Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Faithful Friend

Driving through the night on a heart-wrenching mission is something I have done before. It never gets easier. The night of the 21st with a full moon in the sky and freezing temperatures outside the warm interior of the car, we took our beloved Lenny on his final trip. We went to the all-night emergency hospital in Tualatin. At about 9:00 p.m. the vet gave him the fatal injection and he went limp in our arms. His valiant struggle with cancer was over and he could rest in peace. Windy and I both held him and he was wrapped in his kitty quilt I made in Osceola. Andy was with us and helped with driving as neither Windy nor I could focus enough.

All day that Monday, I sat on the couch and he stayed close. It seemed he was trying to comfort me as he did when I was so sick and recovering from surgery in Osceola. If I got up and went in the other room, he followed me. We needed each other on his last day and we both knew it was the end. I didn’t give him the dreaded medications or try to get him to eat. I wanted him to just be happy for his final hours.

But oh the sadness. He leaves a big empty space as he has been part of my life for many years. Windy’s cat in the beginning, but he came to live with me a few years ago and we bonded very tightly. At first, he was the youngster and Rocky was the old cat that he re-energized. Then Lenny became the old cat that was enlivened by Little Skye.

But always…Lenny came to greet me when I came home from wherever I had been… work or errands. Positioned by the door he would say a happy meow. And when I sat down on the couch to watch TV he would climb on the back right by my shoulder and just perch there and keep me company while I worked on my knitting. He loved to come and sleep by my head at night and sometimes his purring was so loud it would wake me.

He was quite particular about his water and preferred fresh from the tap. He had his own special purple water bowl and he liked to have it refilled often. He loved his catnip kitty grass. Until at the end when he couldn’t chew or eat.

In all the time he stayed with me, I never had to punish him. He never needed it. He was very well-behaved and never got into things. He had his own special eating place, but never got on the counters in the kitchen. He did have an affinity for flower arrangements, especially the dried variety. But for the most part…he was always a gentleman.

He lost his buddy Rocky when we lived in Osceola and he grieved mightily for a long time. They had been so close and always slept curled up together. I missed Rocky so much I didn’t want another cat. But finally the time was right and Little Skye came to us a year ago. He was never as close with her as he had been with Rocky, but still they got along and romped together right up until the end.

He only tolerated the dogs, but did seem to enjoy racing away as Buddy gave chase every morning. They gave Lenny his space and we all co-existed in harmony.

Now our life is out of balance and we will grieve again as we have for Squeaker, Babe and Rocky. We will honor him with thoughts and the many photos we have taken over the years. His ashes in a little wooden urn will join the others kept in the rolltop of the antique secretary. Out of sight, but close by. Because their spirits are still with me and I think of all of them with love and affection and many, many happy memories. Rest in peace, my beloved companions.


Post a Comment

<< Home