Thursday, May 21, 2015

Strange Bedfellows

Earlier this evening, we had to put our cat, Seamus, to sleep. He was 14 and declined very rapidly in the past week. It was the right thing to do, but I will never get over it. And I will never stop being grateful to the warm and compassionate vet who came to our house and made an awful situation less terrible. When I'm up to it, I will write about the awesomeness that was Seamus. In the meantime, here's one of my favorite photos...

He was a good and tolerant cat. 
...and a column I wrote for the Oakton Patch on July 20, 2011, where he makes an appearance:

Strange Bedfellows

After more than 10 years together, I can’t take it anymore. I toss and turn all night, I wake up cranky and unrested — I’m not sleeping at all and it is because of sharing a bed.

There’s the snoring, the space hogging, the need to be touching me the entire night. And that doesn’t even take into consideration the times he throws up on the duvet cover.

I’m talking, of course, about my cat, Seamus.

I realize this is my fault because I let him sleep in our bed. But to my credit, I assumed the arrangement was going to be temporary, something we allowed while he worked through his grief.

You see, Seamus used to sleep in the laundry room with our other cat, Brooke. They had a fairly elaborate set-up down there, with their food and water, litter boxes, kitty condo and assorted catnip toys. At the end of an arduous day of sleeping, eating and lazing around the house, they’d happily trot down there at bed time when we called them, we’d close the door, head upstairs, and everyone in the entire house would sleep peacefully.

But when Brooke died last year after they lived together for more than eight years, he sank into a depression. Before you roll your eyes and think I am one of those crazy cat people who thinks felines mourn and understand these things, let me just tell you that during my weekly kitty tea party (this week’s theme: Harry Potter!), my four-legged guests Hairy Potter, Purrmione Granger and Alpuss Dumbledore assured me they do.

While he was grieving, Seamus also had no appetite. He was listless (no list at all) and melancholy and he lost so much weight that for the first time since he came to live with us, I could actually pick him up without risking a hernia. It was obvious it was just too painful for Seamus to spend the night in the laundry room alone so I began allowing him to sleep in our bed.

When I realized just how much this was interrupting my sleep, we went so far as to adopt another cat to try and get them back in the laundry room sleeping routine. Alas, our new cat does not like being in a closed room and expresses that very vocally, so we now sometimes share our bed with two cats.

I’m exhausted and I have no idea what to do. Perhaps I’ll ask Paul McCatney at next week’s Beatles-themed tea party.


Kathyconnolly said...

I love that photo. I am glad that even though you are sad, you are focused on the gratitude. That, and some fart jokes, will get you far my friend. Big love.

Anonymous said...

I am so very sorry. Having been by myself on 3 occassions, to say goodbye to three beloved cats, all of whom had made it past the age of 15, I feel your pain. Letting them go is brutally heartbreaking. I'm glad you had such a wonderful vet - those people are to be cherished - even the mean ones. And I am glad that you got to love and take pictures of your friend - and that you shared them with us. As Kathy says- big love. Take care.

Brutalism said...

Kath and Phnx65 - thanks so much. We adopted another cat ... probably too soon but it helps to have another one in the house right now. I appreciate your thoughts. Fart jokes also help - as you both are well aware.