Thursday, December 16, 2010

Time ticks on...

I am off work until the new year - thank goodness, as I have done a big fat zero in terms of xmas shopping/prep  - well, except decorating a rather lovely Charlie Brown style Christmas tree with the Boy (pictures to come at some point!).  For me, it was really nice to share that task with someone special, and we had some laughs (thanks in part to heavily rummed eggnog), and I had a few teary moments looking at the wooden reindeer ornaments Thom decapitated last year.  He did love the Christmas tree - he would wander closely by, letting an ornament touch his tail so he could turn around, surprised, and bat it to submission.  Wooden reindeer were placed low on the tree as they are the most bat-resistant.  Well, except for their weak, easily decapitated necks - Thomas' only successful prey kill I might add.

It is early days, and I still miss him like mad.  The funny thing is watching the changes in Miss Mags - she is suddenly around me all the time, no longer going to the pillow she usually slept on in the basement to spend her lazy days, instead choosing to snooze on the upstairs couch where she can keep an eye on me...or be closer to her food dish, who knows.  But it is obviously a big change for both of us.  What I find interesting is that her behavioural changes only happened after Thom was put down - there were three nights he spent in hospital prior to that event that didn't seem to phase her, it was only after he came home for the night, and she recognized that there was something wrong (she was completely freaked out, walking in super-slow motion even when he wasn't in the room with her), that her behaviour changed.  Cats may seem aloof, but they are weirdly perceptive at the same time, or so it seems to me.  Anyway, we will see how Maggie does on her own - if she seems happy, we will remain a one cat situation, but if she seems out of sorts I may look into bringing another handsome young four footed man into the house.

But enough of that for now.

In other news, we went to see The Books a week and a bit ago - what a great concert, they are always a joy live - the quirky videos that accompany their (excellent!) playing really adds to the whole experience.  My brother managed some great stealth videos - here is a taste (note - I am testing out making the video smaller so my stupid blog format doesn't cut off the right hand side!):

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My heart is chipped.

 When I got dressed this morning, I went to put on one of my favorite necklaces, an enamel heart, and noticed that it was chipped.  I wore it anyway.  It sums today up. 

I debated whether to write anything today or not.  I hate the idea of seeming overly dramatic or maudlin or histrionic, and my logical self is telling me to wait til I am a bit more settled, but the other part is telling me to write while it is all on the surface. That part obviously won out.

Yesterday Thom's biopsy results came back, and they unfortunately proved to be pretty much the worst they could be.  His liver was so bad that if he were a human, he'd be on the transplant list...there were few liver cells still functioning, he was borderline anemic/in need of transfusion,  and was having a problem maintaining his fluid balance (read: fluid collecting in his abdomen).  The vet made it clear that there was nothing we can do to make him "better" - there are some medications that could be given that might prolong things for a few days or weeks, but really that is as good as we could hope.  So the Boy and I picked him up yesterday, and brought him home for the night, and I am glad we did - he hated the hospital sooo much (he is way too nervous for that kind of place), and at least he had one quiet night.  This morning he hopped on the bed and came up to my head, and we cuddled for a good long time.  It was good to hear him purr and see him relax after seeing him so distressed in the hospital for the last few days.  But it is my duty as his human to make decisions about his well being (his well being vs my own desire not to let him go, which is one of those truly awful balancing acts), and so he was put down today - age 10 years, three months.   It was as peaceful a passing as any of us can hope for.

I know everyone thinks their cat is amazing, but Thom really was.  I had decided to get a British Shorthair because I liked their looks, but more importantly I liked how they were described - sturdy, quiet, low key cats that wanted to be with you, but not necessarily ON you.  He was a classic example of the breed both in looks and temperament. When I first saw him as a kitten, he was unbelievably cute, but he was so shy that he squeezed his body between the cushions of the couch to hide, and hissed when I tried to pick him up.  I actually wondered if I should take him based on that reaction - I worried that the hissing was a sign of things to come - but I braved it, and home he came, along with his "sister" (actually his niece if you look at the family tree, but who looks at family trees?) Maggie.  What I ended up with was honestly the sweetest natured, gentlest cat you could hope for - he never scratched or lashed out at me, or the vet, or anyone, no matter how scared he was or what indignity he was being subjected to (the polar opposite to his very lovable but generally imperious and slightly indignant sister).   Add that to his incredible handsomeness (in a slightly alien handsome way), a purr so loud and hard it would almost choke him, and his general sociability and you had one truly remarkable boy.  If anyone wants to see more of his handsome self, just click on the "cats" link (or the *snap* link!) to the side of this blog and be amazed that a creature that looked like Thom could even exist (I should add, he was a camera whore - as soon as he saw the camera, he would start rolling around and posing).

I can't express how much I will miss him - and I know I am not the only one - the Boy, and Thom's "Grandcat" will both miss him dearly I know.  Unfortunately when you sign on to the joy that is having a pet in your life, you also sign on to the inevitable sorrow of saying goodbye.  But as for me, despite the buckets of tears I seem to have shed over the last 24 hours, I just feel really lucky to have had such a remarkable, lovely beast in my life, even if it was for much too short a time.  

So, it is just Miss Mags and me now - not that she isn't a large presence in the house (physically and in every other possible way).  I think we will both be missing those giant orange eyes for quite a while to come.