It feels like the season of loss… My dad left us at the end of March 2010 and we lost Delilah two weeks later. In Spring 2011 we lost Jezebel. And this year we lost our baby – a beautiful black and white tuxedo named Thomas (after the main character in “The Aristocats” – “Abraham Delacey Giuseppe Casey Thomas O’Malley, O’Malley the Alley Cat”).
We were given his mother, Lucy, while she was pregnant, so we were there for his birth and held him within moments of his entry into this dimension. And now we’ve held him as he left it again.
Thomas had so many endearing habits – if you walked by his corner of the kitchen counter he would reach out a paw to grab your clothing and pull you toward him at which point he would vigorously lick your nose. When I took a shower he would wait patiently for me to come out and express his concern that all that water wasn’t good for anyone. And he would try to help by licking the water off an arm or a cheek. He didn’t feel well enough to do either of these things for the last month. His most unusual habit occurred when I sat on the toilet – he would crawl into my pants down by my ankles and snuggle in and purr. The only way to get away was to pull my legs out of my pants and leave them and him on the bathroom floor to pick up later.
The Saturday before we let him go I had just returned from a trip to Vienna, Austria, and had been hoping he would have the strength to make it until I got home. He looked so weak and yet he was obviously glad to see me. He gifted me with his pants stealing habit one last time on the Saturday before we let him go. And I recognized it as “the last time.”
Sunday night we had left him in his heated bed in the bathroom. At 4am we were awakened to his pitiful cries. He had dragged himself out of the bathroom into the hallway. So I went and picked him up and brought him into bed with us. So he snuggled down between us under the covers purring – one last time.
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