It is with great sadness that I write about the loss of our beloved cat Eddie, on Friday, June 9th.
Fifteen years ago (plus two months, to be exact) he came to us from the street, clearly needing a home. He was hungry and his white parts were grey, but he was so full of character and insistence that we couldn’t turn him away, after checking diligently to ensure nobody was looking for him. Back then, in the spring of 2002, we were going through a very difficult time, and Eddie choosing us to be his family helped a lot. We were both very attached to this adorable animal, who brought so much comfort and made us laugh every day.
He had definitely been someone’s pet at one point, as he was socialized and had been neutered and his front paws had been declawed. Of course, he couldn’t tell us how old he was, however he was fully grown, so wasn’t a kitten (although he filled out nicely with proper nutrition). He was a vibrant young cat, who we estimated to be one or two, and the vet agreed. This would have made him about 16 when he died, and with the average lifespan of a house cat being about 15, he lived a good long life. Knowing that hasn’t really made these days of mourning any easier though. This has been a heart-wrenching experience. They say time heals, so we’re just waiting for that time to pass, so we can feel better.
While he had slowed down with age these last few months, he still seemed healthy and free of any pain. We didn’t realize there was something seriously wrong until he had what looked like a dizzy spell and fell down, around noon on Friday, while I was home with him and Nick was at work. While we didn’t understand what that meant, we knew that it wasn’t good, and called for a vet appointment right away.
A couple of hours later, we were caught off-guard by his diagnosis of what appeared to be advanced stages of cancer. Without question, what the doctor saw was a very unwell animal, who was too elderly and frail to respond to any treatment. Her advice was to consider Eddie’s feelings and well-being. In an alarmingly short period, we’d gone from an optimistic couple seeking help for a sick cat, to one weeping as we walked down the street with an empty cat-carrier.
Eddie was a major source of joy for us and we miss him so much. He was so friendly and good, and all cat-people who met him, fell for him. We are very grateful for the concern and care shown by our friends, who loved him too, and understand what we are going through.
Regular readers will have seen much of him on these pages, but if you’d like a quick look of pictures that exude his precious personality, here’s a post from last Christmas, when he joined right in with the party, and here’s one from last spring, spending time outside, including a couple with his best friend, Nick — coincidentally that was posted one year ago to the day.
Why I’m illustrating this post with photos of a Monarch butterfly : On Friday morning, I carried Eddie out to the yard — he always enjoyed time outside — and as we stood out there, a shadow fluttered about around my feet. I searched for its source amoung the branches of the lilac tree overhead, and caught sight of the orange wings. When we went back inside and upstairs, I found the perfect vantage spot, through the kitchen window. Eddie was no more than two feet away from me as I took these shots, on the last morning he was with us.
I’m sure I’ll think of our dear boy every time I see a Monarch, here on out.