I’ve been trying to write this post for almost 4 days, and there’s really no way to write it. There’s too much to say, it never comes out in the right order, and then i start crying.
The story as it ended last thursday: We decided to have Ed put to sleep after a very rough morning of persistent nosebleeds that were less and less responsive to the medications we had to treat them. We knew he had a treatment-resistent blood cancer and that there was a mass in his head and that the bleeding was clearly going to continue and get worse and eventually be completely untreatable. It seemed kinder to let him go before things got truly horrific.
But we are always so much more than the way our story ends.
Andy and i wouldn’t have moved into this apartment, as glorious as it otherwise is, if it hadn’t had a “cats allowed” policy. Two months after we moved in we had a talk about getting cats and decided we’d wait awhile. About 2 weeks after that, Andy saw kitten pictures posted to his company’s internal classifieds. Andy couldn’t resist a tiny orange stripy guy — just the sort of cat he’d always wanted. I couldn’t either, and so Edward (originally Jules) and his calico sister became ours.
Edward’s 1st big health scare came when he was just 2-1/2. The vet thought it might be cancer, but the tests were inconclusive and so he suggested we try a week of antibiotics. Amazingly, after that 1st week the antibiotics showed signs of working, tho’ he wasn’t proclaimed completely cured for another 2 months. There was something about that time — possibly the twice-daily wrestling matches Andy engaged in to give Ed his drugs — but that’s when Edward and Andy bonded and became best buds.
Then there was the time Ed developed crystals in his urine — his 1st trip to the ER vet. And his allergies, which would make his feet swell and itch so that he’d chew on them until we’d find bloody paw prints around the house. This past spring was the Cone Episode. He was a strange little Medical Adventure Cat, but i was grateful each time he got a clean(ish) bill of health and came home with us again.
I was always grateful that we had any time past that 1st health scare when he was only 2-1/2. And yet, 8 years and 2(ish) months still wasn’t long enough.
Wasn’t long enough to enjoy him killing his blue mousie just as Andy and i would be drifting off to sleep at night, causing us to crawl out of bed to give praise for his victory. Or all the times he’d wake us up by insisting that he crawl under the blankets to snuggle between us.
Ed loved trying to dash out the door to the apartment as we would come home, and i’m glad that last wednesday he had a really excellent adventure in the hallway one last time. He loved sitting in the sun and going out onto the deck to check out my garden and the traffic below — and last wednesday was, fortunately, a sunny day where he got to harass my herb pots when he thought i wasn’t looking.
And, best of all, we are having the most glorious street replacement project on 15th Avenue right now. Ed spent a lot of time in our study window over the past several weeks, keeping an eye on things and making sure the concrete was poured Just. Right. I don’t know how this road will get completed properly without his oversight.
If the Seattle Department of Transportation would let me, i’d take one of Ed’s tags and embed it in the roadway.
And now i’m at the end of the story again, where there’s just sadness and a persistent hollowness. Edward’s calico sister, Eleanor, is crying in another room, and, i swear, for a second she sounded just like Ed crying for his midnight snack. Does she miss him? Can she tell he’s gone and not coming back?
I feel there should be credits on this post, because Ed seemed to have a curious affection for film credits. Whenever we’d go upstairs to watch a movie we’d try to cajole the cats to come with us for snuggles. Eleanor usually comes with us, but Edward not so much. He would, however, almost inevitably come up just in time for the credits. He’d come tearing up the spiral stairs and burst into the loft as if to say, “Hey, guys!!! Are we watching a movie?!?!” And just then the credits would roll.
Edward, i hope you got a really good credit roll as you went to sleep that last time.
I want to always remember the feel of your head against my palm when you’d headbutt my hand to get me to scritch right there, behind your ears.
You were a good cat, our Edward. A very good cat indeed.