Dept. of Remembrance

Sunday, 25 June 2017 06:28 pm
kaffyr: Mid-afternoon view from the spirit world train. (Train view)
[personal profile] kaffyr
 Alexander, Bestest Old Pussycat


Memorial Picture of Alexander


He made it through the night, and slept between BB and I, so we were able to keep him warm.

Early this morning, the vet's office called us. The veterinarian, Dr. Kristina Kalivoda, was incredibly kind and gentle. She talked about her own ginger cat, Apollo, who died at home, and who convinced her that helping pets die at home was good for them, and good for their humans as well. 

BB held Alex on his lap for the first shot of sedative-painkiller mix - so of course, he had to get up and try to walk. The doctor said that sometimes happens because the first shot makes them feel better than they have in a while, and they immediately want to walk; that made sense, especially when I remembered how Finnegan got up and walked around years ago, quite effectively spooking the very young vet who helped her die.

Alex took a couple of steps, then tilted over on his side, but I was there to ease him to the floor. We got him back on BB's lap, where he lay while we petted him, and told him he was The Bestest Old Pussycat.*

Dr. Kalivoda waited until we were ready, and then administered the anesthesia overdose. He breathed slower and slower, and eventually stopped. We waited a little longer, then Dr. Kalivoda checked for a heartbeat. There was none. We wrapped him in one of our green towels, so he'd have something of home to take with him, but not before Dr. Kalivoda made us a plaster print of one of his paws, since we weren't going to ask for his ashes. Then she placed him, wrapped in the towel, in a beautiful basket, lined with satin and covered with velvet - a very classy way of travelling with her, and something I appreciated. Of course it was all irrational - but it was a good irrational.**

I had to go and take care of FB and Em's kitties then, since they are out of town. I did some errands and came back, and off-loaded pictures we took of him this morning, sitting in the warm spot left by BB when he got up.

He was a shadow of the big ginger he once was (from 26 pounds down to what the doctor figured was 12), but he was still handsome and dignified. 

And that's what Alexander always was; dignified. He was also a very deliberate cat. He took his time making up his mind about where to sit, what to eat, whether to come when we called him. He always looked like a lion to me, one who didn't need a mane to look impressive. 

For all his dignity, he was also very laid back. He put up with no end of nonsense from Opie, his squirrelly fellow ginger, only rarely pushing back, and then only to remind Opie of who was the big brother. He got along very well with Phil.

He adored BB, and BB adored him. The very first night we brought him home from the Humane Society, he spent the first of the thousands of nights he would spend with us, and the first thing he did was run up the length of BB's body and butt his then-little orange head up against BB's chin. That tradition continued until just a day or so ago, when he grew too weak to do it. 

I intermittently believe in an afterlife. When I do, I also believe that I will see all the pets I've loved. And I love Alex very much. I think, if there is an afterlife for me, and for Alex, and for BB, then the first thing he will do upon seeing BB, is run up and butt his head against BB's chin. And that will make me very, very happy. 


*That's the only slightly silly title bestowed on him, as the senior partner amongst our three, reigning with a fair amount of gentle dignity over his junior partners, Opie, the Finest Kind Pussycat, and Phil, the Most Excellent Pussycat.

** I commend Dr. Kalivoda, and Lap of Love, the group she works with, to anyone in the same situation we were in who is in our area. If you can swing it, the cost isn't all that much more than some veterinary clinics charge you for taking your animal to them, frightened and stressed. 

Date: Monday, 26 June 2017 12:34 am (UTC)
eve11: (kitties_tc)
From: [personal profile] eve11
:(

What a good kitty. I am glad he didn't have to be stressed out by a vet visit for his final moments. When it's time for mine I want to do the same. (Hopefully not for a while yet, but they are 13.)

Here's to getting a head-butt in heaven.

Date: Monday, 26 June 2017 01:17 am (UTC)
eve11: (kitties_tc)
From: [personal profile] eve11
Yeah, that is TinyCat back when she was actually tiny.

Date: Monday, 26 June 2017 12:43 am (UTC)
the_rck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_rck
I'm sorry for your loss.

Date: Monday, 26 June 2017 01:16 am (UTC)
st_aurafina: green heart, grungey texture (Heart: green)
From: [personal profile] st_aurafina
I'm so sorry - he sounded like a majestic old man, and I am glad he passed peacefully like that. What a great service - our vets were lovely with Missy when it was her time - we had privacy and everyone at the clinic was very gentle but I would love to be able to have something like that available.

Sending hugs for you all. It's such a sad time.

Date: Monday, 26 June 2017 01:20 am (UTC)
nostalgia: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nostalgia
aww cat :( *hugs u*

Date: Monday, 26 June 2017 01:29 am (UTC)
dewline: (Grief)
From: [personal profile] dewline
I'm sorry for your loss.

Date: Monday, 26 June 2017 02:59 am (UTC)
shanghaied: (dino feathers in amber)
From: [personal profile] shanghaied
There is certainly an afterlife in our hearts.

Some 27-and-a-bit months ago, when a certain non-feline lover of cats died, his millions of admirers reminded each other and the world that a person is not dead as long as their name is spoken. Cats are people. Speak Alex's name and he will always live.

Date: Monday, 26 June 2017 04:18 am (UTC)
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)
From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
What a lovely old man, and I'm so glad for you that his passing was peaceful. I know 12 pounds is tiny for him, but to me it sounds big - our elderly cat that we lost got down to under 5 pounds at the end!

Date: Monday, 26 June 2017 04:58 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] fmsv
I'm so sorry for your loss. Alex sounds like he was an excellent cat.

I share that vision of the afterlife.

Date: Monday, 26 June 2017 05:20 am (UTC)
time_converges: (Default)
From: [personal profile] time_converges
Aw what a great cat! I'm so sorry. :(

Date: Monday, 26 June 2017 02:25 pm (UTC)
bibliofile: Photo of a snow leopard (cat)
From: [personal profile] bibliofile
Gosh, he looks like a very fine old cat, too.

<3 <3 <3

Date: Monday, 26 June 2017 02:55 pm (UTC)
liadtbunny: (Bulman fishing)
From: [personal profile] liadtbunny
I'm sorry for your loss. Alexander sounded like a fine cat.

Date: Monday, 26 June 2017 04:18 pm (UTC)
sarren: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sarren
*hug* What a wonderful description, I feel like I have a sense of his personality, thank you. And I am so sorry for your loss.

Date: Monday, 26 June 2017 04:18 pm (UTC)
gerisullivan: (Default)
From: [personal profile] gerisullivan
Sympathy. Thank you for your loving tribute to Alex.

Date: Monday, 26 June 2017 04:38 pm (UTC)
maia: (Maia)
From: [personal profile] maia
Oh, kaffyr. I am so sorry.

Alex sounds like such a wonderful cat. I am so glad that he had such a good long life with you and BB. I am so glad that he died at home in BB's arms.

Your home must feel very empty right now.

Lots of love to you.


Date: Monday, 26 June 2017 07:11 pm (UTC)
clocketpatch: (wee!Amy)
From: [personal profile] clocketpatch
Many hugs. Your words and the picture together create a gorgeous portrait of a life well lived and a cat well loved.

Date: Monday, 26 June 2017 08:02 pm (UTC)
lost_spook: (s&s - silver)
From: [personal profile] lost_spook
Aw, I'm so very sorry. He looks like a splendid gentleman! *hugs*

Date: Tuesday, 27 June 2017 01:10 am (UTC)
kerravonsen: cat peering out of blanket (cat)
From: [personal profile] kerravonsen
*more hugs*

Date: Wednesday, 28 June 2017 08:58 pm (UTC)
carbonel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] carbonel
I'm so sorry. He sounds like a dignified old gentleman cat who was able to go in a dignified way.

Date: Monday, 3 July 2017 04:42 am (UTC)
lokifan: black Converse against a black background (Default)
From: [personal profile] lokifan
What a wonderful cat. I'm glad he was with you and not anxiously at the vet's.

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