My cat Ashe is gone.
These are my last memories of him.
I saw signs just as I walked in the door. The front door was open, indicating that mom or some activity had happened. I went to go change the cat food and water, but someone had already done so. I went to the back room to find Ashe, who is often laying on a cat bed that he prefers to lay in rather then the covers on the bed, but he wasn’t there. I picked up the covers hoping he was napping or trying to get some heat, only to have my wife come in and give me the news.
I knew it was close, but I didn’t want to believe it. Ashe had been working up an oder. It honestly smelled like decay. I took a closer look at him last night and tried to clean him up a bit. I assumed that it was mucus, and a lot of it dried to his face. I tried cleaning it, but I started running into blood on the paper towel so I stopped. I was able to get a lot of mucus out of one of his eyes though. I didn’t notice any smell after I was done. He was just so weak. We used to call him sumo kitty at 22 pounds. If he wanted to be pet, he would jump up on your lap you were sitting down and then work his head in under your neck. A few weeks ago the vet weighed him at 8 pounds. He started to step down into the sink and lick some water. I got out a bowl for him and filled it with some water. I was happy to see he was still thirsty.
After we were done, I set him on the floor and started to walk away to my room. He wasn’t following me. He was just setting there. I picked him up and carried him to my room where he immediately walked to his cat bed.
Like so many nights before, he rested in the cat bed next to me while I tried to stop crying so I could sleep. Just having him try and be pet by me just made it worse. He used to have so much power when he tried to get my attention. I remember that he would often push his whole head under my chin and lay on my chest at night. Any time he walked around the bed last night, another feeling of sadness just swept across me with each step. The last thing he did before I went to sleep is he crawled under the covers and laid by my side.
I woke up this morning and he was still alive. Every morning I make a point to pet him and make sure he’s still here. I put some covers over half of him because my room is cold in the mornings. He came out of the room with me today and got some water. I set another bowl of water next to the water dish in case he preferred something a bit more fresh. He went on drinking out of the dish while another cat went for the little bowl. I thought to myself, at least they are not bothering him. I grabbed some drink mixing packets from the closet. I had to make sure i didn’t open it too far and bump him with the door. It was only a little space.
With the increase in activity last night and this morning, I was hoping that maybe it was just a respitory problem that was slowing him down at the moment. I could get him some antibiotics this weekend and help clear it all up. I helped him a few months ago to clear it up. This is when he and I started bonding. After he had gotten better, he would always sit near me, or on top of me. On the days that I work from home, I would often find him on my lap while I was too busy looking at my computer screen. Every now and then I would find him there, move him the the floor, and repeat the process all over again.
My wife told me once that she used to know exactly what he wanted. She would hold up her hand with her fingers spread apart. Which ever finger he choose would result in a back rub, massage of the ears, or something else. I tried to figure it out, but I never could. I didn’t know if he didn’t trust me, forgot about it, or maybe didn’t understand what I was doing. I tried it one last time last night, but it didn’t work. I ended up just massaging his ears and rubbing the side of him. Rubbing against his back was upsetting because I could feel every backbone.
Ashe is my wife’s cat. Until his fate was known, I had always considered him as my wife’s cat alone. Since then, he has only been my cat for two weeks. Last week the vet called me asking how Ashe was doing. I couldn’t talk with her because I knew I would break down if I did. I missed the guy before he was gone. Even now I can’t stop. I am upset that I care about him. And I am upset that I think that I should think otherwise. Sometimes I had wished it was over with so I could stop hurting, and then I would get upset over that.
My wife took him in to the vet to look at the dried mucus and see what could be done about the stench. The vet told her that it actually decaying flesh and that it was time.
This is all I have left of him.