Wednesday, November 15, 2006

HELLO... Farewell...

This morning I had the sad and daunting task of having to put one of my cats to sleep. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, or Wolfie, as we affectionately referred to him. He was a birthday gift from my ex-husband prior to us getting married over 16 years ago. My ex and I often joked about how Wolfie lasted longer than our marriage. The passing of a beloved pet is never easy. After all, this furry creature, despite its non-human form, was as much a part of our family as any other member. As I reflected on Wolfie’s 16 years with me, I was comforted by the many enchanting memories he provided. He was sweet and loving beyond my expectations. He lived in a total of six homes and four states. He traveled cross country with his late brother, Schubert in 1995. He had a Woody Allen persona but could catch a mouse like a pro. His favorite brand of cat food was Fancy Feast and he adored tummy rubs. In his final year, he spent his days sitting atop my desk, facinated by the keyboard and moving cursor.

One unique characteristic about Wolfie was his nightly patrol of the hallway. Every evening without fail, he would skulk up and down the hall of our home and meow a sound that came out as “Hello”. This always scared the daylights out of unsuspecting overnight guests and I’d have to explain to them that is was just the cat doing his nightly rounds. Last night, Wolfie roamed the hallways conducting his final aria of “Hello’s”. My heart broke as I realized that it would be a matter of hours before we’d both say our final farewell.

As morning came, my heart was heavy with the impending, painful event ahead. At the vet’s, I made the decision to stay with Wolfie. I only felt it was the right thing to do. This was his deepest hour of need and I couldn’t abandon him for my own emotional welfare. Much to my surprise and comfort, he purred to the very end. An overwhelming grief stuck at the core of me the second he was gone. I was quickly comforted by knowing that he’d led a full, carefree, wonderful life. The pain he had been enduring for the past several months had ceased and he was at peace.

When I returned home with my empty cat box, but a heart filled with precious memories, I took a quiet moment to grieve my loss. While doing so, my remaining pets (1 dog and 3 cats) started to gather round. It was as if we were collectively mourning our loss. There was unspoken hurt and consoling taking place. It was truly touching.

So, farewell my furry friend. Thank you for 16 years of friendship, silly moments, love, loyalty and undeniable sweetness. You will surely be missed.