Around dinner time on Friday, May 22nd, after dealing with the effects of arthritis and kidney disease, our 19-year-old cat Moose, passed away quietly (almost) in our vet’s office. The “almost” is because he howled when the doc gave him the first shot of anesthesia. It was a shock considering how quiet he had been at home earlier in the week, but he always hated needles. After administering the second shot, we watched in both agony and relief as he passed on. Not having gone through this process with a pet before, it was an absolutely heart-rending experience. Once from which we feel, right now, that we may never recover. But we know we will, with time.
In honor of our dearly departed feline companion, and because I’m struggling to keep it together long enough to write these couple paragraphs, I’m sharing here a Geek Force Network post I wrote about him nearly seven years ago. God, how time flies. If you have kitties, doggos, human children, hell, even stuffed animals or plants, give them an extra-big hug for us today. Well, maybe not the plants.
The following post, “Dat Moose,” originally appeared on Geek Force Network, 31 May 2013.
This is our cat.
His name is Moose. Except, it really isn’t.
His real name is “Elwood.” (He had a brother named “Jake.”) We called him Elwood for awhile, but somewhere along the way, we started calling him “moose.” It stuck.
We often refer to him as “dat moose,” as in “Where is dat moose? Why, he’s lying behind the sofa/table/dresser/someplace where we can’t bother him.” Oh, and bother him we do.
For, you see, Dat Moose does not like us much. Even after all these years of giving him food and love, he still isn’t our friend.
But he does tolerate us, when he feels like it. He interacts with us when he’s hungry and he ignores us when he’s not. But he’s gotten better over the years. And so have we, in terms of making him happy, that is.
Not too long ago, we discovered that he likes ice cream – not milk, not cheese – ice cream. He’ll sit by us whenever we have it hoping to get a lick of a spoon. On occasion though, he’ll get pushy and in-your-face about it. But he has such a telling eyes and lovely purr that it’s hard to swipe at him in anger.
He’s also our clock. I set an alarm each morning, but I don’t really need it. At 5:00, he knocks my glasses from the side table onto the floor letting me know it’s time to be awake. 6:45 is leave-the-house time, so he sits by his food bowl hoping that the people won’t forget to feed him before they leave. (Horribly, sometimes we do.) 4:30 is home time, which means more food and more waiting by the food bowl, of course. 7:00 is brushing time – his favorite not because of the brushing, but because he gets his treats of catnip and a little soft food. 10:00 is bedtime, and he always gets to his spot on the end of the bed before anyone else.
Even though he tends to keep his distance, he has his adorable moments. I already mentioned the ice cream thing, but sometimes, especially when it’s cold, he’ll “snuggle” up to us in bed. (I say that lightly because between him and my husband, it can be like sleeping between a small brick wall and a large brick wall.) Sometime he’ll sit next to me on the couch while I’m playing games. Not right next to me, but on the far cushion. When it’s hot, he’ll stretch out to nearly three times his size on any cool floor. And though he doesn’t like us or people generally, just a couple weeks ago while my folks were visiting, he let my Dad pet him. First time ever without hissing or growling. It was the sweetest thing.
He also does this little shuffle thing if he wants our attention but doesn’t want to be too blatant about it. It’s just a small step-step movement of his front feet while he’s sitting and staring at us (probably cause he’s hungry), but it’s pretty cute. Every time he does it, one of us will inevitably comment, “everyday day I’m shuffling.” And no, I’m not putting a link to that song because it’s already been burned in your brain cells.
Dat Moose has been with us across the country. He’s ridden in moving vans and cars, and he’s perfectly terrified of both. He always knew when we’d be moving too. He knew from the boxes and the bins and the almost-constant cleaning. Even though we have a house now, he still does his same nervous pacing whenever we clean up and move stuff around. Now though we can earnestly tell him “it’s alright buddy, we’re home.”
He used to really like bathroom tubs and sinks, especially when the water was dripping. But then, one time, he jumped into the tub that I had prepared for a bath. He literally walked on water, did a 180 wall ride, and blazed out of there in the blink of an eye. He was a little less fond of tubs after that. We also eventually got him one of those fountain water bowls so he’d ease up on the sink thing. It’s no fun cleaning cat hair out of drains.
He’s also totally scared of the outdoors; however, he loves looking outdoors and can sit by a window for hours. As far as I can remember, he’s accidentally gotten outdoors twice, and neither time did he get any farther than the doorstep. I recently tried letting him onto our enclosed porch, but he’ll have none of it. Once I carried him out there and he started shaking so badly I thought he was going to seizure. No more of that, thank you very much.
So that’s our Moose. He’s not a perfect cat, but he’s our cat. I can’t imagine life without him. And he’s wonderful…mostly. (Just don’t tell him we someday plan on getting a dog…)