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Saying Goodbye To A Friend…

Although I will share personal details from time to time with my readers, the point of this photo blog is more to share with you the photo stuff that rolls around in my head. Unfortunately, our family has just experienced a loss that I need to share with everyone, so I’ll apologize ahead of time if this isn’t packed with information or photos. We all experience grief differently, and I’m hoping that this medium might help me deal in a productive way.

I was traveling for business in the Chicago area all week and was looking forward to getting back home more so than usual. Our family cat, Mr. Magoo hadn’t been feeling well and had stopped eating and drinking. In the four years that he’d been with us, he had bouts of colds here and there where he would exhibit these same symptoms. He’d stop eating and find a spot to hide and be alone. We always knew where he was, since you’d hear a sneeze or two every so often, and would help out by placing a small bowl of food and water where he was. A few days later, he would come out of hiding and act as if nothing had happened. This time around started very much the same as in the past, but after 4 days of not eating, we started to worry.

On Thursday night, Mr. Magoo started twitching while on my son’s lap, so he was set down on the floor. He proceeded to have a pretty lengthy seizure filled with pretty violent convulsions that left him out of it and displaying signs that he had lost his vision in part or completely. My son was pretty upset at having witnessed this, and understandably so. Yesterday, in the process of contemplating what to do and whether or not he would hold out for my return, he had his second and third seizure. It was clear that he was seriously affected and was taken in immediately to get looked at.

In this time of need, where my family would rather have me by their side to guide the way, I am having to hear about everything through text messages or short phone calls while away. While standing in the cold and sterile line of United Airline’s baggage drop-off site at the Cleveland Airport I received the call to ask for consent to euthanize Mr. Magoo. And just like that, our family friend was gone.

Standing in that line, I was able to make the decision as simply as if I’d been asked “paper or plastic” at the local grocery store. At that particular moment, it didn’t phase me one bit and I knew that it was the best decision for him and his condition. There was nothing to be done and no clear understanding what had brought us to that point. It wasn’t until I was halfway across the country on the flight somewhere over Colorado that it hit me like a bag of bricks. Somewhere in between watching “Clash of the Titans” and “Due Date” on the plane I felt my eyes water up and I did everything in my power to keep from crying like a baby. I decided to watch “Due Date” with Robert Downey Jr. and Zack Galafanakis simply to keep my mind off the fact that we had lost a family friend and it hurt like hell.

Mr. Magoo joined our family almost four years ago when I decided to take my son to visit the local SPCA in an attempt to teach him a lesson about the responsibilities of keeping animals and what happens when not done responsibly. Of course, the lesson backfired on me when we found Mr. Magoo and the next thing we knew, we were in an adoption room meeting him and seeing how the relationship would work. Of the few cats that we decided to meet, he was the only personable one that was social and interacted with the three of us. It was a done deal and we all went home.

He was approximately 6 months old and still had plenty of kitty to grow out of. He took to the house immediately and inspected all the rooms with caution before settling in and feeling as if he owned the place. In the time he was with us, we had a few incidents, but we always made through it. We live in a townhouse with a front deck that he loved to climb up on the railing. Also, our bedroom window had no bug screen, so he enjoyed climbing behind the blinds to sit on the sill for hours. It was on one of these occasions that he must have lost his balance and fell from the second floor while we were away. We looked all around for him, but couldn’t find him. We figured that he’d come back shortly, but the days passed and no word from Mr. Magoo. It wasn’t until on the second week of him missing that he showed up on a patch of lawn in front of our communal mailbox unit. It was apparent that he hadn’t eaten much, by his condition of almost wasting away. He must have sat in front of his bowls eating and drinking for a good twenty minutes.

He did come back with a abscess near his tail bone that required a trip to the vet. It turned out to be an infection from probable interaction with another animal, but we took care of him. After that, he got a LOT better at hanging out on the ledge at the front deck, but we tried to keep him away from the window sill to avoid any future episodes. He still fell off the ledge of the railing from the deck, but always found his way back home in a hurry.

I would like to think that he led a good life in the few years that he was with us. Given that he was one of dozens of kittens available when we went, I can only imagine that not all of them made it to be adopted and had much shorter lives. In the time he was with us, we made sure to spoil him with treats and daily sessions of scratching under his chin while he purred incessantly. He was never too shy to let you know that he wasn’t done with the petting with a nudge with his head, but that was one of the great things about him.

He liked hanging out on his own, but the winter season would always prove to get him in the cuddling mood. Since the dining room area in our place can get pretty cold, we could always count on hearing his paws tapping on the door handle to the bedroom, as if he was going to turn the handle himself to get in. Once we’d open the door, he would quickly climb up onto the bed and head straight for the middle spot under the covers to stay there the rest of the night. I would always listen to his purring under the covers as he fell back to sleep in the warmth he wanted.

I will miss his greeting every day as we pull up the driveway. He would stand on the railing of the second deck and pace back and forth meowing as loud as he could in anticipation of us coming upstairs. He always made sure to let us know that he wanted attention, but never came to us. He was telling us to come to him!! He would change his mind often enough on who was his favorite, but I didn’t mind when it wasn’t me.

He will be sorely missed and I don’t foresee replacing him anytime soon. I feel as if the house feels wrong without him. In the dining room, I found myself looking over to his favorite hangout spot just to be reminded that he won’t be with us anymore. I loved Mr. Magoo and he will stay with us always.

I dedicate this posting to my good friend, Mr. Magoo. Your short time with us will never be forgotten. You filled our lives with much love.


One response to “Saying Goodbye To A Friend…

  1. zen city

    beautiful animal . . . i imagine you filled his life with love and he will be with you in spirit every day.

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