Friday, January 12, 2007

Eliot, Rest in Peace

It was time.

I returned home this evening to find my sturdy companion of 19 years staggering, disoriented, and distraught. He was diagnosed with the early stages of kidney failure two years ago, and in the last year had lost 3 pounds. He had been my constancy, my best example of unconditional love, my model for what a pet should be. I spoiled him rotten. He returned in kind. Lately he had taken to sleeping under the covers, curled in the crook of my arm.

Tonight he couldn't get in the litter box. Half in and half out, collapsed over the side, he turned and looked at me. I helped him in, I helped him out, then we laid together on the floor and I stroked him while he cried. I called the vet and she got out of bed and met us at the clinic.

I held him while she gave him the injection. She barely had it started when he gave into gravity and sank against me. A sign, she said, that he was ready.

He sat on my lap when I wrote my dissertation. He grieved when I traveled. He had a throaty, unique meow. He had violet eyes when he was a kitten. One time he got tangled up in a shopping bag and it chased him around the house. The faster he ran, the more the bag flapped and terrified him. My mom and I thought he would have a heart attack before we could rescue him from the Attack of the Dillard's Bag.

I loved him more than I've ever loved another living creature.

May he rest in peace.

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