You know it’s coming, but it doesn’t make it any easier.
Destiny, my cat, died this past Tuesday.
He suffered a medical emergency just after my partner returned home from work – earlier than usual, which I guess turned out to be a good thing.
Unusually, I was nearby, taking an out-of-office meeting at a coffee shop close our house. This, too, was a good thing.
When I got the call, I had enough time to make it to the emergency after-hours vet and say goodbye before it was all over.
There’s been a lot of crying in my house this week.
Destiny was 19 years old. He had a good run. Really, it’s kind of remarkable that he lived as long as he did, given his humble beginnings (i.e., being a runt who was abandoned in a dumpster as a kitten), his various adventures over the years – the time he ran away from home and lived in a strange family’s garage for two weeks; the time he got punched in the face (it’s actually a really funny story); the time I accidentally locked him out of the house overnight in February – and of course, his health problems later in life: teeth problems, thyroid problems, kidney problems, and the list goes on.
He was a good cat who lived a long, happy life. At least, I hope it was a happy life.
He had the opportunity to nap in sunbeams and snuggle with us in bed and eat scraps of high-end meat.
He claimed the heated bathroom floor almost immediately after we had it put in. We tried to give him stability and love and little foam soccer balls to bat around and all the other things one assumes a cat would want.
Destiny was the first ‘real’ pet I’ve ever had. (I’m allergic to everything. Growing up, I was allowed only goldfish.) From him, I learned that animals have distinct and sometimes ridiculous personalities. Because of him, I became a cat-lover who probably will wind up a crazy cat lady.
As you may already know from reading past blog posts, Destiny was pretty awesome.
He loved being patted but hated his belly being touched. He meowed louder than any cat I have ever met. He sensed when you were sick and in need of cuddles, and would stay curled up in your lap for hours.
If he felt the cleanliness of his litter box was sub-par, he would take a dump on the carpet nearby and look directly at you while doing so. He liked to drink from the bathroom tap. At Christmas, we’d make him wear a bow tie.
He was tiny but he had a big personality.
As we grieve, we’ve been reflecting on how much joy – and now, how much sadness – a scruffy little garbage cat can bring to the lives of a couple of humans.