Rest, Alfie

Two weeks ago, my cat, Alfie, fell off the bed.  Actually, I’m being imprecise, because he never quite made it up.  He jumped, missed, and fell on the IKEA-wood platform base that supports my mattress.  He yowled and slunk away in what I presumed was embarrassment.

Soon, his daily routine changed.  He started sleeping more, staying in the same place all day.  The couch where he’d looked out the window into our backyard remained empty.  We went days without seeing him.  Finally, we found him in the litter box, sitting in two days of excrement.

The vet examined him and prescribed prednisone for what she believed was a hurt back.  Alfie walked around her office, just like normal.  For a short time, I thought his health was improving, but then he stopped using the litter.  Days passed with no bowel movements.  A return trip to the vet, this time with an X-ray, showed severe nerve damage and fluid in the chest cavity.  The prognosis was bleak.  We decided to put him to sleep.

I remember the day we got Alfie, how he, of all the cats at the rescue, wanted to play with us.  Then, when we got him home, he was so scared that he wouldn’t leave the carrier until two in the morning, when he woke us up.  For the only time in our lives, Kristy and I were happy to get up in darkest night to wave ribbons in the air.

Every night after that, Alfie hopped into bed and crawled into my armpit, where he would purr until I fell asleep.  If I was staying up too late, he would stand at the top of the stairs and meow until I called it a night.

I was with him as he drifted off for the last time, rubbing his neck and watching his eyes go blank.  He was soft and warm, as he always had been, his chin tucked in, like he was getting comfortable for a good night’s sleep.  I’m glad he’s at rest.  I’m not sure how I’ll sleep tonight without his contented rumbling by my chest, knowing I will never hear it again. 

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About semiblind

Bringing you stark existentialism since 1981.
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11 Responses to Rest, Alfie

  1. jessecrall says:

    Oh no! Putting a cat to sleep is the hardest thing I’ve ever done so my thoughts are with you and your family…Did he and Trotsky ever get along?

    • semiblind says:

      It took a couple of weeks, but eventually the cat realized that the dog wasn’t going to bother him. Eventually, it got to the point where the cat would lick the dog’s forehead in a gesture of goodwill.

      It is hard. I was tearing up, but fortunately my vet has a really good bedside manner and started asking me distracting questions. I really can’t remember what it’s like to not have the cat in my life.

  2. EddieU says:

    Oh man, Andrew, I’m so sorry to hear this–heartbroken for you. I went through something very similar when my little Siamese rescue cat (who my wife claims I “stole”, but I know I rescued from a godforsaken alley 12 years ago)Chewie died this past spring. He was my best friend, and I know it’s just one of those wounds that’s never going to heal all the way.
    Peace to you, your family, and to Alfie…it sounds like he was fantastic.

  3. Oh, I am so saddened by your loss. As a cat lover I know the pain of losing one. He sounds like a fantastic animal. Your words floor me. Seven years ago I had to put down my beloved Ramone, one of the hardest things I ever did. Immediately I got a new cat (that’s just me) and now live in bliss with my pal, but still mourn Ramone. I feel your loss very deeply. Thanks for posting.

    • semiblind says:

      Thank you for your kind words. I’m sorry for your loss, too, because time only eases pain and does not erase it.

      I would like to get a new cat, as would my children. My wife wants time to process this passing.

      • Yes, that is why I mentioned, getting a new one immediately was just my choice, not for everyone because people do need to process the grief in their own way. Your blog really touched me. At a time with so much chaos in the world it is nice to read of affection for an animal. I am sad that he suffered. Best wishes to you and your family šŸ™‚

  4. Jim Knapp says:

    Alfie was a dear friend to me (Kristy’s father).. My strongest memory of him is leading me out of a rest room at 6 AM and guiding me to his food bowl where he signaled he wanted me to sit down and either watch him eat (in the old Roman style — throwing friskies up in the air and then catching them in his mouth as they fell) or else eating from the other cat’s food bowl. He was always affectionate. And yes — he and Sammy/Trotsky got along very well. I will miss him most of all the cats I knew. Jim Knapp

  5. Angela says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Your obituary did him proud. Angela

  6. Pingback: Resolution for 2017 | …said the blind man…

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