Feline Farewell

The vet’s estimate was that Maurice had two to four months. Two weeks later I sat with my cat on my lap, sobbing and hugging my crying daughter with my free arm, and whispered in his ear that it was okay to let go, that I loved him and would miss him, but that we would be okay. It was more for me than for him—a mean little voice in my head accused me of anthropomorphizing—but maybe he understood. After more than two hours I finally admitted to myself that I was just imagining that I felt his purr.

On his eighteenth birthday, he had been able to jump up on his favorite chair for the first time in more than a week, and the next day, he ate and purred and seemed almost like the old Moe-man before his last day. When it happened, it happened very much as I’d hoped it would, with Maurice dying at home surrounded by his family.

For all of this, I’m grateful.

In the days since, he seems just around the corner. I reach for his medications and his special food before I remember that he doesn’t need them anymore. I see him curled on our bed in the morning before I realize it’s just a fold of the quilt. I hear his mew before I can remind myself that he’s not here.

I miss the smell of his fur and the way he half-closed his eyes when I would scratch that super-soft spot of fur below his ear. I miss seeing my kids asleep on the bed with Maurice sleeping between them.

I just miss Maurice.

3 months old, Christmas 1996 (with ginger cat Henry in the background)

3 months old, Christmas 1996 (with ginger cat Henry in the background)

In his prime, 2005.

In his prime, 2005.

Not a fan of having a three-year-old to play with, 2008.

Not a fan of having a three-year-old to play with, 2008.

His eighteenth birthday, September 2014.

His eighteenth birthday, September 2014.

September 12, 1996 to September 14, 2014

September 12, 1996, to September 14, 2014

5 comments

  1. jethag · September 21, 2014

    Oh my gosh. He looks like such a handsome, wonderful boy. I am so sad to hear of your loss. I’m going to tell my cats how much I love them over and over today. The are angels who visit us for too short of a time. But our hearts are opened as a result. Rest in peace, beautiful Maurice.

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  2. Deborah Drucker · September 20, 2014

    I have experienced the loss of a pet cat and I know how hard it is. It does sound like he lived a long and happy life.

    Like

  3. Jackie · September 20, 2014

    So sorry for your loss, Charity. Sounds as though he had a full, happy, and mostly healthy life, surrounded by a family that he loved. I don’t think its anthropomorhic at all. I hope that you find peace and comfort in all of the fond memories of Maurice.

    Like

  4. Ellery Davies · September 19, 2014

    I know the special pain of losing a family pet—especially the eerie feeling that he is still purring at the foot of the bed or waiting for dinner …and then you remember. He is gone but never forgotten.

    Like

  5. elizz · September 19, 2014

    teary eyed reading your post.. lots of hugs for you.. it’s very difficult and painful losing a beloved pet but only time will heal the pain..

    Like

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