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Mar 26, 2010
Last Friday I took our goldenboy cat Teddy to our vet to be euthanized.  It sounds so cold, but was instead some sadly beautiful moments with our 16-1/2 year old cat.  As I held Teddy when the doctor administered a sedative, I felt him relax in my arms and knew our time together was almost finished.  I felt his purring in my hand and remembered how he came into our life and enriched us.  About a month after we moved to Chicago in 1993, my daughter and I were walking from the garage to our back door one evening.  Teeny meewing squeaks came from the neighbor's back yard.  We stood still, listening at the fence, then my daughter ran up the back stairs to look down at the next door lawn.  A dirty little kitten, eyes round in fright as he did his little Mike Tyson impersonation, sat shivering on the concrete patio.  We thought we'd lure him with food, so we brought out a handful of Tender Vittles, soft pea size pieces of cat food.  I threw a few at him and he fell over crying as if wounded.  Then my daughter squeezed through a break in the fence and came back with our new baby.  We already had two older cats, Ashley (bitch cat from hell) and Dove, a sweet grey girl.  Since the baby weighed ounces, not pounds, we decided to keep him in our bedroom suite until he could fend for himself.  But first, we went to the vet and had him checked out.  All cleaned up, Teddy was a beautiful red/blond guy with crop circle designs on both sides.  He was tiny and funny and my husband and I fell in instant love.  Teddy would sit in the bedroom windows and sleep on our bed.  At night he'd curl up between our pillows.  More than once we awoke and Teddy was sleeping on my husband's neck under his beard.  My daughter named him Teddy and he was a real Teddy bear.  He loved being held and petted by us.  He was never a pushy cat, but he trained us well in the feeding and care of Teddy.  Once he grew, he had the run of the house with Ashley and Dove.  They never formed a menage a troi, but Teddy would sometimes tease and mostly they tolerated his youth and silliness.  As bold and demonstrative as he was with us, he disappeared when anybody would visit.  He rarely showed his face to repeat visitors and had a tendency to flee when the doorbell rang.  He was known to our family and friends as the Invisible Cat or the Imaginary Cat.  We had a few pet sitters who lived at our house while we vacationed; they thought we really had 2 real cats and one pretend cat.  Oh well, he was there and probably laughing.  Teddy loved our dogs and used to rough house with our Aussie, Kokua.  They came to us around the same time.  Kokua will be 17 in April.  Time seems to pass too quickly with our pets.  It's so easy to take them for granted because they ask for so little, just our love.  In return, they give us unconditional love, something I don't believe human beings are capable of giving one another.  We have so many hilarious, beautiful, sad, loving, companionable memories of Teddy.  But we still feel cheated, we could have spent more time playing with Ted, letting Ted sit on our laps, whatever, it's just hell for someone you love to get old way too quickly and then have to be responsible for understanding when it's time for them to go.  If you love animals and feel they're worth having in your life, the responsibility is worth the love and empathy you receive.  We've had other cats and other dogs, and we love them all.  Like snowflakes, each one is different and leaves a mark on you.  We console ourselves by saying, Teddy had a good life and it's lucky we found him or he might not have survived.  What we mean is thank God for Teddy, he made us all better and we loved him for it.  If there is a heaven, surely animals are there with us.  It wouldn't be heaven without them.  See you later, Teddy.
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Posted: Mar 26, 2010 2:13pm

 

 
 
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Pat L.
, 2, 1 child
Chicago, IL, USA
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