Again, I ask you to bear with me as I express my grief and memories of a dearly departed pet. This, and working at a grocery store near the US Thanksgiving holiday, explain why I haven’t been around much. Twice this year we have had to say good-bye to one of our cats. This time, it is our dear cat Grendel that has passed into death by our decision for euthanasia. As I stated back in the post about the passing of our cat Mordred, this atheist is still an atheist, no matter how tempting it would be to pray to some imaginary friend for help to save her pet’s life. There is still an atheist in this foxhole.
Grendel was one of three kittens we adopted from my parents’ farm. A momma cat was killed and of course one can’t just adopt one. Grendel introduced himself by climbing up my husband’s pant leg. And during the evening of that day, the discussion wasn’t “should we take them?” but “okay, what are their names?” So we had Grendel and his sisters, Luna and Mystra since 1998. Grendel was a long tall brown tabby with an unusual chevron on his shoulders. We called him Private First Class Grendel.
He was a fantastic jumper, able to jump more than 6 feet (around 2 meters) straight up at a standing start. He had a habit of sitting on the top of doors, and I still have no idea on how he didn’t make the door swing. He also loved to jump to the top of a wood and class curio cabinet and sit up there for hours. My husband would lift him there in these last few months of his life. He also dearly loved catnip. When we left him outside for supervised visits, he would make a beeline to the catnip plants and then for the gate to the alley out back.
About 7 years back, he had terrible trouble with his bladder being blocked with stones. We chose to have a perineal urethrostomy. This means that the penis is removed and the cat is essentially “replumbed”. We were warned that he might have problems of leaking but he did perfectly after it. It was during his first day back from surgery that we found a small kitten in the backyard, who became Muffin, the black and white hellion that we have.
He died of complications from feline diabetes. We could have given him insulin, but the process of getting the right dose is very hard, if it works at all, and I didn’t want him to dread my approach if I had to cause him pain from injections. So we managed it as well as we could by diet. The worst was the neuropathy and he eventually was unable to walk and sit up while he used the litter box. So we made the horrible but humane and necessary decision to have him euthanized. We were lucky those 7 years ago to be able to afford to help him then. So many people can’t and I wish I could change that. But there was no help to be had now. As I said back when our cat Mordred passed away, I have read that one makes an agreement with sorrow as soon as one adopts a pet that will live a shorter life span than you will. You get many years of comfort and companionship from your loving pets but you pay for it later.
We will miss him intensely as we miss all of the cats and ferrets that have gone before.