Back in 2011 when I shut this blog down, I knew in the back of my head that there was going to be one more post I would have to put up here. And sadly, that time has come.
Last Tuesday, March 8th, my wife and I had to say goodbye to my best friend, Mr. Pink.
I have been dreading this day for quite some time. I adopted Mr. Pink way back in 2005, only a few months after moving to D.C. I liked to tell everyone that I didn’t adopt him per se, he picked me. I was at the shelter in Arlington with a pet carrier and the staffer on duty pointed him out to me because the rest of his litter had been adopted. A runt, huh? Do tell.
His name back then was Fred. Everyone in his litter was named after Scooby Doo characters. I spent a minute or two with him and when I paused to talk to the staffer, he hopped in the carrier. He was ready to get the fuck out of that place, so who was I to turn him down? We were inseparable ever since.
His passing was a bit sudden and unexpected but again, not really. Mr. Pink suffered a serious heart issue last July and he was probably living on borrowed time since then. When he was diagnosed with his cardiomyopathy, the vet told us the median life expectancy was two years post-diagnosis. We got 7 1/2 months. I knew his time was probably short when we got back from the vet with his diagnosis, so I tried to spend as much quality time as I could with him.
I generally spend my nights editing photos when I come home from concerts and Mr. Pink would always jump up on my desk and make sure to get some quality time before I started editing. Then he would either grab a spot behind my computer while I worked or lay somewhere within eye sight. Whenever I was done editing and started my export, I would hang out with him and wouldn’t go back to the computer until I worked him up into a nice purr.
I started and ended every day with him. The best part of going to bed each night was our routine. Each night, a few minutes after I finally crawled in bed, I would wait to hear the pitter patter of his feet just before he jumped up into our bed. He would land on the foot of the bed and then crawl over me until he settled on my chest and I’d spend my last few waking minutes petting him. Every fucking night. Not much made me happier than that. I cherished that time.
And that’s why losing him was so hard. Our routine is shattered and it’s going to take me a long time before things stop feeling broken. Waking up is hard. Going to bed is hard. Leaving for work is hard. Coming home is hard.
We had such a great day on Monday. He ate a full can of wet food (double his normal amount) and spent the night on the couch purring loudly while cuddled up between my wife and me instead of his occupying his normal spot on the ottoman. He was so happy and content. So was I.
When we woke up on Tuesday, we saw that he had peed himself. That’s always a warning sign. He seemed a little out of it, but we cleaned him up, tried to feed him and then went off to work hoping for the best. I spent some time on the floor with him before I left and got him to purr, so I thought that was encouraging.
Mr. Pink always spent his afternoons in our front window waiting for me to come home. I loved seeing him sitting on his perch, scanning back and forth for me and watching him pop up and start talking to me as soon as he saw me. On my walk home from the bus stop on Tuesday I was praying that he would be there, waiting for me. I told myself that if he was in his usual spot, then everything would be OK.
When I walked in I noticed that he hadn’t eaten his breakfast, another bad sign. He came downstairs when he heard me walk in, which gave me a glimmer of hope. However, I could see that he was a bit unsteady on his feet and not his normal self. I tried to get him to eat without success. His breathing was shallow and I could tell he was scared and in pain. I laid beside him on the floor and stroked him gently from head to tail while we waited for my wife to get home.
After navigating rush hour traffic to get out to Fairfax (which is not fun on a regular day, and decidedly less so with your dying cat in the back seat), the vet concurred with us that he was in pain and it would be best to put him down. He went gently and quietly.
Mr. Pink was my best friend and with all apologies to my wife and family, probably the best and most rewarding relationship I’ve had in my life. I will miss him terribly.
Rest In Peace little buddy. Life is not the same without you.Read More