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Bedtime stories in the final weeks

I’ll keep this brief, as I wrote quite a bit about a Percy when he turned 15 a year and a half ago.

After four weeks of an iron supplement and two weeks of thrice-weekly subcutaneous fluid therapy, Percy appeared to have turned a corner yesterday. He had been more active and social for over a week, was moving around well, and was his usual extroverted self. Yesterday he even ate his full amount of food, a first in four weeks. He appeared to feel a lot like his old self, and I thought we just might be able to manage his condition for  a few weeks or months.

Then today, it all fell apart. He whined. He followed me around, but in a pathetic and not demanding way. His eyes looked off. His posture looked off.  He didn’t eat a bite. And then, just after we tucked Simon into bed, he meowed plaintively, hid in a closet, and threw up blood.

We acted immediately. My brother Steve came over on zero notice at 10:30 Friday night so Matt and I could usher Percival on his long journey home. We selfishly wanted one more night with him curled up on the bed with us (this is a cat that would lie next to me under the covers and share my pillow), but our gut told us he wasn’t going to have a peaceful night and that we owed him better than that after fifteen years of unwavering loyalty and love.

Percy died just before midnight at the emergency animal hospital, two short days after we bid farewell to his kid brother.

In human years, he was around 85. And for all but these few weeks, he has been the picture of health. The only time he ever went to the vet before this July was for an annual exam and vaccinations. So he had a good run, I know. And we gave him a good home for what would have been fifteen years next week. I know that too.

But my goodness my heart is breaking right now. For the third straight day, I’m going to bed with a headache from stress and crying. And tomorrow I face the sad task of cleaning up all the cat stuff in my house and telling my little boy that yes, “Percy has gone to be with Tristan” (his words).

We’ll all move on. We’ll grieve and bring a new cat or cats into our home to love. But right now my house feels desolate and I feel we’ll never, ever be privileged with the company of two such singular, beautiful animals.

Cheers Percy and Tristan. You were two in a million.

One Response to “Percival: March 1, 1994 – August 27, 2010”

  1. christine says:

    Wow guys, what a week it’s been. I’m so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you. Big hugs.

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