“Come and play with the black kitten” : A Loving Goodbye to Blair
(This is going to be another wrenching post. Writing it to the cat and for those who love him. Probably need a box of tissues.)
Well, sweetheart, here we are. While I’m writing this you’re lying on the couch beside me, miserable as all fuck, wheezing and weary. You haven’t eaten for days, you can’t fight this infection no matter what we give you, and our last options, uncertain as they are, stand a good chance of frying your kidneys, which god knows might be gone already anyway. We’ve fought cancer as long as we could, but today it can’t be conquered. And so just like we did your sister last November, we’re going to let you go.
Good lord, but you’ve been a high-maintenance cat, haven’t you, love. As a kitten you stole english muffins and got into the fridge and pissed off Gulliver something fierce. You were always our "black bitey," our protester, always upset with the world and how it wasn’t operating the way you wanted. As you aged you just got crankier and crankier, and you hated everyone but the family, and most of all you hated Sidney. We tried to explain you just made it more fun for him, but you couldn’t take it. You peed everywhere. We had to tough love you like crazy. You were the Prozac cat. You were the cat for whom our vacations were a hell, and we had to move heaven and earth to be sure you were okay while we were gone, because you never made it easy. You took "hate the vet" to new levels. You wouldn’t eat while there, wouldn’t let them do a thing to you without full body armor, and you earned, I think, more highlights and warnings on your chart than just about anybody there. And through all that, Dr. Kendall has always loved you. God bless her. Well, today she’s going to love you the best way she can and help you end this shitfest you’ve gotten yourself into. And we will too.
This is hard on your daddy. Really, really hard. Hard on Anna too, but Dan is bleeding out big time over you, because you were his first baby, and that isn’t easy. He’s going to hold you the whole time, hon, and he’s going to love you right along with Kendall. Anna too, and me. We all are.
But you know what, honey? Through all of this, we have loved you. Even when you were ruining floors and doors right and left and we were in hysterics over what to do. Even when we had to banish you to that crate Tom built. I know for a long time you doubted we did, and that before we figured out you had cancer it was a dark time for you. I want to thank you, though, for giving us another chance. For kicking tail last fall and coming back around to give us another six months with you. And have you had the life of Riley since then. Your own private meals, the first choice of everything, and ultimate protection from Sidney, who has lived a lot in banishment lately just so you could roam undisturbed. And you noticed, didn’t you. You’ve snuggled more in those last six months than ever. And you and I have had a lot of quality time in my office, you snuggling beside my desk, in front of my monitor, on my lap, bugging me as I try to type. You’ve peed when you’ve had enough, and we’ve just cleaned it up, no scolding done. We’ve drugged you and borne your scrapes and gotten up early to make sure you get your meds, and we got a really good run, didn’t we. You have had a pretty awesome twilight.
What I’ll always remember most about you though is how happy you were when you were young. Before whatever neurosis in your brain took over and you enjoyed all of life without an anxiety. When you ran up and down the porch at Halloween enthralled with all the children who came to the door, chasing after them down the rail after they left as if to say, "Come back and play with the black kitten!" How you chased that red ball until you panted. How you ate bananas. How you still, until your last days, had to have a little mac and cheese when we did, and dearly loved a bit of butter.
Mia and Gulliver are waiting. Gulliver has been sitting up and watching, and Mia has come back from her flights of whatever she’s doing and is sitting there waiting. I’ve seen them all weekend, getting ready for you. Don’t worry. They aren’t going to let you get lost. We’re going to help you to the door, and they’re going to meet you straightaway on the other side. Everything is going to be okay. And you aren’t going to suffer anymore.
We will miss you. We will miss your snuggles, your head butts in the backs of our knees in the kitchen. We’ll miss your pissy attitude. We’ll miss your everything, hon. You leave a Blair-sized hole in us, and it’s big.
But go, sweetheart. Go in peace and love and be free, please, of pain and misery. No more neurosis. No more fear of the world, no more sickness, no more anything. But not to nothing: to love, to happiness, to ilght and sunshine, where you will do whatever you like, and hopefully wait for us or at least come back when it’s our turn. Because we don’t ever want to be apart from you, and even when we let your body go, we will never forget you, never stop loving you, never let go of our memory of you, our sweet boy, our misunderstood soul, our precious kitten, our beloved, wonderful, always proud Blair.
Play on, sweetheart. We’re lifting the screen on that porch, and now you can chase after those kids, chase whatever you want, all the way into the bright, wonderful sun, all the way home. Love you very, very much. *kisses*