Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sad Goodbyes

15 years ago, give or take a few months, I sat giddy as could be in the front seat of my parents Ford Taurus. We were on our way home, and cradled in the palms of my hands was this tiny orange ball of fluff. My brother and I promptly named him Garfield, after one of our favorite comic strips. Our golden retriever was so taken with him, that she'd attempt to nurse the cat, patiently waiting as the tiny powder puff attempted to tap the long dry wells. He was an outdoor/indoor cat who brought us wonderful little gifts such as yard moles and mice. He'd deposit them on our steps, proud of his days hunt. Other times, we'd find larger animals, squirrels and rabbits, much to my horror. I remember being so angry one time as he trotted across our front yard, baby rabbit in his jowls still kicking. When he wasn't outside, he was inside, curled up in the corner of the white chairs in the living room or on one of our laps. You could wake up on a cold winter's morning only to find Garfield had managed to take over your pillow, leaving you nothing but the cold hard mattress. He tolerated Maggie as a new addition to the family (our other golden retriever), and surprised us all by allowing Shepherd to occasionally pet him, even if it meant his tail was grabbed and pulled. He only smacked Shepherd once, and even then it was more warning than anything.

This morning, around 11, I drove Garfield to the vet. As I drove, I cried. I cried for the 12 year old girl in me, whose excitement had turned to sorrow, now... 15 years later. I cried for my brother, who couldn't be there to say goodbye. I cried for Shepherd, who would wake up from his nap at my parents and race around looking for the "TAT!!" But most of all, I cried for Garfield. He'd developed a sudden onset of Glaucoma, and was in significant pain. The only option was to remove his eye, a surgery that cost way too much for a cat as old as him. Not only so, but there was a suspected thyroid condition, and his veins were next to impossible to find. I sat there, holding him as the vet administered the medication, and as his breathing slowed, the tension he'd held from the pain let go. He quietly drifted asleep, no longer in pain. I don't know if another life exists for pets, and sometimes it seems quite silly to wish for such things. I'd like to believe that he's somewhere better... free from the pain. But if not, I pray he rests in peace, beneath the wisteria in our family's flower garden...




Goodbye Garfield... you were loved beyond measure and will be missed immensely.

13 comments:

Cindy said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Liza said...

Oh no. I'm so sorry. He sure was a cute kitty.

rudecactus said...

I'm so sorry. I know exactly how hard that is. You guys have my sympathies.

Anonymous said...

Oh I'm so, so sorry! We just lost a sweet kitty last May, and it's just heart wrenching to have to say good bye to such dear furry feline friends.

I'll be thinking of you.

~ Somewhere in the Midwest

Alissa said...

((hugs))

Been there. I'm so sorry you have to be there now.

Kristin said...

So sad...I'm sorry to hear about your loss. 15 years sounded like a wonderful run for Garfield.

Beth Fish said...

So sorry, honey. Letting them go is so hard. But, I'm glad that you got the chance to move back and spend some time with him before he had to go.

seattlebags said...

Losing a beloved pet is so hard. :o( I am so sorry Corinne!

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

I'm sorry.

Lisa said...

I could of written this myself a few months ago. He looked just like him except his name was Noot. My mom had to make a huge move and he was just to old and sick to make that big transition so we had to let him go. It was so hard to do and I still question if it was right but I know he was not happy anymore and wouldnt have lived through the move. I am so sorry you lost your friend.

Julie said...

I'm sorry for your loss.

creative-type dad said...

:(

We're going through this now with our dog. Pets become staples on our lives the older they are.

Katie said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your dear pet. I just had to do the same with my beloved dog in April and it's still hard to think about it.