Mourn the Passing - Celebrate the Life
by Wayne Flaherty
A few minutes ago I signed the death warrant for our beloved cat, Floyd. It is one of the hardest things I have ever done. Knowing I did it to end his suffering is small consolation. He was in pain and I had the power to end it. Floyd's stomach and lungs had filled with so much fluid that he was struggling to breath. I could have run all kinds of tests and tried special drugs but that would only have prolonged his suffering with the end result being the same. For his sake it was better to end it now.
Floyd came to us 14 years ago when he was only 2 years old. As the only animal in the house we became his playmates. He is the only cat I have ever heard of who would fetch. Toss anything away and he would promptly bring it back and drop it at my feet. He was fearless as I learned when I threw a ball into a box across the room. Floyd ran at top speed across the room and dove head first into the box, oblivious to its contents. That all ended when our other cat, Annie joined our merry little band. I was happy that he finally had a playmate of his own kind .
I have not known many cats but Floyd has to rank right up there with the smartest of them. When I faxed documents he would sit and watch each document enter and exit the machine. He also had another ability that remains unmatched in my mind. Over the years I watched our other cat, Annie, race across the room and leap onto the coffee table. From there she jumped to the back of the sofa and as often as not disappeared out of sight behind the sofa. Her life is replete with failed attempts to jump from one level to another. Not so with Floyd. Every jump entailed 2 things. He would look at his potential landing site, make all the calculations necessary, then jump. In 14 years I never saw him make a mistake when he jumped on some object. Each jump was as precise as possible. He always jumped just high enough to land where he wanted. He never once jumped too low. His calculations were always right on target and his muscles always took him right where he wanted to go.
Floyd was a gentle soul and never complained if his food or water dish was empty. Once, when his food dish was empty, food pellets were placed on the floor for him and Annie. By accident, she had more pellets than he did. When he finished his pellets he didn't crowd over to help her finish. Instead, he simply reached a paw over and raked over the pellets he wanted. In all his years he never once crowded Annie out of the single food dish they shared. Instead, he sat calmly behind her and waited until she finished eating.
Treats were a daily event for both cats. Floyd, however, discovered a secret way to get extra treats but he never told Annie about his discovery. My computer is in my bedroom so I kept some treats nearby. When Floyd wanted treats from my special stash, he would jump on my bed, put one paw on my shoulder, and pat me on the head with the other paw. I will miss that personal contact.
No amount of money could ever pay for the privilege and joy of Floyd's presence in this house. I will never forget Floyd as long as I live.