Those of you who are on my Facebook have probably seen this already, and if so sorry for the delayed double post. I just didn't have it in me to make two posts at the time. Last week we made the decision to take Jack to the vet for the last time. His tumor had invaded some of his lung space and it was making breathing hard sometimes. He wasn't eating much either so it's possible it had affected his digestive system too. While it was pretty painful to make the decision to have him euthanized, it would have been absolutely brutal to watch nature take its course. The vet and staff were so kind and compassionate about everything, I got to stay with him and pet him the whole time, and I was allowed to bring his remains home for burial. It's not really legal to bury animals within Arlington city limits, but we did it anyway.
This has been a tough week. Even though I had months to prepare for this eventuality, it's been hard on me. I didn't realize it until he was gone, but I spent a lot of time making sure he was comfortable and well cared for during his final weeks. He had a comfy spot in my sewing room (which my nosy dogs can't access) and he did most of his sleeping there. It's also where I brought him canned food in an attempt to get him to eat a little more. We did a lot of cuddling, and even after his skin got too sensitive for the usual amount of petting he still liked his chin rubs. On a few of the cooler mornings I took him outside so he could enjoy the sights, sounds, smells, and feel the breeze. It may sound weird, but it's a big adjustment not doing those things. Walking into my sewing room and not seeing him there is still a little jarring.
Really, I'd rather try to focus on the 12 years we got to spend with him before all this. We adopted him when we still lived in our first apartment in Indianapolis. He was loose in our building but heard Micah, my first cat (who is still with us) meowing at me. He meowed at her through the door all day until we let him in. He was all sleek, glossy fur and firm muscles, very healthy. I put up Found posters but no one claimed him, which was fine with me. He was a very friendly and social cat, sort of the perfect balance to Micah's stereotypical prissy-cat mindset. He moved with us to our first house, welcomed (or at least tolerated) new members of our animal family (even the dogs!), won the hearts of our friends and family with his easy nature, and eventually moved with us to Texas. He enjoyed the sunny windowsill in my sewing room, and often hopped into my lap while I was sitting at the sewing machine. When he wanted your attention he'd sprawl on his back, roll around, and look up at you, waiting for you to succumb to his cuteness. He did have the (slightly annoying) habit of hopping into your lap when it was most inconvenient. Even if you shooed him away, he'd come creeping back, moving very slowly, apparently hoping you didn't notice him until it was too late. Sometimes that actually worked! He was an absolute purr machine which was perfect for those times when you needed some cat-comfort. He even knew his name and came when you called him. He was a wonderful cat, and a great companion. I miss him a lot.
Cuddling with one of our other cats, Jesus:
Sitting in my lap while I worked on a bodiced petticoat: