Our Faithful Orange Cat Tigs has been through a lot since May.
First he started scratching his itching ears, which required daily ear drop treatments for weeks. The ears didn't get better; when the doctor took another look, he determined a different kind of medication needed.
And that Tigs had an abscessed tooth.
Actually it turned out to be three teeth, his lower left fang and two behind it. Surgery for that issue, then a few weeks later, more surgery to remove ear polyps that blocked the ear medicine. A small lump had appeared on his neck as well; surely it was just an lymph gland swollen from the other problems. It wasn't. A biopsy showed a cancerous salivary gland, on the opposite side from where he had his teeth removed.
We consulted and prayed, and based on the counsel of two vets, had the salivary gland removed. Cats have four glands, he would be fine with his remaining three.
But after that....he just wasn't his old self. He hid, he didn't eat, and he lost weight and interest in life. He seemed to be in pain when we would handle him.
Tuesday morning we took him back to the vets. Tigs seemed so sad, and hid in Bernie's sweatshirt.
The vet could find nothing specifically wrong...yet...the cycle of not eating, hiding and a few other behaviors led to us needing to decide if we wanted to try some other treatments to perhaps encourage his appetite.
Would it work...or would it prolong his discomfort.
Such a difficult decision to make for an old friend who had been through so much already in the last five months.
Kissed him over and over and told him he would in a few minutes be out of pain. We promised him that when he woke up he would be in Heaven, meeting up with his old friend Mac and Tidbit, and perhaps even the nice red haired lady June H. would be there to give him the nicest brushing he has ever had.
We said good bye, and left, and then held each other and cried.
Our Tigs gave us ten years of faithful orange-ness, many smiles and taught us a lot about many things.
He was the one to put a paw on me when I was feeling down, and purred until I felt better.
He was always with Bernie, carefully snoopervising all work.
He defended our house against dogs.
He sought beauty and posed so that our eyes would stop on him and see in new ways because of his posing.
He introduced small children to the ways of following a cat.
He taught us that asparagus, salmon and shrimp were not just for humans.
He greeted us with his hoarse broken meower that was uniquely his voice.
He was a cat's cat...the cat that welcomed and groomed the other household cats with a servant's heart.
And he was a cat that danced before the Lord when hymns of praise were sung.
When I picked you, it was only because you were orange. You were one of thirty cats in the care of one person. You didn't really know what to do with humans.
In the end, you were one of a kind, and exactly the cat that we humans needed.
We will miss you so much.
Wait for us, we be coming to where you are one day.
Then we'll all sing faithful praises together, and never say good bye ever again.