Yesterday evening, our dear, sweet Paul passed away. Jason and I decided to have him put to sleep. He was 14 years old and feeling every minute of it - he could barely walk and was skin and bones. It was a very tough decision because he was still quite lucid. But it was the right one. He went quickly and painlessly. Jason and I buried him in the yard, under a nice memorial that includes a Japanese maple and other plantings.
And we buried him with his Guy. The Guy was his very favorite toy - we bought it for him four years ago. Originally, it was a faux orange fur rectangle filled with catnip. Over the years he gummed most of the fur off and it was a dingy brown color. But, try as we might, he would never let us replace it. That was the only toy he'd play with. He'd carry it around and talk to it while it was in his mouth, then he'd alternately rub his head on it and beat it up. And if it was missing, he'd have us find it. So we thought they should stay together.
Today was hard - the first day without The Buddy. The house feels a little bit emptier without him.
Rachel, his feline companion of 7+ years, is doing all right. We brought him home and brought him inside so she could see him. She fled from his body, hid and later peed on the floor, but after that she seemed better. She still seems a bit distracted and lost. They had a very unique relationship - they weren't related but found each other at the cat shelter where we adopted them. They took very good care of each other and could also be complete jerks to one another. Thankfully, she's taken to Hugo, though not in the same way she took to Paul, but having Hugo around helps, I think. Prior to Hugo, I don't know if she could've survived Paul's death, they were that connected.
So, this is a tribute of sorts to The Buddy, The Orange Guy, The Old Man, The A-hole - Paul. We love him and we miss him.
(Picture by Heather Binns, 2009)