yesterday, mindy and i had to put our cat down. he had severe chronic kidney failure coupled with a blockage between his kidney and bladder that was quite literally poisoning him. he lived for 15 good years and his quality of life deteriorated greatly in the last week. while we couldn't bear to have to make the decision to euthanize our friend, we also couldn't bear to see him not eat, sit in one spot, and just generally not be the active, happy, and energetic cat we had always known. he seemed sad and in pain, only offering little head bumps and a few quiet purrs when we approached to pet him or lay beside him. we miss him. very much.
he was part of our little puzzle, and now it seems like there's a piece missing. he went by a lot of names. he was called, baby, legend, turdboy, periscope, lil fucker, monster, kaypoh, and a million other things. he picked and chose which ones to answer to. he was a very independent cat. he wasn't clingy or needy. he was never a lap cat. he didn't like to be held or sought out, and he generally hated people that did seek him out. he wasn't very friendly to most, but for me and mindy he was always there. he would greet us at the door with his tail up when we got home. he would wake up early with me most everyday to make coffee and go play out in the garden. he was mindy's shadow, following her around the house as she did whatever chores or tasks she had to do. he stayed up with mindy through the wee hours of writing her dissertation. and would hang out with me in the studio. in decent weather, he would sit on the stoop in our patio and sniff the air. he would eat or just generally disturb the plants, climb the bleachers and walk through all the plater boxes. then he'd lie on the ground and roll around in the dirt, just for the hell of it.
this spring, on the first warmish day, mindy caught the two of us rolling around in the sun out on the patio, just soaking in some vitamin d after the long cold winter. he was our friend. not really ever a pet. maybe, he was more like a roommate or a brother. for me, he's always been an iconic character. i've put his image on mugs, shirts, bags, cards, paintings, prints, signs, newspaper boxes, stickers, and walls all over the place. he's in NYC, chicago, and baltimore. he has fans on our blog and other social media outlets. he was always the character in our posts about the garden or posts about our lives in general. he became so much more than just our cat. and it was hard to have to let him go yesterday. as the doctor gave him a sedative and the final solution, he and i watched each other, eye-to-eye, as mindy held him. i watched him drift away, until his eyes went blank and glassy. he was a happy cat, he was an independent cat, with a great personality. he was our friend. he was legendary. in the coming weeks, i'm going to paint a huge portrait of him in some public space somewhere, along with putting his image up in many other ways, because he can make the world smile like he made us smile. #legendarycat