George is at The Bridge
Our dear furry boy, George, was helped to The Bridge yesterday. He'd been fighting kidney disease for years and last week the vet said he also had anemia and diabetes. His weight was down to just 6 lb. Earlier this week he stopped eating and even the appetite stimulant pills didn't help this time. My husband and I agreed we wouldn't put him through anything else and decided to let him go gently and painlessly. We had been mentally preparing for this for the past 6 months when the kidney disease went to Stage 3 and we didn't expect him to last this long.
I always said George was a dog, or in his words "a dawg", in a cat's body. Everyone says their cat was special, and they all are in their own way, but George was really different, more like a dog. He was like no other cat we ever had, not aloof and independent but insisting on being with us, interested in every minute detail of what we did, "snoopervising" everything, and needy to the point of exasperation when we were trying to do something important while he demanded attention. He would always get up to greet us when we came home and, unlike the other cats, we always knew where he was - not far from us.
I grew up in a home filled with cats and dogs. When I married, we had cats and a dog, but for some reason they were always female. My husband and I had been married 20 years when we lost two 14 year old littermate sisters within a month of each other. We said "No more, we can't go through this again", but, of course, after a few months our home seemed very empty. We went to a local shelter and there was a stray mother cat that had birthed a litter at the shelter. George and his littermate sister Gracie were adopted at 10 weeks old.
I chose George and my husband chose Gracie, but George immediately bonded with his "Dad". Never having had a male cat, I didn't realize what loverboys they could be. We nicknamed George "The Love Sponge" because no matter how much love you gave him, he wanted more and more. Dad was George's person. He would follow my husband everywhere meowing loudly to be picked up, wait for him on the sink or toilet seat while my husband showered in the morning, then meow to be held on his shoulder and carried to the kitchen. He would be with my husband every chance he got. If my husband wasn't around, then George would settle for second place....me. For years, he slept between us on the "big bed" and would not allow himself to be moved. He was very persistent and always got what he wanted, no matter how long it took.
When Gracie died suddenly at 6 years old, we could tell George was distraught. He walked through the house, meowing, looking for his sister everywhere. After 2 weeks of that I began worrying that he would make himself sick so we adopted Tipper to be his companion. The tiny kitten immediately turned George's mood around and she became the "mother hen", bathing him and cleaning his ears. She did that until he left us.
When we adopted Max then Misty as kittens, George adapted very well. Max bonded with George, adored his older brother and followed him everywhere, trying to be near him. Even when Coco and Dixie were adopted recently, mellow George was OK with that. He was just so easy going.
George was always healthy until about 5 years ago when he was diagnosed with kidney disease. We truly didn't expect him to live until 17 1/2 but are grateful for all the extra time with him.
We have Tipper, Max, Misty, Coco and Dixie, so our home is not empty, but there is an empty place in our hearts that no cat will ever fill.
I will be taking a break from blogging and considering whether, after 8 1/2 years, I want to continue doing this without George.