Over the last year he'd grown thin, and more and more often he'd hit the side of the bathroom counter instead of making his usual satin slick landing when it was kitty treat time (the dogs are less pesky when you're on the counter instead of the floor, after all.)
Lately his back end seemed to be sinking and his knees were turning inward. We debated whether or not we should attempt wresling him into a carrier and sustain his surprisingly shrill howls on the drive over to the vets' office to see if they could offer some kind of medicine that might limber him up a little, but the last time we took him in, we couldn't get close enough to the suddenly armed and ferocious box in the back seat, so the vet had to immunize him like a feral, through the slits in the verikennel. Getting him to calm down enough to prance across the counter and show off his gams just wasn't going to happen.
The organic human-grade holistic joint supplement I ordered arrived on our doorstep today. Oh well.
When Scott brought Ween home, his name was Janice and his head was bigger than his body. We found out later (he wasn't always a threat to veterinarians everywhere) that Janice had an undescended testicle. Oh. So he came home a second time as Tofu-Kitty, but soon his habit of belting out a tune in his Siamese tenor each night (a behavior we came to refer to as "Weening Out"), and his tendency to get into fights with socks--and lose every time, earned him the moniker, Weeny. He was a year younger than my resident cat, Small Change, so we got in the habit of calling him Baby Ween. For some reason he also earned an article and became The Ween, sort of like on Leave it to Beaver. No one can remember why, but it stuck. T.S. Eliot would be proud of this cat.
It's hard. Toulouse, one of my other cats, the one who was best friends with Ween, has been searching all corners of the house and meowing so sadly. It's heartbreaking to hear him crying out and not receiving a response. He knows Ween died, but it probably feels as unreal to him as it does to me. Poor baby. He's going to miss having a friend of his own species that he can groom and tussle with. My other kitty, Weezee, sort of tolerates Toulouse, as cats often do with each other.
Scott took Ween to the crematory this afternoon. I guess I'll put his ashes on the "mantle" (there's no fireplace below it, so I don't know what you call it) next to his old friend Small Change who passed on about 8 years ago from liver failure. It's kind of weird, but Ween dying also stirs up a lot of memories of dad dying just a few years ago at this time of year. It feels like someone's always disappearing. Sigh.
I follow Zen, so I wish Weeny an auspicious rebirth and hope he enjoys shaking off his heavy body, trading it in for a bouncy new one. I hope he maybe finds Small Change again (aka, Mr. Big), his feline big "brother" who smacked him around mercilessly, a beating Ween took with the enthusiasm of the little cartoon terrier who always popped back up, right beside the bulldog announcing, "We's pals, ain't we Spike?"
I hope somewhere, someday soon, they'll be curled up purring like a chainsaw in the laundry of someone who loves them dearly.
Take good care of my boys, okay?