Well, I was going to take this week off for a couple of good reasons.
For a start, two blogs escaped last Thursday to double my normal pollution footprint and then I hit the big 65 this Monday and should have earned some bonus sloth time from that milestone.
But it’s hard to break old work habits and shed the guilt thing that has had me meeting deadlines for 45 years.
On the other hand, you have to cut some slack even for yourself after a death in the family.
So that’s what’s happening. Rather than crank out my regular silliness, I’m reporting the death of my cat to show you why I’m not writing anything today.
Doctor Watson, former orange giant who was the feline Mafia enforcer of the neighbourhood, died last night (July 13) at the age of 20.
He had become increasingly inactive over the last few weeks, while earning a good check-up in March, but still came down for breakfast yesterday morning and went out to patrol the property for 15 minutes. CSI evidence suggests that, upon his return for another nap, he had a massive stroke in his lair beside the tub in the second-floor bathroom.
We found him lying on his side, unable to lift even his head, and an attempt to pick him up found him stiff, providing the educated conclusion he was paralyzed.
That was enough to make the call. He had already been deaf for a year, was blind in one eye and hadn’t won a catfight in weeks.
On the other hand, he ate well, went out daily even over the winter and made the three-storey trek to his litter box in the basement many times a day and night. That was obviously over.
It was after hours for his local vet, but I took him to the 24-hour animal hospital. He did not stir in his basket on the seat beside me nor make any sound, a telling departure from his normal routine (he always hated the car).
It was all over in 10 minutes after arrival at the animal hospital.
We got him from the Humane Society shelter when he was well past the cute kitten stage and was never a lap cat or prone to spending the night purring on the bed.
On the other hand, he brought most of his prey home alive and healthy and proudly dropped them in the house, mainly mice and bunnies that we had to corral as he went off for a nap.He grew to be gigantic and it was all muscle. The neighbourhood bird-lovers called him “Agent Orange” because he liked to sit motionless atop a fence for hours until a blue jay swooped a little too close and he knocked it out of the sky, dead before it hit the ground.
But, long story short, he ate, slept, roamed and fought other cats. While ignoring others breeds, he hated bulldogs and boxers and was still running them off our front lawn when he was the cat age of 90.
He died before having to put up with any extended loss of pride and dignity.
A pretty good exit that gives us lots of comfort.