This morning I am sad and heart-broken and yet relieved too. Our cat Molly, went to heaven this morning, he was about 18 years old. Yes, his name was Molly, and yes, he was a male cat. I named him when he was just a day or two old and I read the plumbing wrong, but hey his father’s name was Pearl so I just kept the wrong gender identification in the family.
Molly had a large frame, beautiful Grey and white fur and the biggest clear green eyes. He was a talker with a large voice . He loved the outdoors and spending hours by the pond dreaming about fishing. When I would say to him, roly-poly he would roll over and let me rub his tummy. He and his little brother Henry, were inseparably.
Time and again, people ask me where I get my inspiration for my art. I assume that because so much of the silly art I make is animal related, that it is obvious to everyone that I love animals and I am inspired by them. I’m sure it will offend more than a few people when I say I like most animals more than a lot of humans.
Since the pets in my life are more than just pets, they are my children, they play a very large role in my everyday life and many of the decisions that I make are based upon what effect it will have on them.
I take my role as their care giver quite seriously so when I am faced with the very difficult decision to make a medical decision on their behalf it isn’t easy. Having to decide to euthanize one of them is an extremely painful place to be. I’ve been struggling with this choice for quite a while now. Molly had lost almost all of his fur, he was dreadfully thin and his eyes had lost their beautiful shine. A couple of weeks ago, Molly started having accidents on the furniture and in various places through-out the house. At that time I was close to calling the vet, but then decided that because it was no longer convenient to my house keeping, that was not a reason to put him down. Molly slept most of the time, when he was awake he still had a good appetite and was responsive to me. No, I wasn’t ready to make the decision. I didn’t think he was ready either.
About 16 years ago, I had surgery. The day Charles brought me home from the hospital completely changed my relationship with Molly. I was taken up to my room and put to bed. Molly came and curled up in the bed beside me, it was comforting to have him there with me. He watched over me day and night, and then day and night. Somehow between the medication and such, I failed to realize that Molly wasn’t leaving my side – for anything. At some point after a week in bed it became apparent that there was a problem. Molly wasn’t leaving the bed or the room at all. Arrangements were made for all of his physical needs to be met in the bedroom – yeah I know – ick. He was taken to the vet, they couldn’t find anything wrong with him, however he did test positive for feline HIV at that time. It just was one of those strange things that couldn’t be explained.
I brought Molly home from the vet and he promptly ran upstairs to the bedroom. The years passed by and Molly never left the bedroom. Eventually it seemed normal that we had a cat that lived in the bedroom. During that time a very special bond was formed between us. Six years passed, and then one day Molly came to the top of the steps and looked down. For a period of time he just stood and stared. The next day he did it again. Day after day he would come down a step further and spend the day on the step. He finally made his way down completely. He strolled around downstairs checking everything out and then went out the cat door, just like all the other cats. That was over ten years ago and ever since then he has lived a normal cat life, coming and going as he pleased, but he never spent another night in the bedroom, until last night.
Saturday Charles and I had left the house for a few hours and upon our return, there was Molly outside in the yard. We were both very concerned about this, it was only 20 degrees outside, he was missing most of his fur, he hadn’t been outside in months – this was not a good situation. Molly was dazed and confused, I don’t know how long he had been outside but I needed to get him in immediately. Once he was inside he cried out in a painful voice and ran around in a completely confused manner. I knew I needed to intervene on his behalf. This was not the quality of life any human or animal should have to live with.
I had made the decision, but needed to wait until we could make arrangements with our vet. Saturday night and Sunday was long and difficult.
A little over a year ago, TC came into our life – a feral cat that we have worked long and hard to domesticate. He has made great progress and learned so much about being a family house cat. However, our other cats will have nothing to do with him or his shenanigans. TC has a great sense of humor and he desperately wants to have a special cat friend. He has tried everything under the sun to get the other cats to play with him and they will have nothing to do with him. They don’t even want to sit near him much less sleep with him.
Last night, exhausted, and sick with a heavy heart, I went up to bed early and left Charles downstairs watching TV. TC has his own cat bed, under my bed. When I go up at night TC always follows me and gets into his bed. After we had each settled into our spots, Molly came upstairs and got into TC’s bed and curled up next to him. TC purred and purred, he was so happy at long last, he had a buddy.
I went down stairs, crying my eyes out and told Charles what Molly had done. Molly had given TC the best gift ever. Later in the night Molly got up in the bed with me, he curled up tightly against me and went to sleep. I cried a good part of the night, the irony of all those years ago him coming to be beside me when I was ill and now his last night on this earth he slept with me again. In the morning when I woke he was gone. I felt terrible panic, but soon found him downstairs asleep in the chair.
Sam arrived at our house very early this morning dressed in his scrubs. He has a long day full of surgery ahead of him, he made special time for us before going into the clinic. We are appreciative our friend who takes such good care of our pets and helps to ease our heavy heart with just the right words. He has been there for us so many times and it is never easy to go through this no matter how many times we’ve done it in the past. Thankfully, this morning it was an easy peaceful situation.
Though it has only been a few hours, our home is strangely empty. I will miss my Molly and our special bond.
Until next time,