And Then There Were Five

The Big Bopper’s time came yesterday at about 4 in the morning.

About three in the morning, when I came back to bed, I discovered that he was having trouble standing, and that’s when we generally make the decision.

So we gathered him up and took him across town to the all-night veterinarian hospital, and it was done.

He had been in decline for some time. The photo from last May shows him fairly healthy. When it comes to the end like this, I wonder how selfish I am to let them live so long while ailing. I like to think that I value life in them as I value life in humans, but I do make the call for euthanasia when they cannot stand.

This recent picture is from a couple of weeks ago. Roark was quite the sun worshipper, and he would start out mornings in the parlor or in my son’s room on the east side of the house and would move to our bedroom or the living room on the other side of the house in the afternoons.

What will I remember of Roark?

  • When we went to the crime scene to find the cats, he was the one who did not hide and came out to greet us amidst the wreckage of the police search.
  • He would nap beside me during my siestas and would sleep beside me at night. During the naps in the afternoons, he would announce himself when he jumped on the bed, and I would have to prepare a place for him by turning down the blankets or bedspread so he could snuggle in beside me.
  • For a time (a couple of winters), he wanted me to make a cave for him. I would crawl under the bedspread to nap, and he wanted me to prop the thick bedspread so that there was a gap between my body and the bedspread to make a space for him to crawl into.
  • I trained him to put his paw on my hands when napping. He would sometimes also nestle his cheek on my hand.
  • When he was younger, he would help me change the bed linens by jumping onto the bed under each layer and would wait for me to turn the layer down so he could pounce out of it and scamper about on it until I would cover him with the next layer, and repeat. I have a video somewhere of how he turned a five minute chore into a ten minute romp.

He was a people cat more than a cat cat, although he tolerated that Chimera wanted to be his buddy and the new kitten Maud’Dib wanted to play with his tail.

So we have lost three of the old guard in the last year and a couple months, but we have gained three new kittens in that time. So the continuity of cattiness continues.

(A couple of additional posts/photos of Roark here, here, and here.)

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1 thought on “And Then There Were Five

  1. Sorry to hear that, Brian. I know how much you and and your family care for your cats, so I’m sure that he had a good life with you.

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