As most of you know, I'm a cat lover. I have, well, had six - up until yesterday.
Many years ago, 2003 to be exact, I was living with my cousin in Missouri. One day we decided to head into town for something to eat. We stopped at our favorite restaurant on a rainy, grungy day, not unlike it is outside right now.
As I pulled my poor little Geo Metro into a space, I noted there was a small, beleaguered and quite drenched kitten sitting by the door. He looked so pathetic, his fur dripping with water, his eyes pleading with me to pick him up...
Well, I did. I carried him into the little foyer between the outside and inside doors and stood there for a moment. He promptly crawled out of my arms and up onto my shoulders, stretching out across the back of my neck and under my hair...
I looked at my cousin, who promptly said, "No! Gerry will kill us both!"
I laughed and batted my big baby blues at her, but she stood firm. I patted the poor thing and said, "Sorry little one, but I'm sure you'll find a good home."
When we got inside, however, her tune changed. Our Uncle Mac was seated in his usual place at the counter and he gave us the look saying in a very calm voice, "You girls are taking that cat home with you, right?"
We both sighed, hung our heads and replied, "Yes Uncle Mac..."
We got our meal - salads - and headed back outside. In the back of my mind I was thinking, surely the little guy has run off, but no. He was sitting on the curb stop...directly in front of my car! He looked up and gave me a look that said, 'What took you so long?'
That, was ten years ago. I named him Eric - for specific reasons better left unsaid and he has traveled this country with me ever since.
We've moved from Kansas to Delaware, Delaware to Wyoming, Wyoming to Arkansas and finally Arkansas to Texas over the years and while I know he had a good life, it still pains my heart that I couldn't have longer with him.
Anyway, over the last six months he'd clearly not been feeling well - loosing weight, vomiting, not eating and so on. And yesterday, we finally figured out why. Eric had cancer and sadly the incurable kind. The vet, a wonderful lady, recommended we could try, but it would only buy him more time and wasn't a cure.
So, with great, big balling sobs, I held Eric, watched with gut wrenching slowness as the vet did her thing and could barely drive home in the aftermath...
I know he had a good life. He was fat and happy, never wanted for toys or nip, but still, he was my best-friend and will be missed for many years to come.
With a heavy heart, I bid him farewell today and dearly hope he's enjoying himself in Kitty Heaven...chasing mice and birds and has found his favored scratching post in the sky.
Goodbye my dear friend...you brought me much joy and happiness over the years.
|Eric - 2003-2013|