On Losing a Treasured Idaho Friend
Cats and dogs give you unconditional love. I’ve had people tell me they love me but often discover they’re looking for an angle. How can they take advantage of a situation or what can they get from you while they put little into a relationship. I grew up in a house filled with dogs. They were very, very loyal animals.
Then on day three he came walking into the living room and offered a greeting.
When I was in the sixth grade, my brother wanted a cat. Mom and Dad drove us to the SPCA and we came home with a large kitten. He would be with the family another fourteen years. He wasn’t much of a lap cat but he was friendly and left small animals on the back porch by the door. When I moved to Idaho I lived in a downtown apartment my first year and didn’t know many people outside work.
Five months after arrival, the boss gave me a cat. He may have been a little more than a year old but nobody really knew. He had been found by some of her relatives and origins are otherwise unknown. He spent his first couple of days at my place under my bed and only wandered out for food and the litter box. Then on day three he came walking into the living room and offered a greeting. At night, he would curl up next to me and on weekends when I tried sleeping late he would work as a backup alarm clock. He loved to play. No matter the time of day.
Last November he began dramatically suffering weight loss and had difficulty keeping down food. He nearly died Thanksgiving weekend but a steroid shot perked him up. These would recur every 30 to 45 days. He put most of the weight back on his fuzzy frame.
He was scheduled for another shot on the 11th. He had been diagnosed with a hardening of the stomach wall. The steroid proved a godsend. On the drive to the veterinarian, he started struggling with breathing. When we arrived, X-rays revealed a serious case of cardiomyopathy. He was suffering congestive heart failure.
I came home alone. I’m guilt ridden because I believe if I had gotten him in one week earlier maybe there could’ve been a solution, however. The vet told me she was surprised he had lasted nine months. I petted him one last time and I’ve got at least one-thousand photographs. But my house is very, very empty.