Thursday, December 28, 2006

Our Little Lion

Stripes died this morning. Technically it was of kidney failure and anemia, but generally it was old age. He had had a good life, relatively, and was loved. He died in Laura's arms.

Stripes was the cat equivalent of a mutt. He had long hair that was grey with darker stripes (hence the name). When he was younger he had tufts of fur surrounding his head somewhat like a lion's mane. He was certainly the alpha male of our pride of cats for a long time. He had survived being hit by a car (hip fracture), an infected ear (it grew to the size of a plum), and a few upper respiratory infections. He was a mean young tom up until he got hurt (the hip fracture). Laura dedicated herself to taming him and he became hers. Even when he was outside, he would come when she called. Also, all of our other cats liked him. Some cats will bristle at others and we have had to keep a few separated - but ALL of them would curl up with him for a good grooming. Weird.

I called the vet yesterday morning and got the news that he was dying. I went during my lunch hour and took him home. Laura was home early from work (slow days during the holidays) and she spent the rest of the day with him saying goodbye. He managed go hang on until this morning when it was obvious that he was suffering. We took him in and put him to sleep. He is buried in the back yard in a little alcove between some bushes. My daughter wants to do something - flowers, a stone, something.

If you have a number of pets, you love them all - but there's always a special one. Stripes was the one.

11 deeply creased, dogeared comment(s):

De Aufiero said...

So sorry. It's very sad, but it seems good that he was with Laura until the end. We'll give a roar for him.

urban-urchin said...

I'm so sorry. I was in the exact same situation with my beloved cat, and it hurt like hell.

meno said...

Yes he has a good life and this is the inevitable end to life, but damn it hurts.

I'm sorry.

jen said...

bob,
i am sorry. i truly am. what a lucky guy to have you as his family.

how lucky we are to know such love for furry creatures.

Mother of Invention said...

My heart goes out to you guys and Stripes. What a special cat and it is neat that he touched your lives so closely as you did his. What a perfect ending for him to have had in the comfort of your wife's hands and in his home.

I know exactly what you're going through, having lost 4 cats, all special in their own way.

Soot was our special one, at 16,who died of heart failure, at the vet's after having an attack in his litter box, still taking a swipe at our new kitten.

I'm thinking of you both now.

Mir said...

Maybe Stripes went to keep your MIL company. I'm sorry for your family's loss, and hope that 2007 brings more joy to balance things out.

Antonia said...

The more you write about Stripes, the more I realise what a one in a million he was. You put it so well. I know exactly what you mean about 'the one'.

It does just hurt and I'm so sorry for you all. I hope that one day, missing him turns into remembering him with a smile.

Oh, The Joys said...

So sorry. That's hard. Pets are members of the family.

patches said...

Sorry for your loss. If I had to go tomorrow, I would to receive the same sendoff Stripes did. Loving and dignified.

Moogie said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Losing a pet it always tough as they are an intricate part of our family.

Hella said...

So sorry to hear about your loss. We too had a family pet pass away on us this holiday. My sons pet rat Nutmeg passed away on us a few days ago. Its always hard to say goodbye.