Funeral for a Friend

Bear with me; I can’t write this week. Bandit the Authorcat has passed away. He was fifteen, had a good life, and yesterday I held my friend’s head in my hands and whispered ‘thank you’ as they gave him a last shot. So let this blog post be a funeral for a friend.

Bandit comforted me through many long and lonely hours as I restarted my life and about a month ago, I started to become concerned. He was losing weight, becoming lethargic. I thought he might be stressed by some nearby construction as before but last week I got nervous. My kitty was down to skin and bones, and starting to reject food. He’d slip out, find a spot under a bush to hide. Bandit wasn’t the cat he used to be. Two days ago, he stopped eating altogether. I kept him going with a food syringe and mushed-up kitty food but we both knew the score. He’d sit with me for a while, purring, then run away again to hide. My friend was ready to go even if I wasn’t.

The vet confirmed the bad news: Bandit was dying. Cancer, lymphoma, diabetes, kidney failure? I could run tests if I wanted to know, but what would it change? I signed the papers and spoke gently to my friend, who lay his head on the table. He complained a little, but the fight was out of him. He hated the vet, but this time he just didn’t care. I petted him and held his head and sang stupid cat songs as they prepared the syringe. When the shot went home, I stroked his face and whispered ‘best kitty’ as the light went out of his eyes. The painful job was done, Bandit was gone.

I went home in tears, cleaning up everything that belonged to him. Fifteen years of memories and loyal support, and all I have to show are some personal photos and a paw print I took a couple of days ago. Otherwise, you’d never know Bandit was here.

So I need a couple-few to pull my stuff together and get back on task. In the meantime, I hope you appreciate Bandit’s elegy and this virtual funeral for a friend. He was the best cat, and I’ll honor his memory soon by finding another friend who needs me.