Friday, 4 December 2009
The End of the Road
It was time. A long time coming... but now it was time.
It had been many years ago that BB came into my life. The 'BB' stands for Blackbeard Bunnybutt. He's a black and white longhaired Manx. Lots of white on his face but with a black chin - that's the Blackbeard part. And the Bunnybutt... well, that is self explanatory when you see his stumpy tail.
In 1994, I was living in Texas. I went back to Canada for a vacation and spent some time at the barn where my horse was living. (She was staying in Canada while I was down South.) There was a litter of kittens at the barn and they were just too cute! I ended up taking one little guy home with me - at the tender age of 7 weeks.
In the years that BB has been with me, he's put on many miles across both Canada and the USA. He started off in Lethbridge, Alberta. He then flew to McAllen, Texas. A year later, it was a long drive to San Diego, California. Three years after that, in 1998, another very long and hot drive to Winnipeg, Manitoba, back in Canada. 1999 saw relocation to the Vancouver, BC area. 2003 it was back to Winnipeg... well, technically, east of Winnipeg on an 80 acre hobby farm. (Which meant nothing to him as he's been a house cat his entire life.) In 2007, a move into the city and then in 2008, the final move to the house I bought.
He hated moving. He hated being put in a carrier. He'd moo like a lost calf when put in a carrier. He always made me laugh when he did that. I don't think he liked me laughing at him either... I got the evil eye many times!
Having been born in a barn, anytime any horse stuff came to the house, he immediately climbed on. It must have brought comforting memories for him.
He was a goofy guy... loved plastic. Who knows why, but he'd lick any plastic container he came across. And would literally hang out in a plastic shopping bag for an hour or more... on the door knob.
For years, he would play fetch. You'd throw a crumpled up ball of paper, he'd fly after it, and bring it back to be dropped at your feet. Then he'd sit and wait for you to throw it again. Over and over... I swear he was part retriever!
But... now... He was getting skinny. He had a vacant look in his eyes most of the time. Not in any pain that I could determine, as he walked around just fine but just losing any will to be 'alive'. He'd forget to eat... forget to go to the litter box. Didn't have any accidents but when I would put him in it, he'd pee up a storm. He'd willingly eat if I put him in front of the food (which is out 24/7 in the basement) but never seemed to remember it was there for the taking.
I had to set him up in the spare bedroom at night, with food (wet and dry) water and a litter box, so that the two younger cats wouldn't jump on him and make him scream. I know they just wanted to play, but he sure as hell didn't!
I discovered he is wickedly allergic to flea bites. The hot September we had this fall saw an explosion in the flea population outside and some hitched a ride into the house on the dog. No one else was bothered, but BB scratched and chewed himself bloody and raw. I sprayed and powdered and bathed him and everything in the house. To no avail. I used cortisone cream to alleviate the itching. His coat came out in clumps. You couldn't touch him without a squawk or an itch.
I felt so bad but I was doing all I could to keep him comfortable.
But on Tuesday, the last straw occurred. He had a seizure. That was the deciding factor.
So this morning we made the one last trip to the vet's. They know me well there. And they know him too. He is usually very hard to handle and flips out if someone he doesn't know touches him. Today he growled, even as the needle was in and the drug was beginning to work. But he didn't flinch. Just grumbled his usual grumble.
I stroked his cheek and kissed his forehead, holding him close as he slipped away.
Goodbye, little man. I love you and miss you. Thanks for all the memories. It's been a slice!