Tuesday, February 21, 2012

With Heavy Heart

There are far better photos of Gomer than this one, but this was the one that jumped out at me when I was searching through the archives in order to write this blog.  He loved to be cozy and wrapped up in a tight space, so much so that when he was younger he broke several fabric-lined baskets by trying to squeeze his large bod into them.  Over the past few months he divided his time between an undersized bed by the radiator and "his" bed in the living room.  Both cozy fur-lined cups that he was able to snuggle down into, providing a cozy nest, which he loved.

Sunday night at 11pm our sweet Biggin was euthanized after a long, happy and adventurous life.  He was 17 and showing his age over the past year; a seizure Sunday afternoon was the definitive sign we needed. The frightened look in his eyes following the seizure helped us know that he didn't want to be put through that again. His devoted vet met us at the office at 10:45 pm just so we didn't have to put him through another night. A final act of above and beyond kindness after many years of care.

I've written of the manipulation we used on Joe to adopt him so I won't belabor that story. Suffice to say I'm glad we gave him an additional 16 years that he wouldn't have otherwise had if he had stayed at the shelter. He loved the outdoors, both he and Benji bolting like racehorses out of the starting gate first thing in the morning. If it was still dark, all the better, there would hopefully be some night creatures to chase.  Even in his last year, weather permitting, he would always do one lap around the yard, sniffing a bush here, marking another there, to warn off any trespassers. His favorite spot to sleep was on the side kitchen steps where the sun shone the longest and warmed him even on a chilly day.

He had enough personality for several cats. Before he became arthritic, he used to love to ride around on Wilson's shoulders, draped like a feline stole. It required a heavy barn jacket to protect him from Gomer's unintentional scratches; he was just trying to hold on. He was a snugly lap cat, deciding from the moment we brought him home from the shelter that Wilson was "his" human; he slept on Wilson's bed at night from his adoption during Wilson's kindergarten until the time he left for college.  He was always overjoyed and had plenty of greeting meows and purrs each time Wilson came home for a visit or vacation. The buddies were reunited again.

This morning the house seems strangely quiet without his occasional loud meows and the click of his nails on the hardwood. When I go into the office to use the vest, my eyes immediately go to the place he slept by the radiator, only to see bare floor and no Gomer.
I'm thankful to have the girls to distract me from his absence, but know that they won't be able to fill the space left now that he is gone. There will never be another like him, nor would I want there to be.  We had great years together and this really feels like the end of an era, but I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat. Rest easy, sweet Gomer. I'll always miss you.