I can remember the day Big B and I brought him home. We'd gone to the pet store in Minot, the one tucked into the side of a hill, and there was this little orange and white-as-new-fallen-snow tabby. His information card said he was 12 weeks old. I don't think it was accurate. He was just too small, and sickly. Had they taken him from his mother too soon? Never mind that, I would nurse him to strong, everlasting health. He would live forever.
We made our way upstairs to the parking lot. On our way up he startled at the hum and whistles the vending machines were making. He leaped from my arms and scurried into the room where the machines loomed ominously. I found him hovering behind one of the tall, noisy contraptions. I reached out to grab him and as I picked him up he caught my hand with his needle sharp little teeth. They barely nicked my hand, only drawing a smidge of blood.
I buried him into my shirt, nestled against my chest and carried him to the car. Big B had already made his way and was sitting behind the wheel. He was waiting patiently for me and the creature he had begrudgingly conceded to allow me to bring home with us. Once I got settled into my seat I said "Damn cat bit me! Sounds good to me. We will name him 'Damn Cat.'"
That was a cold day in December, 1993. Yesterday, January 26th, 2010, soon after I'd awakened for the day I knew it would be my last with DC.
The boys had Monday and yesterday off for teacher work days, so Monday night they had some friends over. Knowing I had to wake up early for clinicals I slept with my bedroom door shut. When the alarm went off I arose and attempted to exit the room with the girls in front of me, charging out of the room. (Food is the mainstay of their existence.) They quickly screeched to a halt, or would have screeched if it weren't for the carpet. They stopped because there was DC, laying in front of my door. Well, by this time he's seemingly sitting up. It's dark and I had just awakened from a deep sleep, so I really couldn't say what exactly he was doing. Why was he there anyway?
After taking care of the girls I made my way back upstairs to get ready for the day. While in my bathroom, I turned around and happened to glance down at my floor, under my bed. There he was again. DC was laying under the foot of the bed, listless. In horror I went over to him thinking he was dead. He peeked up at me without even lifting his head off of the floor. He just laid there pretty much motionless.
I knew the day was coming. He's had hyperthyroidism for quite some time and over the past month has displayed some odd behaviors. He used to sleep with me, but over the past year rarely even made his way upstairs. That was up until about a month ago, when he started hobbling up knowing he'd find me there.
I knew the day had come when we would spend our last hours together. Due to illness I'd already lost two clinical days, so I called my instructor in distress. She sympathetically told me to get myself together, and to come in as soon as I could. I'm glad I went. After being sick for the past couple of weeks it felt good to do anything but lie around, even though I had left DC.
After clinicals I came home and found DC downstairs. He wasn't doing any better than he had been in the morning. He kept crying in a high-pitched meow, unlike his normal manly meow. I sat down on the floor with him, cuddled and brushed him. At first I intended on taking him to the vet to have him put down, but decided I would keep him at home, unless he started showing signs of distress or pain. I know if I have the chance to choose, I'd like to spend my last moments in the comfort of my home, surrounded by those I love, not in a cold, unfamiliar environment.
Later I had to study so we made our way upstairs, me carrying him in my arms, swaddled in a towel. At first I laid him on the bed with me. He wriggled around some, so I knew he wasn't comfortable there.
I placed him on the floor nearby. He would cry and wriggle and sleep. Even later I decided to bring him back up on the bed with me, this time attempting to hold him. He just couldn't get comfortable in my arms, so I laid him on the towel on the bed, next to me. I studied a little more and then decided to call it a night. I made room for me to get into the bed and there I laid, playing games on my iPod Touch, while he just laid next to me. As I played I heard him gasp a little. A few minutes later I looked over. He was gone.
The furry friend I made so long ago will no longer keep my lap warm. Now all I have is the memories. He's had a good life. He's traveled the Western Hemisphere and seen places many humans have never, or will never, see. He was born in Minot, ND, and from there he went to Wichita Falls, TX, to York County, VA, to Italy, and his final resting place will be here in VA. I lovingly called him "Putsi Poo".