Monday, January 28, 2013
Goodbye Old Friend
When I was 12 my best friend was hit by a pickup truck while she was out riding her bike. She was my only friend at the time. My grief and loneliness was so consuming that my parents agreed to let me have a kitten that I fell in love with at a local farm and feed store. The kittens in the litter were the grandchildren of the farm cat that I loved to play with when we went there. The kitten that picked me was the first to walk in his litter. He had the cutest little nose that was half black and half pink. I named him Jake. How little I knew then how deeply this cat would touch my life.
Shortly after getting Jake I joined a youth choir and made many lasting lifelong friendships but Jake always held a special place in my life. Over the next 20 years he became my confidant, my emotional support, my mischief making conspiracist, my playmate, my personal comedian, and my dearest friend.
There never was a more gentle, loyal, loving, and caring cat. He loved everyone but especially babies and young children. For the past year he has been slowly going down hill and this past Thursday it was discovered that he had an aggressive type of cancer. He stopped eating and his hair started to fall out in clumps. Things moved so quickly and we knew it was time to say goodbye.
Yesterday he was put down using an in home euthanization service. We did not want to traumatize him with one last car trip. We wanted him in familiar surroundings. He died in my arms surrounded by love. When he was given the first shot (a sedative) he wrapped his paw around my leg and gave a hug like squeeze and for the first time in a long time he completely relaxed. It was then that I knew how much pain he had been hiding from us all along.
This is the last photo of my dear friend. It was taken Christmas morning while he waited for his Christmas treat. He was the most beautiful cat ever. I miss his bright eyes, clear, sparkling, golden, and filled with love and trust to the end.
I miss you Jake. After sharing over half my life with you the house seems so empty without you here.I know you are at peace and no longer hurt and that brings some comfort. You were the best of friends the dearest of companions and there will forever be a cat shaped hole in my heart now that you are gone. One day we will meet again. I will find a small grey cat waiting outside the gates of Heaven with a sparkly angel sock as a gift and together we will go over the rainbow bridge and into whatever adventure comes next. Till we meet again my beautiful friend, goodbye, and know that I will never stop loving you.