This post is written with a heavy heart. As I was growing up we always had dogs as our family pet, so naturally I associated more with dogs. When I met my wife Laura in 2006 she had 2 cats Stuart and Mindy and a bunny Penelope. It was pretty apparent that I would need to like cats if this relationship was going to last :). After you are around cats, you see that they are smart and caring animals each with their own personality. Penelope and Mindy have passed on years ago now, but are still remembered.
Friday, we sadly had to put Stuart down after an amazing life of 19 years. My wife got him from the humane society 9+ years, after he was abandoned and neglected. He has been a part of my life ever since I met my wife. The loving fluffy white cat, that went by the name Stuart, Stuie, and Magoo. Always there for a snuggle, a pet and a love.
Over the years, the list of medications and aliments continued to grow, but his personality never changed. 4ish years ago he was running down the stairs with our other car Cooper, caught his nails in the carpet and landed on his shoulder. A couple thousand dollars, and a metal plate in his arm, he was back to himself. Cue arthritis in his legs (medicine), early kidney disease (medicine + iv water drip every other day), trouble finding the litter box (lots of messes to clean up). With all the medicine and vet appointments he was still living a great life, acting much younger than his age.
Sadly, after we made it up to the family cottage, who he has been too numerous times, he started eating less. He started having trouble walking, couldn’t make it up into the litter box 😦 Thursday night, he fell off the bed, landed with a thud and didn’t make a sound. He slept the night on the floor, with our other cat looking down at him. Friday morning, he was having trouble walking (his back legs kept slipping out from under him), as the day went on he was having trouble standing. We took both cats outside on the deck to bask in the sunshine. Stuart would always find the beam of sun shining through the windows to lie in at home. We knew his time was coming to an end. His final time at the cottage was basking in the sun by the patio door, Cooper walked over and lay beside him (they very rarely snuggle together). It’s like animals know that something is not quite right with each other.
So we made the difficult but necessary decision to take him into the vet. Laura snuggled him in a blanket the whole ride in. A difficult drive, but a 30 min drive made it a long emotional one. We all went in to talk with the vet, and confirm the decision that we knew was best for him. Laura stayed with Stuart for his last moments as I took Amelia (4 years old) outside.
As soon as Amelia got outside, she decided that picking flowers for Momma would be a great idea. So we spent the time, trying to find the right wildflowers. Once the flowers were pick, we sat and had a discussion about Stuart, and what was happening. We had discussed this with her before we left the cottage and in the car. For a 4 year old she seemed to be understanding what was going on the best she could. A few times yesterday she mentioned things about Stuie, and how she misses him. I’m sure the reality of it all will really sink in over the next few days.
Last night, we were lying in bed reflecting on how quiet it was, Stuie was always one to vocalize when ever he wanted anything. There was no medicine to give before bed, no urine to clean up on the floor, no Magoo to rub heads with before bed. He was so intertwined into the fabric of our day that it will be a while before a new normal is established.
Losing a family member is never easy (yes pets are family members) but knowing you gave them a great life, for the few short years they were here makes it all worth it!