It’s been four months since Leonard died. I remember going to bed that night, constantly turning over my pillow to find a dry spot, sobbing so much I couldn’t fall asleep.
The necropsy showed that he had a massive liver and kidney infection. My vet excused his language and said, “Shit happens” when I asked (perhaps with a quiver in my voice) what I could have done to prevent it.
Soon after, he sent me a card offering his condolences, and said it was a pleasure dealing with someone who cares so much. It was probably the best thing anyone could have done to assuage any feelings of guilt. That fact that Leonard had a stub tail with no signs of scarring makes me suspect that he was the runt of the litter, likely born with a weak constitution, but that doesn’t stop me from always feeling like I could have done more.
He was always so affectionate, almost to the point of being overly so. Every morning he’d rub his nose on my face until I stirred, which would be extremely aggravating if it weren’t one of the most seraphic ways to be woken up.
I remember him sleeping with me one bright afternoon. Dolly decided to nestle herself in the crook of my arm under the blanket, and Leonard soon joined us, though he decided to curl up on my neck instead. It was the perfect nap configuration.
I’m still glad I had him, as short as our time was. It saddens me most to think that I never got to know what he’d be like as a mature cat, whether he’d keep his playfulness and extroversion into adulthood. At the very least, Heather G and Sergey, Aaron and Trolley, Darren and ____ all got to meet him before he died.
I’ve been checking the Humane Society website for male kittens available for adoption ever since. I recently found one with the right details and a goofy face too, but I don’t think I’m ready for another cat yet. I’m not sure I could handle it if the next one happened to die so suddenly as well. But I know that soon enough I’ll be itching to adopt again, and that the idea of having another cat in my life will prevail over any worries.
Wow.… too sweet, he really seems to have treated you like a momcat. Not just a food-giver.
The thing that worries me is that I’ll never find another cat like him again. Now that I know how affectionate cats can be, it’ll be hard to accept that they’re not all like that.
I know, I get that same feeling about my dog now — he’s supercuddly, more than any I’ve met.
But as a small-pet owner over many years I can tell you every animal, while different, never disappoints. They are all individuals and I’ve never regretted moving on and finding and helping yet another little creature. You find different joys with each one, and save a life.
Get a kitty! You can give such a good home … and company is so good to the life of you present cat! Just my 2 cents. :)
I’ve decided to hold off for a while until my life settles down and I’m finished traveling, just because I don’t want to be away while I have a kitten growing up (and potentially destroying my house). But I don’t know how long I’ll be able to hold out!
Awh. I’m sorry to hear about this. I couldn’t even imagine if one of my kittums passed away, they’re such a huge part of my daily life. I have three cats, and they’re all different, but they all have pretty fantastic qualities. I think the cats we brand as anti-social are only so when an owner ignores them or something. Otherwise all the ones I’ve known that had quality time with their owners were definitely affectionate to some degree.
but it’s good that you gave him the best life you could while he was around.