Here is Shadow sitting on my lap this morning while I was checking email. 'Love those huge ears! ;-) His arthritis is so bad, he had to have me lift him up.
As I write this post with tears falling from my eyes, Eric is taking our nearly 11 year old cat Shadow to the vet-- he is leaving us and this world.
He has been failing these past several months and has quickly gone down hill the past several weeks. We tried to deny it, but we finally had to come to the realization that he was miserable and would never get any better.
So today we say goodbye to a dear, sweet cat-friend who has been in our home since he was 3 months old. He has always been a gentle feline who never bit or scratched us, Noelle, or anyone for that matter. His name fit him, as he tended to prefer to be in the shadows, looking on at the activity around him. His litter mate, Stormy, who we lost late summer 2007, was the one who got noticed. Shadow was the quiet one. And now he quietly leaves us.
I wonder...will the 2 young cats notice that their older friend and companion is no longer around? The one they like to tease by grabbing at his tail as he passes by. The one they (Rainie especially) likes to sleep with during the day and night.
And I wonder how Noelle will handle this loss of her first pet, whom she really seems to love. In fact, he was the first of the 3 kitties that she took to when she arrived in the U.S. And his name was one of her very first words learned in English. Noelle has learned about love and compassion by having our kitties, especially frail Shadow, in her life.
Our pets are very special to us. Shadow and Stormy were in our lives for many years and played the role of "children" in our family before Noelle came along. They were and are precious to us-- the playfulness, the cuddly times, the cheerful cat chatter, their goofy wrestling, their calming presence in our arms or on our lap.
Shadow-boy, we love you, buddy. You are are a great kitty and will be missed!!!
Shadow is now resting peacefully in the woods behind our house. We said our goodbyes. Eric said the time at the vet was all very gentle and humane. Eric held Shadow the whole time, and our kitty was peaceful and relaxed in his final moments.