March 05, 2003
Elmo's Last Day

Since cat photos are front and center on this site (though that was partly a tongue-in-cheek poke at what the web used to be about), you may have guessed that our cats Annie and Elmo are pretty important to us. They are, even though I am allergic to cats and would not have identified myself as a "cat person" before I moved in with Al. Over the past two years I've really bonded with Annie and Elmo, and they're completely part of the family.

This is why it was so heartbreaking to find out recently that Elmo had irreversible kidney disease, and that he had days or maybe weeks to live. It turned out to be weeks, but when he stopped eating last Saturday, we knew we were down to days. Al finally took him, in an incredibly weak and wobbly state, to the vet today to be euthanized. He was only 6.

I don't think it will fully sink in until I am at home this evening and Elmo is not. I wonder if Annie will notice. She didn't seem to mind being the only cat in the house when Elmo was in the hospital for two days a couple weeks ago, and she seemed oblivious to his weakened state over the past few days. All Annie really cares about is being fed. Which is not to say that I don't love her; in fact, I bonded with Annie first. Elmo, though he's never been mean or standoffish to me, has always been unquestionably Al's cat.

Now that I think about it, I really got attached to Elmo in the past 6 months or so, when he started losing his eyesight. He seemed to want to have more contact with us, so he'd know we were there. When Al was in Hawaii in February, for example, Elmo slept every night in the crook of my legs or on my feet. There's nothing like close contact to make you feel loved, especially by a cat.

I said goodbye to him this morning before I left for work. I thanked him for being a good cat, and for giving me the opportunity to live with cats again. (I'm not sure I would ever have found out that allergy treatment techniques had advanced if Al hadn't had cats.) I told him I loved him and that I'd miss him. And I told him to look for Muffler when he gets where he's going.

Goodbye Elmo, you've been great. Thanks again.

Elmo on February 15, 2003

Posted by Lori at March 05, 2003 04:04 PM