THE END OF AN ERA
A little more than 19 years ago my son who had just started living on his own, called me to tell me that he had found a kitten and would be keeping it. She was a calico that he named Crash, because she seemed to be always crashing into walls when she was playing.
When she was about 6 months old, while chasing a fly through the house, she pushed the screen out of the window and made it to the outside world. She was missing for a few days when I came down to Woodhaven and joined the hunt for Crash. It wasn’t hard to find her. The garage behind our house had an extension where all the neighborhood strays always went in the afternoon to sun themselves. I looked out the window and there was Crash on the garage extension.
A year later another kitten was added to his family. He was named, Burn (who I called Burnie). Burnie just walked into the house and made himself at home. This did not sit well with Crash, but she tolerated him.
About a year and a half later, my son died in a construction accident. Since my cat, Midnight, had died a month earlier, I inherited Crash and Burn. They settled into their new home and when I moved to my new home, they complained continually through the 4 hour drive. When I released them from their carriers, I vowed that the next time they left this house would be when they died.
About 5 years ago Burnie started getting sick. Through the skill of our vet he lived until 2 years ago when I had to make the decision to let him go.
That left just Crash. She didn’t mind being an only cat, in fact she really enjoyed it. She never had to fight for a seat next to me on the couch, she would sleep next to my pillow every night. She didn’t have to share her food. She was my buddy, my companion. She seemed to sense whenever I had a problem or was feeling stressed. Then she would be by my side. One night, about 3 or 4 years ago, I had a nosebleed in the middle of the night. It was severe, so I called 911. All the while that EMS was here, Crash was right next to me. It was comforting.
About two weeks ago, at age 19+ she started retaining water and losing her appetite. I took her to our vet and had a liter of fluid removed from her belly on Monday. Since then she hasn’t eaten, or even tried to take some of my meals.
Yesterday I made the decision that, as much as I hated to do it, I had to let her go. I just returned from the vet, where she died peacefully. I know I did the right thing, she had several medical problems and she was deaf, but I really wish I hadn’t had to make the decision. I wish she would have just gone to sleep on her own, never to wake up again.
She will be cremated and I will take Crash and Burn’s.ashes and put them on my son’s grave so they will be together again.
Crash and Burn, you will be missed.
For the first time in 43 years, I will not have a cat in the house. It will be strange to not be woken up at 5:30 tomorrow morning by a cat asking for attention because, if the sun is up, I should be up. I don’t know if I will get another cat or two, there are so many things to consider.