To fellow cat lovers, friends, and relations......

I lost a friend today.

At 7:25 PM on Tuesday, 6/2/98, Sylvester went into resperatory and cardiac arrest during treatment for acute renal failure.

I dropped him off that morning for what I thought would be a simple glucose adjustment -- after doing very well for about 3 weeks after his diabetic condition went away, he started showing signs his glucose levels were rising. Something more was amiss with his behaviour.

By 10:45 AM his blood-work came back with terribly disappointing news: his kidney values were off the chart. Acute renal failure, end stage. We started fluid therapy in an attempt to bring him back. I went to visit him at 3 PM and he looked awful.

I went back at 5:30 to visit again -- he looked a little better. I spoke to the vet who was very frank. If he didn't have any improvement by morning, instead of schedulling his thyroid surgery, we were discussing his humane passing.

I rubbed Sly behind the ears and asked him to give up his fight on his own. I let the vet at 6:35, knowing full well that was the last time I'd ever hug him and see him alive.

Less than an hour later, during his evening treatment, fear must've caught the best of him. He was still fighting to the end, his last fight costing him what was left of his life. Unfortunately due to the tornadic weather, the vet could not get ahold of me -- even if they did, there was little I could do. As the severe storms rumbled thru, the earth shook and a cold wind came behind them. I turned to Cinday and said, "he's gone now..."

First thing in the morning the vet delivered the sad new. I went down to hold and comfort his body. He was truly a special friend. The complexities of married-with-kids life and homeownership had conspired to push Sly to secondary status -- his medical needs were met first every day but there was little time for play anymore. I wish I could have those moments back. There's a big hole in my heart for my friend and those lost moments. This is a siren call to take more time to smell the roses.

I lost a friend today.

He may have been 'only' a cat, but he was a constant companion and confidant. During my graduate school years and those first post-graduation moments when I went out into the 'real' world, he was a non-judgemental living being I could confide my hopes and fears to. At night when the lonely days had caughten up to me, he was there seeking warmth and comfort, keeping me company. There was just something so comforting in his purr and gentle needling. We travelled everywhere together, logging almost 100,000 miles together. When life grew more complicated he still was always there. After Grace was born we were concerned how he'd react to a new baby. He was surprisingly gentle, never lifting a paw or claw against her, no matter what Grace did.

I lost a friend today.

Do not go gently into the cold, dark night. Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.

Meet you at the Rainbow Bridge, my friend.

Thanks for listening.....

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