Tuesday, August 07, 2012

A Cat Named Amelia

 I had to have my older cat Amelia put to sleep today. She had chronic renal failure and my vet told me euthanasia was the best course so she wouldn't suffer. I understand that on a logical level. She couldn't go on as she was. So I have been to the vet and I have said my goodbyes. My friend Cliff met me at the Clinic to offer much appreciated and much needed moral support. Amelia won't suffer now and as I said, logically, I understand it was the best and right thing to do.
   But oh I will miss her. She was a hard cat to get to know. When I adopted her four years ago from my friend Trish, Amelia hated my guts. I often joked that I was afraid that she would murder me in my sleep. But over time, as she came to think of me as 'her' person, she became a very affectionate cat. She wouldn't let you pick her up or hold her, but she would sit beside you and let you pet her and rub her head. I loved to hear her purr, because she only did it sparingly. And please don't tell my other cat Bruce, but she was my favorite.
   Amelia didn't take crap from anyone. If you got in her space she would let you have it. This especially went for her younger and much larger brother Bruce. He may have had more weight and more muscle, but she had the most attitude. She was the most cat-like cat you can imagine. Proud. Independent. Scornful. Barely tolerant of her brother and me in our dog-like maleness. A Bengal breed, she had long soft fur and beautiful green eyes.
  From what I've read of CRF, it builds over time but the symptoms don't really show until the cat is very far along. Amelia didn't show any signs of any problems until just a couple of weeks ago and that seemed minor. But when the real symptoms came she went downhill fast. In some ways that's a blessing. She didn't suffer for long. Instead she had more than ten good years, four of them with me, and she was a happy, crazy, quirky, loving cat for all of that time.
   Last night she slept in her favorite spot on my bed, leaning against my leg. She had her favorite treat, deli turkey, for breakfast this morning. Her appetite had been failing and that was all she would eat.
   I once told someone that after dealing with life for all these years that there wasn't enough of my heart left to be broken again. I was wrong.

12 comments:

Paul R. McNamee said...

Sad to hear of your loss. Losing any pet is hard. I'm a cat person myself, so I understand how hard it can be. Hearts never stop breaking - they never stop mending either.

Charles R. Rutledge said...

Thank you, Paul. And you're right about hearts.

Anonymous said...

Aw man, I'm so sorry.
But you had a friend in that animal. Not everyone gets to have that kind of friend-- it is a precious thing and not to be forgotten.

Not to be too hardboiled, but I find that while the loss of something precious is painful, even scarring, that pain and scar prove that something precious was there. It was yours. She was your friend and nothing can take that from you.

John Hocking

Charles R. Rutledge said...

Thank you, John. I very much agree. Whatever pain I'm feeling now was worth it to have had Amelia in my life.

sara said...

So sorry to hear this Charles, my thoughts are with you xxx

Charles R. Rutledge said...

Thank you, Sara. I appreciate the thoughts.

Riju said...

My heartfelt sympathy for you.

Charles R. Rutledge said...

Thank you, Riju.

Jeri said...

I'm so sorry to hear Amelia was sick! It's always horrible to have to let them go. You gave her a loving home for four years and gently helped her to the other side when her time had come. I'm sure she was very glad she had you, too.

*hugs*

Charles R. Rutledge said...

Thank you, Jeri. She had a good life, but it is indeed hard to let go.

Brett Brooks said...

I know how you feel, man. Cats are family. I am so sad to hear about your loss. Hang in there.

Charles R. Rutledge said...

Thank you, Brett. I know you've been in that situation and understand.