Friday, August 13, 2010

The Hand-Me-Down Cat Moves On

R.I.P. Ebony, August 13, 2010

I knew yesterday what I would likely have to face today. That didn't make today any easier. It was out of my hands and in God's, but I still had to make the decision and say the words. I told him before we left this afternoon that it was time for him to leave his failing body behind, that it was time for him to move on and seek a new life in a new healthy body. He seemed to understand. I hope he did.

Ebony stopped being able to eat yesterday. What he did eat or drink came right back up tinted red. We discovered today that he had a giant growth inside his abdomen that hadn't been there just a couple of weeks ago. That, combined with his hyperthyroidism had reduced his quality of life to an intolerable minimum. I couldn't bear to have him end his life in pain and starving, so I asked the veterinarian to put him to sleep. I would have wanted him to do the same for me. Just so you know, though, that doesn't make it any easier a decision.

It's not like he and I didn't try to get him feeling better, though. We tried pills to get his thyroid problem under control, but they only made it worse. They we tried some transdermal medication applied to the inside of his ear. He got his last dose of that yesterday evening. It wasn't helping. Still, I medicated him and brushed him and put antibiotic gel on his gums and cleaned up after him. It was difficult, trying to help him and not seeing any results, but I didn't really mind. He seemed a bit more comfortable and I think he was happy to be getting all that attention, even if it wasn't helping him very much.

I think he was ready to move on. He seemed to be okay with my explanation of what to expect this afternoon. I know it was the right decision, but that doesn't really make it any easier. I miss the little guy. He was grouchy and whiny and petulant and he didn't really like to be touched unless he was in your lap, but he made himself at home here as best he could after a lifetime of being moved from place to place, and if you held him in your lap and brushed his thin little body gently, he would purr and purr. He was a good companion to Carol's mother and father for many years, and that is his legacy. I am grateful that we were able to make his last few months as good for him as possible. He got as much love and care as he could handle, and he was blessed with interesting, good-natured companions. We should all be so fortunate.

So, goodbye, Ebony. You had a good long life surrounded by people who loved and cared for you. You got to live in lots of interesting places and meet lots of wonderful people. Be at peace now. Take a moment to rest, and then move on to your next life with renewed hope and a healthy body. Farewell, Ebony. You will be missed.


  1. Brett -- I know this is hard and this is a beautiful post. We lost our cat a few months ago and it's still difficult but I wouldn't trade that time with her for the world. They are truly special and I hope you can look back and enjoy the memories.

  2. Oh Brett, I'm so sorry. Ebony was blessed to have your care; his last days were better for it.

    And Ebony, dear boy, life was indeed better with you in it, for those who cared for and loved you. And, too, for those not even having met you, but who followed your story. Farewell, sweet furry one.
    - star

  3. I'm so sorry for you and Ebony. This is very hard and only time can soothe this a little bit. Been there last year too. Hope Ebony will meet my Fanfan up there on the Rainbow bridge and that they will have a great time together.

  4. I am very sorry for your loss. Ebony was with his family in the last few months. A family that welcomed, loved and took very good care of him. I hope the beautiful memories of him will help you and your family going through this difficult time.