Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Most Remarkable Frijole

Today was so very hard. My friend for almost 11 years had to say goodbye to this world. He was named Frijole, but we also called him the Luv Hawg. Cats each have their own distinct personality. This cat thought he was a dog.

I mean really, he followed me around the house constantly, and loved to play with our rat terrier Lucy the Wonder Dog.

Okay there is more to this story. I'd met a woman at work. She and I had agreed to meet up. So one Friday night in September of '99, she came to visit. She lived north of Houston. I already had plans to play cards with friends, so I asked her if she wanted to go over there. My friends also said they had two cats for me. "Are they tabbies?" My friend worked at a vet and I told her I'd wanted Tabbies.

She laughed, "they're black tabbies." Well we showed up that night, and they were two of the sweetest black kittens you would ever see. I realized it didn't have to be tabbies at all.We took them back to my place. At the time we wondered what we would name them. The female became Miss Emily aka Miss Thang. She would look so proper, and then tag you with a claw when you least expected it. She reminded me of the Emily's of literature. She definitely had a dark side.

The other cat though was just plain silly, jumping around everywhere. "He's like a jumping bean!" So it was that he became Frijole.

Early on, he was top cat, alpha. Then his sister got sick and had to have surgery. After surgery she would not eat. Finally the vet had us give her steroids. Whoa! The demons had been released. She took that alpha position and never gave it back. Never stopped eating either. A week from now she's going on a diet.

Not to worry, he was content to play a bit, and love a lot. Neither cat liked to be held, but they would lie next to you, or if I was lying down he would crawl up on my chest, emitting a purr that would wake the dead. When we got Lucy, he found his playmate. He'd plop down and roll over on his back, meowing in faux distress. Lucy would run in (Lucy's a rat terrier) and pick and nudge and they would wrestle. Then Lucy would get excited and run figure 8's around him. Then he would run away, only to come back, lay down and repeat as needed.

My babies always knew when I was hurting, but especially Frijole would come and lie down beside me, snuggling in close as if to say "it's okay."

He was a healthy cat most of his life. Then one day he began to lose weight. We at first thought it was a phase. But he kept getting skinnier, and we took him to the vet. His Kidneys were going. Soon we were giving him fluids every other day. Frijole craved love all the time, but it was different and we both saw that. He was needy, and he had never been a needy cat before. He didn't like the fluid injections. He didn't fight, but he just let out a mournful cry. Finally he stopped eating all together.

Today, we made that final trip to the vet. The folks at VCA Cedar Animal Clinic were just wonderful. He got his little iv, I held and loved him for awhile. Then Doctor Prince came in and with a final farewell, Frijole AKA Luv Hawg passed over to the other side. There was no struggle. He seemed to understand that it was time to go. Today, lots of tears, and memories for a lifetime. I'll miss you little man. You left this world very much loved.

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