We didn’t opt to bring Melvin’s body home to bury mainly because we live in an apartment and don’t really have a yard. We also didn’t opt for keeping his ashes, but we did bring home his collar though I wasn’t sure what we’d do with it.
Then I looked up and saw the clock I got for my birthday this past August and the answer was obvious:
Click to embiggen.
I should probably tighten it up a bit so it doesn’t look quite so ridiculous. It was a spur of the moment thing. I don’t know how long I’ll keep it there, but for right now it’s in the right place.
It is with a very heavy heart that I announce that Melvin, the Official SEB Cat, has passed away. Melvin came to live with us 8 years ago on my birthday — August 25th, 2004 — and he was the best birthday gift I could have hoped for. We got him from my sister, who had taken him in after he was mauled by a dog. She spent the money at the vet to get him patched up, but already had her own collection of cats and a dog and really couldn’t afford to take on another one. So she called us and we said yes.
He was never much of a lap cat, I can only think of a handful of occasions he ever got into my lap and almost never into anyone else’s, but he did like to be near people. He would sit on the arm of the chair or couch so you could pet him and often he would come up and tap you on the shoulder to get you to follow him to his food dish so he could be petted while he ate. He become an indoor only cat for most of his time with us, something he wasn’t always happy with, but he made the best of it. He moved with us four times over the years and always managed to turn the new place into home.
A pic taken just under a year ago of Melvin hanging out on our computer desk.
Over the last 6 months he had lost a lot of weight dropping nearly 5 pounds and then over this past weekend he took a sudden turn for the worse. He was lethargic and having trouble focusing, dehydrated, not eating, and having trouble using the litter box. A trip to the animal hospital Sunday became a transfer to our regular vet on Monday to the news today that he wasn’t improving despite intravenous fluids and other treatments. He was uncomfortable and tests pointed to a likely cause being pancreatic cancer.
So today Anne and I went to the vet’s office immediately after work where we spent a little time with Melvin to say goodbye. He was conscious, but still unfocused and was obviously uncomfortable despite being on pain medication. The doc came in and administered the drugs that would put him to sleep for the final time. It was stunningly fast. Literally a matter of moments. He licked his lips two or three times as if he was tasting something and then he was still.
Melvin is not the first pet I’ve had to let go, but he is the first one I was there for when the time came. It was a heartbreaking thing to do, but I knew it was the best thing for him. Any other decision I could have made would’ve just prolonged the inevitable and made him suffer unnecessarily. He had a pretty good run at 14 years of age and trying to coax anything more from him would’ve been selfish. I know all of this and yet it doesn’t make me feel any better.
My cat has certain needs and he is quite capable of letting me know what they are:
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Though usually, like at this very moment, he’s sitting directly in front of my LCD monitor when he’s trying to exert his mental mind control on me. That often works because there’s little point in using a computer when you can’t see the screen. If I continue to ignore him, as I’m doing now, I risk him moving around the keyboard and leaning in to get his forehead as close to mine as possible so as to increase the telepathic waves he’s emitting. If that doesn’t work then he’ll gently bite my arm or hand to get my attention, meow in a particularly pathetic way (as he just did), and get right up into my face and purr as though there were no tomorrow. The truly sad part is that he’s almost never without any food and he just wants me to pet him while he’s eating.
Excuse me, I need to go give my cat the attention he demands deserves….
It’s amazing how a change of scenery can affect your attitude. Take Melvin, the Official SEB Cat, and his adventure with moving with us to yet another location. When we moved in with the in-laws he became a lot less vocal than he had been and he developed a tendency to growl at the slightest touch. He never attacked anyone, but he sure was grumpy. I’m sure sharing a house with four other cats after being king of the castle for so long didn’t help.
We’ve been here three weeks now and Melvin joined us a week after we first moved in. He did the usual couple of days of being totally freaked out by every noise he heard and trying to find someplace he could hide, but once he realized he was safe and back to being the only cat in the house he went back to the ways he had when he first came to live with us. Mainly talking up a storm and insisting on being the center of attention. Take the following pictures as an example:
Click to embiggen!
Here he has established himself on the table we’re currently using as a computer desk for our computers in the basement. Annoyed that Anne wants to use her mouse he taps her on the hand as if to say “quit it!”
In this next pic, taken with my cellphone, he makes it clear that it’s time that I stop playing on my computer and start paying attention to him:
In short, he’s back to being king of the castle and the rest of us just live here. Good to have the old Melvin back again.