The evening ended much the same as others. I carried my sweet cat, Graham, up to bed with me.
This evening, however, He was not lazily slung over my shoulder cackling his odd meow while I carried him up the stairs. My three other cats soon to follow when they felt like it.
This evening, I carried him in a small treasure-like box that contained his ashes that I retrieved earlier that day.
Though he’d been euthanized in July, I couldn’t bear to actually bring him home in this box. I’d pass the Animal Hospital nearly every day since, but my car refused to make that left turn. To accept the finality of it and move on.
I watched, probably, for too long as his health visibly deteriorated but told myself that as long as he kept eating he was OK. After all, he’d still chase a string, follow that red laser light gleefully up the wall determined to catch it after all.
It was a decision nobody who loves their animal takes lightly. He was frail, barely kept food down and his soft ginger coat had become sparce, and came out in dry clumps.
I’d made the appointment once prior and canceled it. This time I made it and begged to have them see us immediately. The did.
Graham came to me during a warm summer evening while I was walking with my ex and happened to come upon a woman who had a baby pool full of black lab puppies for sale. I mentioned I had cats to which she replied…”Well my cat got out and we have 3 kittens in the basement.” “You want ’em?”
She led us into her hell-hole of a basement nearly filled to the rafters with stuff. A Mama cat meowed, and suddenly 2 buff-colored kittens appeared. The woman assured us there was another, but it was shy and often hid. We took the two kittens home that evening and the next morning, as promised, the woman delivered the third.
There he was…..a bright orange tabby….a ginger cat. He was the odd man out, as the other two, a male and female were identical twins. In the end I was able to adopt out the twins to the same family. Nobody wanted Graham, now my favorite.
Of course we kept him, despite the fact we already had 4 cats.
Graham was not a remarkable cat. He was quirky. He fetched. He loved salmon flavored cream cheese.
There’s nothing more to say. His passing has left another hole in my heart alongside those left by many others I was never ready to let go of. I grieve them all. Losing another brings up the sadness of losing each one I loved so dearly. I will never really get over losing any of them.
Thank you to my animal friends for enriching my life with love, laughter, friendship and loyalty. You know who you are.