Goodbye, Old Friend


Yesterday was one of those days where it really sucks being an adult.

A hard decision had to be made, and my wife and I had to talk about some delicate subjects, but in the end, there was only one humane choice to be made. Elspeth, our 15-year-old cat, had developed a growth in her colon that was growing quickly and was keeping her from passing wastes. It caused her a lot of pain and was keeping her body from functioning correctly. Surgery was ill-advised due to the location of the growth and her advanced age. Letting it be would cause her to have to be brought in weekly to have the wastes extracted, a process that was stressful to her body as well, and the pain caused by the tumor would not be lessened.

We opted to end her suffering.

We spent a last half-hour with her, caressing her, telling her goodbye, and then we let the veterinarian do his work.

We got Elspeth back in 2001. My wife and I had been married barely a year and were living in a small apartment. The pet deposit for the complex was $600. We got a $600 tax refund from President Bush. It seemed to be fate. We paid the pet deposit and went to the animal shelter in Coppell and brought home a tiny tortoise-shell ball of fur. We named her Elspeth after a character in Mercedes Lackey’s “Arrows of the Queen” series.

Elspeth of the books was a bratty princess who grew up into a wise queen. Our Elspeth pretty much stayed in a perpetual bratty princess phase. She was cranky, prissy, and aloof most of the time. And she could carry a grudge–she never did forgive us for getting a second cat. But she was also affectionate and spunky at times. And she often comforted me when I went through a bout of illness.

Elspeth loved blankets, kibble, and men with beards. She disliked ceiling fans, children under 18 years of age, and any food but kibble. She tolerated Vladimir, our other cat, but was not afraid to make her displeasure known.

She was the “Fat Brat Cat,” “Fartsblossom,” and “Fattykins.” She was “Old Bitty,” “Fatticus Bratticus,” and “Baby Kitty.”

She was my friend and I’m going to miss her.


About Shedrick

I am a professional librarian and a part-time writer that's working to do that the other way around. I currently live in North Texas in the lovely city of Denton (“The Home of Happiness“) with my lovely wife and the obligatory demon-spawn cats. When not writing, gaming, or watching cheezy kung-fu flicks, I can sometimes be found in a pub (or the American equivalent) enjoying a fine brew.
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