A eulogy for a good boy: R.I.P. Wally, 2000-2011.

I guess I’ll just jump in and get to it.

Remember my debonair and handsome cat, Wally? A little over a week ago, we were all just hanging around the house, waiting for the cable guy to come fix the internet, when he suddenly became sick. Really, really sick.

He was panting (which cats never do unless they’re in a lot of distress) and worse, he seemed to have no control over his back legs. I called a cab and took him to the Veterinary Emergency & Referral Group downtown. I quite honestly cannot say enough good things about this place. They whisked him out back almost as soon as I managed to choke out what his symptoms were.

In brief, he had congestive heart failure, his lungs were full of fluid, and a blood clot had migrated to his spine. The drugs the vet had given Wally to alleviate his symptoms were doing almost nothing for him.

I talked to my husband and daughter and told them I didn’t think we should make the cat wait for them to get to the vet office to say goodbye to him. So, it was just me there to see him off.

I guess it was sort of apt, just me and him alone together,  just like when we got him. Ten years ago, my husband was at the desk of the animal shelter, filling out paperwork, and I was in the shelter’s room of cats deemed friendly enough to tolerate each other.

I sat on a little couch, surveying the potential pets, and Wally just jumped up on the couch and flopped himself down next to me. Looking back on it now, I realize he was such a friendly cat that he probably would have done this to anyone (and probably had, for all I know, ten times already that day) but at the time, it felt like he picked me.

Whether or not he was aware enough to know that I was there with him while they put him down, I guess I’ll never know but I like to hope so.

So, goodbye, handsome man. You were friendly without being a nuisance to people. You escaped and ran away one time but came back two days later to get petted by us. You were funny and sweet and had an exceptionally expressive face for a cat. Although I probably won’t miss your talent for high-volume puking or the way you liked to hump stuffed animals at 4 o’clock in the morning (seriously, what was with that?), you were a good cat — probably the best I’ve ever known.


One last thought: I’ve turned off the comments for this post — not because I’m so grief-stricken that I couldn’t bear them but because, despite all I’ve said here, it still makes me feel a little silly getting consolatory notes for, well… my cat. But please know that I deeply appreciate everyone’s sympathy. Thank you, everyone. 

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