www.whyville.net May 12, 2013 Weekly Issue

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Goodbye, My Friend

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When I was about five years old, my older sister Jennifer, who was around 16 or 17 at the time, brought home a tiny black kitten. My parents didn't want a cat, but eventually they gave in and we ended up keeping him. We couldn't decide on a name for him, so we all called him a different name. My mom called him Pooky, my dad called him J.S.C - Jennifer's Stupid Cat, and my brother and I called him Midnight. Well, we liked to say his name was Midnight. We mostly just called him Kitty. He grew up very quickly, and he was very spoiled; there was always someone petting him and he always had treats. He had a very good life.

He was a very funny and stupid and smart cat, all at the same time. Sometimes he would go outside through the open door, and couldn't figure out how to get back in when the door was still open. He would stare at me as I gave him a new bowl of food, then go to the cupboard door to tell us he wanted food. He would sometimes just stand there and stare at the wall. He also put up with lots of stuff, including elf hats, tiny slippers, and even a paw-printed jacket I bought him. I know lots of people say this about their pets, but I know that I had the best cat ever. I may not have thought it when I was younger, mostly because I wanted a cat who would constantly run around and play (and my cat was also one of the laziest cats ever), but as I got older I realized how much I loved him. He was just like me, and I know that's weird to say. He was shy, loved sleeping, loved eating, and liked to just sit there and examine the world around him. I think he also started to like me a bit more as I got older, probably because I stopped constantly bugging him to play. He slept in my room, at the end of my bed, every single night. I was also the only one who would feed him because I was the only one who could stand the smell of his food (and I'm vegetarian . . . go figure). He seemed healthy, however a little overweight, but there didn't seem to be any issues; at least, not until we started renovating.

Renovations started around late spring of 2012. The extreme changes in our house must have caused him to get stressed out because he rapidly lost weight. This caused damage to his liver (which we were unaware of). He stopped eating dry food, so we had to start buying cans of wet food for him; after we did that he started packing on the pounds again, but he never got back to his original weight. Everything seemed good after that, and we went on with life. He was never a cuddly cat - in fact, he seemed to hate being cuddled - but suddenly, in March of 2013, he would always be sitting on someone and cuddling. My mom thought he was doing this because he was saying good-bye. I dismissed the idea because he was so young . . . only eleven years old, which may seem old to some, but I've known cats to live much longer than that. After he started cuddling us, his weight began to drop again. He wouldn't eat, but seemed to only drink water. Then, on May 6, I realized he was having trouble walking. His steps were slow and seemed to hurt him; he almost seemed to be dizzy. I knew that something was really wrong when he tried to jump on the counter and fell down, and when he tried to jump on the toilet he fell in. Things weren't looking good.

On the morning of May 7, I asked my parents if we could take him to the veterinarian. In the back of my mind I knew it was the end for him, but of course I hoped he would be coming home with us. They waited until I was done school so I could go with them. Our cat carrier was too small to fit him, even with his weight loss, so we had to put a blanket in a cardboard box and take him in that. Normally if we tried taking him outside he would freak out, but he did nothing but sit there. At the vet clinic he had some blood and urine samples taken, and the results weren't good. He had developed diabetes. With the combination of the liver issues and diabetes, things weren't looking good. He was suffering more than anything, so we decided to put him down. He was wrapped in a blanket that matched his green eyes. I was the one who held him while the doctor put the needle in him; it was the hardest thing I've ever done, but I know I would've regret it if I wasn't the one. I don't think I've ever cried so much in my life, not even when my grandma died. The worst part was that his eyes stayed open after he passed. We decided to get him cremated, and we're going to put his ashes in an engraved box with his picture on it. When we got his ashes, they were put in a small cardboard box. It was hard to believe that something so big could fit in such a tiny box. It hasn't been that long, but life is so much harder without him. I always look in my room to see if he's there, and every time a floor board creaks I think it's him. I know eventually I'll end up getting another cat, but I can't imagine having anyone but him. He's crossed the Rainbow Bridge, and I hope I can meet him someday.

Author's Note: I'm sorry for the terrible grammar and writing, but I wanted to get this out before I started bawling again. It's not the most perfect, but neither was he, and I think it explains his life pretty well. If you ever need someone to talk to regarding a sick pet or a pet passing away, you can talk to me. I understand what you're going through/went through. We're all in the same boat when it happens.

The "Rainbow Bridge" he's crossed refers to a poem about when pets pass on. You can read it here: http://www.pet-loss-matters.com/rainbow_bridge_poem.html


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