He was squirrelly, thanks to an early kittenhood in the clutches of a cat hoarder. When we got him in early 2005, as a companion to Alex (who had just lost his buddy Ralph Perkins), the hoarder had to pluck him out of a closet, where he'd gone to escape other cats, including a huge Bengal. It took Bob days to coax him out from under our bed. It took longer for Opie to get up the courage to come out of the bedroom, something we cheered when it happened.
He was picky, unable to countenance other cats after the loss of Alex and Phil. He adored being carried around the condo by his humans; in fact, he demanded it at least thrice daily. It was what he did instead of playing, because he wouldn't play after Alex and Phil died. He loved Bob, and showed that love by coming up at 3 a.m. and hooking a (very sharp) claw into Bob's face. "Hey, human! Hey, Dad! Pay attention to meeeee!" Bob didn't kill him for that. Nor did I.
As he got older, he learned to like sleeping under our bedcovers, between us. He would curl up beside me on the couch when we watched anime (I'm pretty certain he didn't watch it, but he loved sleeping on the TARDIS blanket that was obviously put there just for him.) In his final year, when we had to feed him wet food, we were never sure what brand or flavor he'd like, making feeding him a labor intensive job. We did know he liked Marmite.
On Friday, a cascade of physical things began to happen, which ended up in our learning that he had fluid in his lungs and around his lungs, congestive heart disease-heading-to-failure, and the beginning of kidney disease. Treatment for kidney disease harms the heart. Still, we thought we might have a bit more time with him.
That wasn't the case. He quickly showed us that he was in constant distress, as he followed us around pleading for help with a yowl we'd not previously heard from them. It was time.
We were floored, and grateful, to find out that the team of hospice/end-of-life veterinarians who helped Alex and Phil across the rainbow bridge was still coming out for emergency end of life visits. Dr. Molly came yesterday morning. Opie died with his head on Bob's leg and the rest of him comfortable on his TARDIS blanket.
I keep thinking I see him out of the corner of my eye.
Bob and I have never been without a cat. He wants another cat, or cats. Perhaps I will, too. But for now, I just want time.
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