Miss Your Company

Sad news from Dad’s wife Darla, no stranger to the Blogosphere:

Samara, aka Sam, aka Squidge died yesterday afternoon in the kitty ICU of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Virginia Tech. It was relatively sudden. We took her to the vet last Wednesday for a checkup because she’d been lethargic. They diagnosed anemia and sent her home with antibiotics and steroids. She improved for a couple of days, then got worse again on the weekend. When we took her back in on Monday morning, the vet sent us to the nearest veterinary teaching hospital. They diagnosed dilated cardiomyopathy: apparently her heart was functioning at about a quarter of its normal power. They did what they could, but she died about two hours after we reached the hospital. We buried her in the garden this afternoon.

As you can imagine, I’m a wreck. But it’s a comfort to know that she was nearly 13, that she’d had a very comfortable life since she was rescued from the street at the age of six months, and that she didn’t suffer. I keep blaming myself for not noticing it earlier, but I suppose if a licensed vet didn’t spot it in an examination five days before she died, there wasn’t any way for me to guess it was there. It had probably been progessing slowly for months.

Nearly five years ago, Squidge came within a whisker of dying, and was saved at the same veterinary hospital. So, I’m trying to think of the last five years as a bonus; we could have lost her so much earlier.

She was adorable, and an utter pain in the butt, and I loved her madly.

As you might expect, I wrote back to assure Darla that giving one’s cats mental MRIs was not something humans should undertake, and omniscience also means you have to keep planets in orbit, which is exhausting. One would think. Still, it’s very hard to lose one’s cat friends, and blaming oneself is very tempting. Let’s look at this moment another way.

Recently, my friends Linny’s and Mark’s last little old cat passed away. They buried their friend, and a suitable period of time elapsed. One day, Mark said, “Linny, we’re out of cats.” Linny went to the animal shelter in her town and picked out three black kittens, brothers. They’ve always been together so they’re fine, and they’re lovely company but, Linny says, they are dumb as socks.

Linny carries pictures in her wallet of the cats staring at each other like they’ve just met.

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