Friday morning, I couldn't find my cat, Simba, anywhere. My son had been working in the garage the day before and I worried that Simba had gotten outside. A night out with coyotes in the area could mean the end of him. Last summer I found him scouting around my barn on two different occasions but I didn't find him there this time.
We all looked everywhere and finally he was found hiding under my son's bed. He wouldn't come out and when we did see him going down the hallway he was very weak in his hind legs. He wouldn't eat or drink. Saturday morning, he was no better. He was hiding under my bed. In his sixteen years, he has never hidden away like this before. I called the vet's office and set up an appointment. My son caught him and put him in the traveling box so I wouldn't have to hunt him out later.
I took him to the appointment and right away the doctor said it didn't look good. He was down to 8 pounds and severly dehydrated. The doctor told me that his kidneys had failed. He had mucuous in his mouth and bad breath. He said the only possible treatment would cost over a hundred dollars a month and there was no guarantee at how long he'd last. I agreed to have him put down. I stroked him for about half an hour, admiring his beautiful, soft fur as I watched him slowly breath- he was sedated. Eventually, it was time to let him go.
I really hate taking my pets to the vet's office when they are sick. In 2009, I took Daisy in to be put down. I petted her head as she drew her final breaths, finally done in by the cancer invading her body. I took Gunnar in for surgery that he never woke up from because of the cancerous tumors in his head. Now, I was giving up Simba.
The craziest thing about this final time with Simba is that this was possibly the longest time I have ever stroked him. Since he was a kitten in Pearly's litter, I've wanted him. I chose him of the six kittens she delivered. He was the beautiful little white one. That's why we named him Simba; because he looked like a lion cub. We had one kitten left besides him and my husband suggested we keep her. So we kept Terra too. They have always been together, in a love-hate relationship. Always, they lay together on my bed. Sometimes, they would fight. But for as long as I can remember, Terra claimed me as her human and wouldn't let Simba near me. He would prowl and yowl at night and wander around restlessly while Terra snuggled up next to me in my bed. My son taught him to head-butt for attention. He loved to be stroked and he would purr loudly and contentedly. He was a restless spirit and never stayed in any one place for long. He'd cry to go to the garage and then cry to come into the house. He loved to go outside and lay under the cars or stalk things in the tall grasses. He had beautiful, light blue eyes that slightly crossed, the softest, thickest fur, and velvety, chocolate pads on his paws.
He will be missed by all of us.