December 20, 2013

My cat recently passed away. I wanted to write a brief story of Loki the cat. So here it is. Some of the early time is a little blurry now (it was years ago and I was going through quite a bit at the time).

In 2001 my ex-husband and I were going through our separation. We had a cat (Monty) and a dog (Winston) at the time. I stayed in the house where we were living and kept the dog and the cat with me while we worked things out.

After a time I moved into an apartment in Stirling with my daughter and my ex husband moved into the house. Because he was moving into the house we decided it would be best if he kept the cat and the dog that had so gotten used to living there.

After living in the apartment in Stirling I then was able to move into a house still very close to where we were living. It was in fact my ex husbands Grandmothers house. She had passed away and my ex inlaws rented the house to me. It was at this time I believe that we decided to get another cat and dog. Discussing with my daughter if there were any cats at the barn that needed a home she talked about a cat that she called Midnight. He was the only black cat at the barn.

Once I met him I knew that we had to adopt him and have him as our pet. I renamed him Loki and Julia called him for the most part Midnight – but would sometimes call him Loki. Loki was not her favourite cat but she loved him all the same. He and I however became best friends. We also adopted Lola the dog (but her’s is another story)

When the decision to move back out west was made I was heart-broken as I would have to temporarily (I thought it was temporary at the time anyway) leave Loki behind along with Lola. I hated to do it but since we were driving from here to Saskatchewan and Loki did not travel well it was best if he stayed until everything was setup and I could come and get him by myself or have him flown out. My ex and my ex inlaws volunteered to look after Lola and Loki.

After a few years out west another decision was made to move back to Ontario. As soon as we came back Loki was ours again and we moved into the old house (my ex had moved out into a new place with his wife and since the house was still owned by the ex inlaws they let us stay there). The three amigos – me the cat and the kid. It was pretty great. Loki even saved my life once!

Late in February of 2008 Julia was off at her Dad’s for the weekend and I was up in bed snoring away, when Loki woke me up. He was digging at my bedroom door and howling. I woke and yelled at him that he better have a damn good reason for waking me up at 4 in the morning and he did. When I followed him downstairs, as we walked passed the fridge, something popped. I screamed and the cat ran to the back door.

I called my ex-father-inlaw and tried to explain (at 4 in the morning) that the fridge smelled like smoke and was making popping noises. He came over and found out that cable that goes from the stove plug to the basement was sparking and smoking! It had frayed over time and one of the wires was bare. Right above where the cable goes to the basement and where the fridge is, water had been leaking from the roof, which may have been the cause of the sparks, popping and smoke from the cable. He told me that it would have started a fire had I not called him when I did. I remember crying after everything had been fixed (the power turned off to the stove etc), curled up on the couch with Loki so grateful that he had been there to wake me up. It was so amazing. My cat was an actual hero to me.

It wasn’t long that the three of us moved into Belleville. Not going to lie. We had some rough times. One year we had fleas at our old apartment. Complaint after complaint about the indoor outdoor animals bring fleas into the building yielded no results. They took their toll on Loki but I had a new job and I could moved the best kid in the world and the best cat in the world to a place that was although not swanky – flea free and mold free (that is also a story for another time). Then another move brings us to this year.

With the kid off to school it was just me and Loki. I had grown very dependant on his company even while the kid was at home. Teenager (even the cool ones) do not really like to hang out and chat with their Mom very often. It was me most times chillin’ with the cat. We had our routines together when she was at home. And when she left Loki and I had our own routines.

He was always a healthy and vocal kitty. But in the last couple months he had not been feeling well. He would always follow me around. Right from the beginning he was always my shadow. Never more than a couple feet away from me unless Julia was around. He always wanted so much attention from her (not that she wanted to give it but it never stopped him from trying poor devil haha). So when he started not following me as much or not playing as much I was worried he was starting to show his age.

But then in October/November (of this year, just such a short time ago) he just wouldn’t eat. I was needless to say but I will say it anyway, extremely worried. I tried everything and finally made an appointment with a vet. The next day he seemed to bounce back. He was following me again and eating! I was so happy. I had sat with him so many times when he didn’t want to get up or eat and cried and begged for him not to leave me and had even prayed (once in a blue moon) to whoever was listening not to take my kitty away.

But joy! He was ok! I was so happy. He was eating and drinking and following me around. He was putting back on the weight he had lost. Even playing with his toys and such.

Until 2 weeks ago. This time was worse than the last time. He was rapidly losing any weight he had gained back from the month previous. He was unable to properly move his legs. I could get him to eat very little and drink water or milk. I would come home every day at lunch and again do everything I could think of to get him to try and eat something. I had stayed awake crying for three days before the night he died because there seemed like nothing I could do. I had resolved in my mind to make another vet appointment and spend whatever I had. However, on the 10th at lunch time he was even worse than I could imagine. I did not want to go back to work. I just wanted to stay with him and hold him and pet him and tell him how much I loved him. After work that day I came home and he was in the hallway. I looked at his little face and knew what was happening.

He could not move. He was waiting for me. I picked him up in my arms and put him in the livingroom. I sat with him and talked to him and told him how much I loved him and begged him to hold on and that we would go to the vet tomorrow and it would be ok. He was so scared. When I would move from his side or stop petting him he would try and look around and get up to find me. After some time it happened. He shuddered and was struggling. He was lying on his side and trying to run. I could feel his fear and I was was so scared. But I wrapped him up in a blanket and help onto him and we went outside. I sat on the cold deck with him looking out at the sky telling him that there would never be another kitty like him and that I loved him. When he stopped moving and breathing I think I could feel my heart break because he was gone forever. I sat for a long time with him outside in my arms.

I slept on my couch that night. Looking at him across the room, hoping to see his tail move and that I would wake up and he would be looking for breakfast. I drove him the next day to the farm where he was born and my ex father in law helped to bury him on the hill. I left him wrapped in one of his favourite blanket and had his other over his head. I could not do it myself. After he had buried him and I caught my breath from crying I placed a rock over so that I could find the spot again.

I still have a hard time believing that he is not here. I accidently talk to him or look for him. Turn around to say something. Or go to feed him in the morning while my coffee is brewing. I will be fine for longer stretches of time as long as I continually keep my mind occupied. But that night and the next day are so clear in my head. I have the worst memory but that night I can see, feel, hear clear as day. I feel like I let him down. I saved my life once and I couldn’t save his.