jude in 2001

four months ago i told our little cat the story of how we met. i told him about how handsome everyone at the SPCA always thought he was, how i used to worry about joe rolling over on him in the middle of the night when we first brought him home, how i loved the way he'd curl up like a snail in the crook of my arm and fall asleep with his chin on my hand. i told him that he'd been the only thing about my time in san francisco that really made me proud. i sat on the toilet lid; he cowered between our shower curtain and liner.

a brass band played in the plaza across the street for hours that afternoon. trumpets puked swing music as joe and then our vet joined me in the apartment, as i gathered up and tried to soothe our terrified, skeletal little cat, as i sat and held him while the sedative took effect and the vet laid him out on our coffee table.

i'm no longer in that apartment every time i stop thinking of other things, but i'm there more often than i thought i'd be. we spent three years giving jude what was ultimately a daily dose of subcutaneous fluids, trundling him off to the vet for urinalysis and blood tests, feeding him (and chuck) pasty prescription food. specialists would make me feel like shit for not having $30,000 for a kidney transplant, and poor, sweet jude broke my heart every time he forgave me for holding him down and putting a needle in his back. i can't tell you how good it felt to rip the IV bag hook from our kitchen wall that afternoon in september. i should have used it on the fucking brass band.

joe and i went up to animal care and control in harlem today. we met ziggy, a sweet adult stray, a grey and white fellow who kneaded his towel and butted my head when i opened his cage. "he's a really great cat," joe said, "but it feels like he's someone else's great cat." i don't know if we're ready for one who isn't ours.

i miss you, puppy, and i'm so sorry.


jesse.anne.o said...

I'm so sorry. How they forgive us for the things we have to do to keep them well but they don't understand is the saddest. But thankfully it's us, doing the things that do help, and not any of the people who don't deserve animals. He was so lucky to have you.

I forgot how I found your blog but I work at the A's offices in midtown.

tanthalas said...

It may not be any comfort, but I can almost feel your loss still as if it were my own - thank you for sharing.
I'm sure he forgave you for everything because he knew... he just *knew* how much you really loved him. And how much you still love him. Projecting warm thoughts and well wishes eastward, and agree that Jude was one lucky cat indeed.

Jamie said...

I'm so sorry. He was truly great, wasn't he?

One day a cat will feel like yours. Sometimes it's best when they find you?

Rachel (heart of light) said...

Aw, he was such a sweet tiger-ish cat. Just wait until it feels right. Some animals are irreplaceable and you have to give yourself time to make space for a new one.

Giovanna said...

this post made me cry. sorry about your cat.