Friday, August 3, 2012

Saying Goodbye

Photo from circa 2004, Addy on the left, Delilah on the right.

We said goodbye to our beautiful fur-boy, Addy, yesterday.  It was an incredibly difficult decision, but we knew that he was not going to get better, and that he would be declining very rapidly now - in fact, he had declined noticeably over the last week.  And with our vacation starting on Saturday, we couldn't leave him like that - it wouldn't have been fair to him, and it wouldn't have been fair to our neighbors who have so generously cat-sit for our high-maintenance kitties over the last few years.  He likely would have been in distress, and we would never have wanted him to get to that point. 

We lost track of the years with Addy.  We got him and Delilah after we'd been in DC for a year or two, which would make it @1997 or 1998.  He was about 1 1/2 when we got them from a friend who had to leave the country, so I'm putting him at about 15 years old.  The addition of the two cats brought our pet count to 4 cats and 2 rats at that time.  He was always the consumate kitten, knowing no boundaries when it came to tearing through the apartment at 2am, meowing playfully with a pent up energy as he jumped from couch to entertainment center to French door frame, teetering wildly as it swayed back and forth under his weight.  He and Bully, our little tom-boy princess, were fast friends, and followed each other into endless nights of entertainment and broken picture frames.  Sadly, Bully died of what we believe was cancer, in 2001, at a mere 5 years old.  Even right up to yesterday, nobody would ever be able to guess his age, sleek, and devastatingly handsome. 

I sat down with Samantha last evening.  As I'd mentioned before, we had been talking to her about Addy's imminent departure, and before bravely taking him for his last car ride, Steve had Samantha kiss him goodbye.  I said to her, "I'm very sad today, Samantha."  Sounding appropriately sympathetic, putting a small, comforting hand on my shoulder, she replied, "I miss Addy, too.  Everything'll be okay, honey."  Empathy at it's very, very best. 

Then she asked if we can get new kittens.  (I laughed, and said yes, after our vacation.)

On a much happier note yesterday, we learned that a neighbor's10-year old indoor cat who'd escaped outside 2 weeks ago, was finally back home.  After putting out cat traps every night hoping to catch him, putting up signs in all of the appropriate places and calling around to all of the veterinarians, our neighbor had had no luck.  He then discovered that some sort of Amber Alert for lost pets exists!  We, along with all of our neighbors in a rather large path through town, received an automated call asking us to contact him if we saw his missing cat, and lo and behold, someone 4 or 5 blocks away called him back to let him know they'd spotted his missing feline.  Who'd have thought an amazing service like that even existed?  I know someone who was very happy to have his furry friend back home lastnight as a result.

This morning I woke early, expecting to hear the usual meowing of hungry cats, as I have done for the last 15 years.  I lay still in bed, waiting, wondering when it would come.  Addy had been my alarm clock for the last several years, the electronic device by the side of my bed squealing the arrival of 6am laying dusty, unused.  I may have to start using it again...  Samantha slept unusually late this morning, again, missing the call of the hungry beast.

Now, cat-less, we say goodbye to you as well, likely for the next week or so, until we return from our beach utopia in the south (okay, so to be utopia, the heat and humidy would likely be a hell of a lot less, but we're certainly not complaining).  I'm hoping to be re-inspired to take photos on this trip.  It's been a while, I guess I've just been in a bit of a slump.  We've purchased a MiFi unit and some pre-paid GB of data, so I will still have internet access while we're gone, but laziness just may trump your need to know of what we're up to. 

And, like I'd cautioned last year at this time, don't bother trying to rob us while we're gone - even though our attack cats are gone, you'll be sadly disappointed, unless rotting bananas, wilting plants and a slow, data-eating, gazillion-year-old desktop are your style.  And in that case, good luck to you.


Team Lando said...

Becca, I'm so sorry you had to say bye to both your kitties. Although I admit, Sammi's sweet response had me cracking up. She really does have some gifts in the area of empathy, doesn't she?

Enjoy your vacation. And good luck, I may just go after a rotting banana....

my family said...

Yes, Sammi's reactions are so sweet but i remember how difficult it is to say goodbye to a cat you have had for such a long time (I had one 18 years and another 15)

I hope your vacation is a fun one. i suppose you all go somewhere on the east coast when you say south?

Tricia said...

Very sorry about your kitties. I did hear on the radio that it is the season of kittens. The report said one week last month 1000 cats were brought into shelters in Philadelphia. I am sure you and Sammi will be able to find the perfect new kittens!

wendy said...

So sorry about your cat. Claire and I have been looking at kittens for awhile and have started looking at the local shelter. I'm sure you and Sammi will find the perfect kitten!!

Rochelle said...

Hugs my friend on the loss of your sweet family member!
Enjoy your vacation! Unplug, unwind and enjoy!

Lisa said...

So sorry about you cat, it so hard but having a little hand patting your back makes a huge difference doesn't it!
Have a great vacation!

Cate said...

I'm sorry. Even when you know it's coming, it's still so hard. I hope you get some peace and relaxation on your trip.

Anna Theurer said...

Oh Becca, how devastating. I am really sorry to hear about Addy.

April Vernon said...

So sorry for your loss. Sounds like vacation is coming just in time. Enjoy.

Michelle said...

Oh I'm so sorry to hear that you had to say goodbye to your beloved pet. Even though it sounds like it was the right decision to make I'm sure it didn't make it any easier. I hadn't read your post before I saw you today or I would've said something!