Just a little while ago, The Tim and I got home from saying goodbye to our Garden Kitty. The shock of it makes it still seem not real.
A little more than a month ago, it seemed that he just didn't feel too well. He was mostly his usual self, but had problems with the litter box and threw up pretty frequently, which for him was unusual. I took him to the vet, and she weighed him, and he had lost 5 pounds within a 2 year period, which is a lot for most cats. They did blood and urine work then, and nothing looked too much out of the ordinary. She suggested we change his food, in case he had something like irritable bowel syndrome, and if that didn't help, suggested an abdominal ultrasound. We knew it might not bring good news, but were hoping it would be something that could be treated even if a chronic condition.
By the time I took him to the vet this morning and dropped him off, he had clearly not been feeling well for a few days, and had also clearly lost more weight. He didn't seem to be in pain, which I am grateful for, but he was not his usual self. The vet called and talked to The Tim (who didn't have to be at work until this evening), and said that Garden Kitty appeared to have cancer that had spread even to his lymph nodes already. She said that if we wanted her to prescribe steroids to keep him comfortable, or anything else, she would, but that he was very frail.
There was no way we wanted our sweet boy to have to linger any longer than necessary. So we made one of the saddest decisions anyone has to ever make. We took a few of his favorite toys, and he seemed very happy to see us, and them. We talked and sang to him like he liked, and he purred up a storm. When the vet finally gave him the injection, he was relaxed and knew that we were there. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, but we should all be so lucky to have our last moments be with those we love, and who love us.
So if you will, give any of your family members - of all kinds! - a special hug, pat, or kiss tonight. And keep a kind thought for the Garden Kitty. I know he'll miss us, but he has a lot of company in heaven to cuddle with and play with and love. Words cannot describe how much we will miss him, but we do take comfort in knowing that he knew he was loved, and that he'll never really be gone from our lives and our family.
And I don't think William Shakespeare would mind that I use something of his to suit my purposes. So I can only say,
"Goodnight, sweet Garden Kitty boy, and may flights of angels sing thee to they rest."
We love you, baby boy. Always.