Dear Elliot, our oldest kitty, had been getting weaker, finally to the point where he couldn’t eat any longer, could barely walk, and had trouble breathing. We had to find out if there was anything to be done for him. There wasn’t. We’ve just returned from having his suffering put to an end. He was a sweet boy, born in our living room 18 years ago. Of course, it’s very sad, but he was so old and went downhill so far in the last few days. It’s a difficult decision to make, a guilt-ridden one, even while knowing he’s suffering. Ignoring a sick, suffering pet is far worse.
Elliot was the cat who let Steven know it was time to eat by standing on the end table and staring at him until he got up to feed him. No matter if there was food in their dishes, when it was time to eat, it was time to stare. When he was only a couple of months old, he dove under my chair just as I sat down, and there was a horrible screech. The daughter and I rushed the whimpering baby to the vets, where he was pronounced ok and adorable. Seriously, the vet brought purring Elliot back to us and said he had nothing broken, maybe just pinched, and he was the cutest kitten he’d ever seen. I don’t remember how much that cost, but it was a lot for a professional to proclaim the obvious. Elliot was an adorable kitten. He also got into a lot of trouble.
We brought him home and set the carrier with him in the living room for the other cats to say goodbye. Non-pet owners may scoff at this, but we’ve lived with cats for all our long-married lives. We speak from experience. Except for the two newbies, if the others don’t get to say goodbye, they’ll soon start looking for him and crying. The reactions of the other cats were sad yet intriguing. They recognized Elliot. Winky is six months old. He batted at Elliot as if asking why he wouldn’t come and play. Bob is Winky’s littermate, and he is clearly wigged out. He keeps approaching the carrier like he’s terrified, crouching, and licking his lip. After getting close to him several times he finally left. So far, the other cats have come by and sniffed him. Only PeeWee, his longtime friend and now the oldest, stands by, just staring at the carrier. He and Elliot were always friends, with PeeWee giving Elliot a bath at least once a day. He’d cry the most, as he did when Moggy, Elliot’s brother, died. They know!
And we have our memories, while he suffers no more. We’ll miss you, Elliot!