Missing Elliott February 15, 2008Posted by voolavex in Uncategorized.
Tags: cat, death, grief, loss, love, orange, pet
Last month on January 19th, our oldest cat, Elliott, passed away. He was just 18 years old and he exercised his prerogative to die. He taught me that dying is a hard business. And as much as I would love to believe he was fighting to stay with us – I know he had no concept of that. He was merely taking his time and it was hard for him. Old age and kidney failure were the cause of death – but until his last days he walked around, basked in the sun, drank water and broth, ate a little and slept a lot. He weighed 4.5 lbs; down from his usual 15. We hoped he would just go into that dark, good night at home, but try as he did, that good night remained dusk and finally it required our friend, our vet to help him over. That part, though a difficult decision, was a final act of love and mercy. He was in a coma and shutting down – but even so, his tiny, exhausted heart beat until the very end – in spite of a small sedative to ease him and a small dose of mercy that let him go.
He had been mostly mellow in life – but death proved to outwit his laid back style and his stubborn streak emerged – he was just not quite ready to go. He spent his last night in my arms – surrounded by his sister and brothers and I hope he was comfortable – I held him like there was no tomorrow – knowing of course there wasn’t a very long one for him. His life-long, noisy, aggressive purr gave over to simply breathing and there we were, my face and his fur dampened by my sloppy tears; Elliott wrapped in the same, safe arms that had first held him in 1990. Requisat in Pacem Orange Cat. You gave us happiness without end. You convinced your new dad that orange cats were the best and you shepherded a house full of newcomers who could never have been as happy without you. You had a pink, pig nose with its own special wrinkle that appeared when you groomed, an awful smelly breath (and many visits to the dentist), endless stripes and a face that insisted that anyone who passed by, really, really needed to say hello – to which you quacked “meow” in return. You did not scratch or growl. Your endless patience when kittens sat on you and refused to move was epic. You were the star of our building and the light of our lives. As a little lad, you spent many mornings upstairs with my godson, Oliver, playing Ghostbusters; meowing loudly at his door to be let in, heading straight for the bedroom. I liked to imagine you thought you were Dr. Egon Spengler. You never stopped making us smile. At one point, bags of catnip had to be taped to the ceiling – so amazing were your early skills at climbing and opening boxes. Because you had been born around dogs you drank water like a Great Dane. Your new dad called you Blocko because you decided between us was the right spot to sleep. That was a short 16 years ago . Your long life, with few mishaps, led us into a sense of a forever that we have learned, simply doesn’t exist. But you left us far too soon Elliott. And we still weep. And we miss you.