Sixteen years ago this month, I stopped some bratface neighborhood kids from throwing rocks at a skinny, ratty looking black and white cat. That cat followed me home and lived on my steps until I let him come inside. It seems like it was weeks, but it was really probably only days.
Every time I went out on the porch, that skinny cat would flop on my steps and roll around and purr until I came out to pet him. I was sure he must belong to someone since he was so sweet. A storm was headed toward us, so I brought him in to stay on the porch. In the meanwhile, I put up “found” signs and took out an ad in the paper. When no one responded, Matt looked at me from where kitty was laying on his chest and said, “Well, I guess we have another cat.” (Did I ever mention how much I love that man?)
We named him Merlin because I’m an Arthurian legend junkie…and also a Labyrinth junkie. He’s always been playful and loving and so grateful to have a home. He loved the kids – Killian was his boy and always tried to convince us that Merlin uses a monocle, wears a top hat and talks in a British accent when we’re not around. And Abby, my former daycare girlie, was his girl. No matter how evil she was, he always went to her. One morning, he flopped on the table while she was eating breakfast to be by her. We spent the rest of the morning chasing after him with wet wipes because in his desire to get petted, he laid in her waffles. Then he led us around the house with waffle pieces hanging off his ass. Silly cat.
He was super pissy when we brought the kittens home, and Morrighan wanted so desperately to be his friend. She’d wait until he was asleep and then go lay by him. He’d wake up, whap her in the head and then find someplace else to sleep. Wash, rinse repeat until he decided it was easier to just let her sleep by him.
He was a cuddler with people and cats. He was especially fond of anyone with allergies – like Brynn and my friend Di. Oh, he looooooved Di. He wanted to be her very best friend any time she was over.
After sixteen wonderful years with him, we had to make the extremely difficult choice today to put Merlin down. Early stage kidney failure eventually becomes late stage kidney failure. In the last couple weeks, he’d lost an alarming amount of weight. And lately, he couldn’t keep anything down on the infrequent occasions that he tried to eat. This morning, when he couldn’t even pee, I knew his body was shutting down and it wouldn’t be long until he was in a lot of pain.
After talking and crying with Matt and the boys, we brought him in to the vet and said goodbye to our beautiful boy. I’ll miss you so much.