Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Goodbye, Little Sweetheart

Press Cat, 1999-2009

Losing a cat is always hard. Losing two relatively young cats within months of each other is…hell.

We always knew Press would never live to be an old cat. He started life as a feral waif who wandered into Steve’s factory and took up residence beneath the company’s giant press (hence his name). When Steve trapped him, he was so covered in oil and dirt that Steve thought he was a gray tabby. Petroleum and cats, needless to say, are not a good mix.

He spent the next four years of life running wild in Steve’s bachelor pad with the tuxedo cat twins, Nick and Nora. When we married, it took Steve five hours and several nasty bites and scratches to stuff Press in a carrier so the gang could move over to my house. In the nearly six years since then—wooed nightly with his favorite, tuna—he calmed down a lot. Every night when I’d lay down on the sofa to watch the Daily Show and Colbert, I’d trail my hand over the side and Press would come on the run. As long as he was sure I wasn’t in a position to grab him, he’d let me pet him until my arm (or leg—he also loved foot pets while I was at the computer) felt like it was ready to drop off. He’d purr and purr and purr. But try to reach for him and he was gone.

Because he was impossible to catch, he rode out Katrina in our house and lived in the flooded shambles for a week before we battled our way back in to rescue him. (Needless to say, he went with us for Gustav.) About five years ago he had a bout of ill health when the vet told us his kidneys were failing and he’d probably only live a few more months. So we always knew that each passing year was a gift.

He went down hill very suddenly. When he sniffed at Sunday night’s tuna and turned away, I knew something was wrong. Our vet told us just how wrong. Having just watched Nick take months to die of kidney failure, we’d already made up our minds we weren’t putting another cat through that.

But God, it hurts.


Steve Malley said...

Oh Candy I'm so sorry... :(

Lainey said...

Ouch. That does hurt.

Sphinx Ink said...

My condolences to you, Steve, and the girls. Even when you're expecting it, losing a furry friend hurts so much. You gave Press a good life, and a much longer one than if you hadn't taken him in.

orannia said...


I lost my furry friend last year (also to kidney failure) - one morning he was there and then he was gone - and I still look for him everywhere. They are your family, and losing them is so hard. *trying not to cry*

My only consolation is - I wouldn't give up the time I spent with Ty (Tyrant, and yes the name fit) for anything. It still hurts, but...my life was better with him in it (even if he liked walking over the keyboard when I was typing :)

My thoughts are with you and your family.

cs harris said...

Thank you, Steve and Lainey.

Thank you Sphinx Ink. We really weren't expecting it. He seemed just fine up until a couple of days ago when he suddenly quit eating. I thought maybe he just had teeth problems.

Orannia, I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your little friend. And I love his name--Tyrant!

Charles Gramlich said...

Sorry to hear this.

Barbara Martin said...

Candy, I'm sorry to hear this. Losing pets is just like a member of the family because they are closer to us than relatives. You gave him a good life, that delectable food cats love: fish. When you wrote about how much he purred, I could hear his motor running.

Silvercrown said...

We lost our dear Tinky last winter. Even though she was very old & had a long life (18 yrs) it was so hard. Like Press, one day she seemed OK and the next she wasn't. It's the first time I ever saw my husband cry and we've been married for 26 years. Our hearts go out to you, but thank you for giving Press a forever home.

cs harris said...

Thanks, Charles.

Thank you, Barbara. He did have a good life--although I was always telling him that the stress of running away from me in terror was not good for his heart!

Silvercrown, thank you. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. It doesn't matter how old they are, it still hurts. I can still cry for the 20 year old companion of my childhood that I lost many, many years ago.