and stroked him until after his heart had stopped. His eyes were still bright.
Somewhere in there, Naomi reminded me that cats live in the moment, and we had done the best we could to make his last moments good ones, surrounded by the people he loved.
And he had one last gift for me: he taught me to cry again. Long ago, I forgot how. Thank you, Curio, for giving me back my tears.
I keep listening for the jingle of the little bell and tag on his collar. I keep looking over at the pad on my desk, and he isn't there.
In the end, he walked across the Rainbow Bridge calmly, eyes open and tail held high. In Valhalla, he's finally able to go outside, get wasted on catnip, and sleep on the grass in the sunlight. In the evening he walks across the tables -- he was never a lap cat except for Colleen -- and begs for scraps from the feasting warriors. He's especially fond of beef.
Sometimes, late at night, he'll go visiting. There's a petrified forest where it's always twilight, and a glade where stands an Amethyst Rose with obsidian thorns as sharp as his claws. Sometimes there's a girl there; he rubs against her legs and purrs very softly. Sometimes Bast goes with him. Bast willing, I'll see them again some day.
Here are links to the posts I made on Dreamwidth/Livejournal in that first week. Between them they give a pretty complete narrative, which I have freely copied from above. You can find them archived here, though I'd recommend going to the originals if you can because the formatting is better.
|Pictures are all we have left. facebook 2015-07-15|
| "In the end, all I could do was hold him, because he loved being in my
arms, and pet him gently while he crossed over..."
I had to write something, that first night, but a paragraph and a link to the photos on Google were all I could manage.
|Toast: To Curio dreamwidth, 2015-07-17|
| "A bear walks into a bar, and puts a dollar in the jar."
The toast in Callahan's Bar, always a good place to go when I'm hurting. My first draft of the Rainbow Bridge pieces.
Thank you, Curio, for giving me back my tears.
|Curio: Memories, pictures, and resources dreamwidth, 2015-07-19|
|What it says on the tin. My favorite pictures, and some of my favorite memories, followed by the links copied below. Maybe someday there will be a cure for it.|
|Poem: In Your Arms dreamwidth, 2015-10-10|
| I still want to write him a song, but first there was something he
wanted to say.
Finally, here are some links related to FIP: