A Furry Friend's Favorite Activity (February 27, 2016)
It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life.
He was almost 16 years old and I knew it was time to do this when I saw his appetite had changed. I had slowly noticed other changes as he grew older. Many of the articles I had read online encouraged me to identify some major changes and decide when it was time based on those. I was supposed to figure out what his favorite things to do were and then set some kind of limit like "when he can no longer do X out of Y things." I knew it was time when I noticed he would no longer race downstairs to eat after hearing the automatic feeder start dumping food into the bowl. Between that and some other things he had been doing for a while, I finally accepted that it was time.
Some of you know that I "adopted" Moochie from a little boy in the apartment complex that I lived in back when I was first married. Poor Moochie was dragged from Alta Loma to South Ontario to Rancho, from one side of the city to the other and back again. I credit him with getting me through my separation and divorce. (I "thanked" him for that by getting him a little sister a year later.) I remember he would always keep me company at night no matter where I was or how late I stayed up. It didn't matter if I was grading (and eventually sleeping) on the sofa or working on grad school stuff in my home office--he would be curled up nearby, patiently waiting for me to finish so we could go to bed. I can't even begin to count the nights that I slept on the sofa and he slept right there with me.
Moochie started his life as an outdoor cat and I can only hope that it improved when he met Justin and me. He took care of me when I needed it the most and I can only hope that he felt I had taken care of him in the years after that. I'll eventually get an impression of his pawprint and I know his ashes will be sprinkled in the ocean at Point Loma. My boyfriend showed me photos of how beautiful it is and I'm hopeful that we can go down there so I can shoot some more photos--maybe even another shot for this project. Until then, I guess this is definitely a moment from 2016 that I want to remember, albeit a painful one.