Friday, December 14, 2007

Farewell to Bill

Sleek Bill-dude enjoying the yard, '05

Bill the Cat, age 18, passed from this realm today. He purred until the end, a deep, continuous throaty purr that vibrated through my whole being as I held him in his last hour. After days of not eating anything, he had a tasty bit of cheese puff (his favorite treat) and a bit of sardine today. It was a good last day, mostly limited to his favorite cat-bed. Walking was hard for him in the end.

His passing was assisted by a very kind vet who came out to our house and kissed him good-bye along with us. I am grateful for that. They have watched me nurse Bill along for quite some time. We are well known in that office, even though we made it clear from the beginning that we’d keep treatment as basic and natural as possible and Bill rarely made an appearance himself.

I’ve never had to schedule a “final vet visit” before, and struggled with that for days. But it was time to let go… and now we feel peace. He was in pain, starving to death. Now he is free. He was the first cat I really took on as my responsibility (we only met 4 years ago when I met WF), and so this was even harder. Bill welcomed me to this house and to cat “parenthood.” But this feels right in the end.

So, thank you, Billbo-bean, for your kind presence, your intent green eyes, your accurate belly-clock (feed me now!), that rumbling purr and your lessons in healing and nurturing. I never really figured out that water-splashing habit, but I’ll miss the rattle of your water dish and the ever-present puddles nearby. The hallway looks too empty without your cat-bed-enjoying presence. I will miss you so much. Farewell and blessings...

Bill on the blog...more under "Cats"
Helping to compute
Celebrity Cat
Crazy Cat lady film
Bat Cat!

9 comments:

El said...

Oh, I am so sorry!

My first cat got fatally ill when I was pregnant, too. She was 16.5, and very much my cat. I was so torn up about having to put her down. I am not sure if it was just hormones, or what, but somehow it was extra hard gestating and euthanizing...

Either way, my daughter knows my cat's name, what she looked like, how she was...even though she was in utero at the time. All striped cats to her are now Lyssie cats.

I hope the same with your new bundle and your old Bill.

cyndy said...

Oh, sad news...I am sorry your Bill has passed away...he was a special one, and you have written a special tribute. Certain pets keep a special place in our hearts...I'm sure Bill has one in yours...

Dad/Grandpa-to-be said...

GTR, what a nice tribute to Old Bill. He was truly a special cat. I've never heard such a loud, rumbling purr or such a loud meow. He definitely had personality. When Cinnamon's time came it was very hard to see her go. We are lucky to have had such loving pets!
Note to bloggers: Cinnamon was a Golden Retriever that GTR grew up with and helped raise. She lived to 13, and GTR had moved out before she died, so she couldn't be there for her passing. It is hard to see them go, but great memories live forever!

Deb said...

I'm so sorry. Bill was a very special cat, and it is wonderful that he was so loved.

I've learned not to take for granted a cat walking on my face at 5 AM. Their purring can be such a comfort sometimes.

e4 said...

So long old Bill. Our 20-year-old Pepper cat may not be far behind you...

gtr said...

Thanks, all! He was a great "first" cat for me, perhaps good practice for a baby!

I miss him, but we can now turn our nurturing attention to other things; got lots done on the house yesterday.

He is at peace; the hole we dug in the woods last year in anticipation was waiting, covered by a board. I didn't want to be prevented from giving him a good burial by frozen ground. He surprised us a bit by living through an entire additional year, which was nice.

rachael said...

Oh, I am so sorry for your loss. I remember my Sweet Pea, holding her in that last moment (the vet came to our house, too, a wonderful thing for them to do), watching her reach peace. But the heart breaks so BIG, doesn't it? My heart goes out to you, and I will tell digit about your bill. Sounds like they would get along. love to you.

michelle said...

I'm so sorry for you loss! Losing Fluffy (i named him in 4th grade and was very unoriginal) after 15 years was the hardest thing...

It was a lovely tribute you gave him though!

Anna said...

That was a lovely tribute, and it sounds like you can feel very good about the care and love you gave. I already dread putting our dog down someday, and she is not even 2 yet.