Sunday, May 20, 2012
Me and Mr. Whiskers
When I moved to California to pursue my dream of wine making I decided I wanted a cat. I went to the local shelter to see what they had. I began to walk through where they had the cats and kittens and I noticed this cat had come up to the front of his cage and began meowing as if he was saying "how about me...?" He was a beautiful black and white cat weighing about 20 pounds. The shelter thought he was about 9 years old.
I couldn't walk away from him. I asked if I could take him out of his cage. The attendant took him out and we became best buds almost instantly. He was the one...
When going through the adoption process at the front desk I was asked where the cat was going to sleep. I looked at the girl behind the counter and said "anywhere he wants..."
When I got him home he needed a name of course. I have no clue why, but the shelter named him Larry. He had the longest whiskers on a cat I had ever seen (could it have been because he weighed 20 pounds?) so I decided to name him Whiskers. He immediately settled in and began running the house.
Whiskers became my best friend. He followed me around like a little puppy dog. He protected me from sock monsters and loved to sit by the stove when I was baking Salmon. (of course he would get a small bite) We had a fenced in back yard and he loved going out and just sitting in the grass. Our evening ritual was the same; he loved sitting next to me while I was on my computer and oftentimes helped me type. He woke me up every morning at 6am. We had our routine down. Or I should say I had his routine down...
It wasn't long after Whiskers that Mattie was brought into the house. Mattie is an Airedale. She was 8 weeks old when I got her and of course Whiskers explained to her who was the boss. They became friends but Mattie knew who was in charge.
Whiskers soon developed some eye problems and had to have surgery on his left eye. Over the years he lost sight in that eye. He later developed diabetes. I gave him two insulin shots a day for the rest of his life. He had to have his blood sugar checked every now and then and his insulin adjusted. His immune system became weak and he was not able to go outside anymore. His back legs didn't work that well and he kind of shuffled as he walked. It was amazing that he could sense when a vet visit was upon him...as soon as I went to get the crate, he would go under the bed just out of reach.
Over the years Whiskers earned the right to be called Mr. Whiskers. He remained my loyal friend.
At the beginning of the year, Mr. Whisker's health began to deteriorate. We made several visits to the vet and were faced with having to put him under to pull some teeth. We soon realized that he was a little older than we had first thought. The vet said that Mr Whiskers was approximately 19 years old.
While Mr. Whiskers rallied a bit, he was tired and weak. He began not eating and not drinking. He soon had to have fluids given to him. Since he would not eat, I wasn't able to give him his insulin shots. He began to deteriorate very fast. I had to call the Vet and was told to bring him in that next day. I was going to have to make some hard, hard choices.
It was about 3am. Mr Whiskers decided it was his time. I picked him up and held him in my arms for a couple of hours. He breathed his last breath at 6am that morning. My heart stopped for just a moment.
I miss him terribly - that day eight years ago when the shelter placed him in my arms, he claimed his space in my heart...and he will always remain there.