Saying Goodbye

Velcro ("Worf" to my uncles) the kling-on-cat meowed his last today. Near as has been reckoned, he was 16 or 17.

I should correct that; he squawked his last. Velcro couldn't meow, due to some kind of permanent condition with a similar effect to that of laryngitis. He could purr with the best of them, though, and when he squeaked his crackled meow it was a sure sign he wanted something from you.
Maybe that's not right. I don't think Velcro wanted for anything in his whole life. Not to say that he didn't enjoy taking what he could get--and he took more than his fair share of chunk light tuna if he could--just that he wasn't exactly a needy kind of cat. Not in the typical way.
Velcro was the sort of gregarious animal who would get on well at hospital or a care center. His bread and butter was people; even those silly people who held him upside down or stuffed him into sweaters. I had staring contests with him from the kitchen table at mealtimes. If you were heading for a chair to sit in the living room, Velcro would race you to it and jump up, as if to say "you can have this chair, but only if you pick me up and let me sit in your lap for twenty minutes." He was incorrigible--my grandmother resolved that just sitting on him was the only other way to get the chair.

If I've ever learned anything from an animal, it's the sense of hopeful satisfaction I saw in that cat. He was perfectly content to live out his existence sitting by the fire... but if there was an opportunity to get some attention, he would jump right up on the back of the sofa to greet you as you walked into the room. Not because he needed it, but because he hoped for it. Almost as though he understood the difference between what was good, and what was better.

Velcro's health had been in rapid decline for the last month or so. He would eat, but was losing weight. He slowed down. Yet in spite of what seemed obvious deterioration, he showed no sign of pain or suffering. When I saw him this morning his leg was bending in funny directions, doubtless broken or dislocated from a no-longer-graceful jump to greet grandma and ask for the first back-rub of the day.

Grandma asked my uncles to put him down in the afternoon. I was grinding rust out of a trailer when it happened, so I made no effort to participate.

I'll remember him as the happiest--the most contented cat in the whole world.


Shell-Bell said...


Kim said...

hugs sorry to hear about him passing on