Friday, August 24

Sunny the Cat, 1989-2007

Sunny, today, just before heading for the big litter box in the sky

Sunny was there from the beginning. When I moved in with the future mr. squarepeg, who was deprived of furry friends throughout his childhood, he brought Sunny on board too.

Sunny survived thoughout this stormy marriage (it's our 17th anniversary today, and miraculously keeps on ticking), and the birth and growing pains of now-15-yr-old ms. squarepeg.

I spoke cat to him and he was always a good friend to me, obligingly getting up from wherever he was sitting whenever I meowed for him to come for a cuddle; forgiving me for ignoring him when the infant ms.squarepeg needed all my attention; chasing down unwelcome mice when we lived in an old house in Toronto.

In the past few months, he became very weak, mostly sitting in his basket all day, getting up only to eat a little, drink a little, go to the litter box. Babycat Smokey stopped grooming him a couple of months ago, and that was sad; up to then, she'd been a devoted caretaker but now she was ignoring him. He wasn't exactly incontinent, but his butt was always coated with remnants of shit that he left mementos of, everywhere he sat. He didn't smell good at all for some time. I started to think his time was coming.

He was dehydrated, and was obviously no longer eating. Today when I took him to the vet with ms. squarepeg, he was little more than a limp bag of fur and bones. She gave him a general anaesthetic to put him to sleep first, and we said good-bye. I was surprised to see that his eyes stayed open, though it was clear that he had relaxed completely and seemed otherwise asleep; the vet informed me that this is what happens with a general anaesthetic: the eye-closing reflex or muscle or whatever it is doesn't work the same way as in sleep. So that was a bit weird -- as if he'd died with his eyes open, and we couldn't close them.

We decided to leave the room before she gave him the final injection to his heart that would finish him off. Instead, we went into the next room and played with a very lively ginger kitten someone had brought in from the street, sitting in a cage just as Pinky had, nearly two years ago, when we adopted her. We'll be taking another one home soon, but for now we'll just have our two girls:

Sunny is survived by: Smokey, in one of her favorite spots, and Pinky (check out the nose), pretending to be a fat rabbit.