29 December 2008

Rest in Peace, Abbie

We took Abbie for his last visit to the vet this morning. He's been declining for the last three or four weeks -- arthritic, semi-incontinent (though he tried, heaven knows), not much more than a familiar furry presence camped out on the heating vent in the living room.

He stopped eating a few days ago, even tuna, and stopped drinking voluntarily yesterday. Up to that point, though, he still yowled to be picked up and placed on the bathroom sink, his favorite oasis. But this morning he refused the syringe of water I was trying to administer, and was too weak to stand.

The vet said that his temperature was 92 degrees, way below normal. Clearly his systems were shutting down. They say you know when a pet's time has come, often because there's no there there anymore. But Abs was present until the last moment -- vocalizing, though faintly, registering his surroundings, nestling in for strokes, looking at us with his big blue eyes.

Being more or less snowbound the last couple of weeks turned out to be kind of a blessing; lots of lap time for the Abster, two full-time servants tending to his needs. This is the last picture I took of him, earlier this month, with the capacious Stella Luna in the background. I posted a birthday tribute when he turned 19 last April. We'll toast him in absentia on his 20th. You were a damn good cat, Abbie, and we'll miss you more than words can tell.

9 comments:

Gerrie said...

He lived a wonderful life full of love and that is why he stayed engaged with you to the end. Our PW died almost that way when she was 20.

geeeee said...

Rest in peace, sweet Abbie. You lived a long and happy life, with humans who loved you. May you be reunited with your old pals Tigray and Flash at the Rainbow Bridge.

Mary said...

Tears for Abbie from Gary and Mary.

Gail F said...

I raise toasts to all friends & family who have passed - human and animal.

Lynne said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Abbie - I know how difficult it is to lose a loved pet - shortly after adopting our little Stella Cat- (not long after visiting you and Jerry) Stewart passed --- a huge surprize... he was very young and just dropped to the floor. Savannah, (a young woman who works with me at Art Center Theater) was with me the afternoon of Stewart's demise... we were doing some private coaching for a role she was to play. That evening at rehearsal I found a tiny china kitty on the director's table - a gift from my young friend. That kitty now resides on my dresser, amid my special china boxes... it is a tribute to Stew and to the sweetness of a sympathetic friend. Please know that I am sending you a virtual china kitty - as a rememberance - as a tribute to your Abbie and to your long and loving relationship with a wonderful companion.
Lynne

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to you and Jerry. Its heartbreaking to lose one of our "fur babies". You were so lucky to have him for 19 years...I am glad you still have other Fur friends at home to comfort you.....I am sending a big hug.....and Monamie and Mikey are sending their best snuggles...Donna

Anonymous said...

So sorry about Abbie. A harder journey for the people invoved than the kittie, I think. After I've lost cats, I kept thinking I saw them out of the corner of my eye - seems to take a while before their spirit fully vacates the space they've been living in.

Linda

Anonymous said...

I was so sorry to hear about your Abbie. I did smile when I saw your picture of him nestled into Stella Luna. As our ancient Mittens got older she was a virtual heat seeker. We even found her on top of our wood stove one morning. Ed always banked the fire at night. We can't figure out how she had the nerve to leap up onto the stove. She looked like it was the warmest she had been in her whole life. (A little like Sam McGee) I will raise my glass to Abbie too. Love, Beth

Terry said...

The luckiest cats on earth live at your house. I know Abbie had a wonderful, well-loved life. My sympathy to you and Jerry.