my old cat Tazz

I picked Tazz up in 1993 at an animal shelter, he stood a day away from euthanasia.   I lived alone, several miles from my work and life community and I wanted a cat to keep me company.  Tazz has gone through everything with me. Always present with affection and purrs.  He is so old that before my aunt died in 1995, she made a figurine replica of him, which I still display.

At first, I was not sure our relationship could work.  I put him in time out more than once when he climbed up a fabric wall hanging and was unreachable.  I started reading cat books and the vet said to speak his language. When I needed him to behave , such as, stop clawing at the furniture, I began hissing and soon he began growing out of his kitten phase.

Tazz ruined three rugs, a couch, and annoyed the heck out of our dogs, two of which he outlived.  In the last three years, he spent much of his time sleeping with his wife, Honey Bunny.  I am sad to write I have taken for granted that Tazz would always be here. 

So, last week, when he started a rapid decline with only 1/4 of his kidneys functioning, I wanted to do whatever I could to keep him around longer.  He is on blood pressure medicine, potassium supplements, and periodic subcutaneous fluids.  It sounds ridiculous, how can I do this for an animal that has lived long when people suffer without health care.  I know I am not alone.  According to Jon Markman on moneycentral.msn , “Americans lavish $36 billion a year on pampered pets.” 

The only answer is that this little warm bundle of fur is always happy to see me and he is the only creature that was part of my everyday life in 1993 that is still part of my everyday life.  Perhaps it is nostalgia that is motivating me to fuss and just the need to say a proper goodbye.