Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bye, Bye, Bo-bie

I had a feeling this would happen. Mike left on a two-month sailing trip, and shortly thereafter Bo began to fail. Poor kitty cried all night for the last two nights in a row. It was not fun for any of us (that would be me, Jack, Scout, and Bo - except for me they are all cats). No matter what I did for Bo he could not relax, barely slept. We were all up much of the night. During the day things were a little better so I didn't call the vet until late in the day, thinking Bo might get better, but then he started in on the crying again. Heartbreaking. He couldn't eat, didn't even want water. I called the vet; they couldn't get him in that day, but said bring him in the next day at 9 a.m.

When I went to bed I fully expected to be wakeful most of the night, worrying that I was making the wrong decision for Bo. Surprisingly, I slept well. I did have to get up several times with Bo, but when I was in bed, I slept soundly. When I woke up I felt calm, and I took that as a sign that I had made the right decision for Bo.

My friend, Linda, who is also a "cat person" once told me that we (humans) usually wait too long to make that final decision. She's right, and I know that it is usually selfish; we want to keep them around a little longer, but that's for us. Or maybe we just aren't sure it's "time," so we let things go one more day and then yet one more day. I kept that in mind.

No one, animal (or human), can live forever. Bo had had a good ride. He had nicks in both ears from fights, he'd roamed most of San Jose, El Dorado, Fresno, downtown Benicia and, finally, the Southampton area of Benicia (pretty much all of central and nothern Cali). He had the dubious good fortune of being our cat before I decided cats should be corrralled behind escape-proof cat-fencing, so he got to roam. He lived The Life! He knew O.J. and Callie, in their heydey. O.J. and Callie both "moved on" bofore Bo did. Bo lived longer than any other cat that we'd ever had. Could be that was why it was so hard to make that "final" decision. But... was time.

I took Bo to the Animal Clinic of Benicia today, October 29, 2008. The staff was kind, thoughtful, and caring. This is where we brought Callie in 2003 and I remembered how kind they were. Bo didn't want to come out of the carrier but, once out, he seemed relaxed. He rubbed his head on me, as though to say "thanks," and was happy to be bundled into a warm towel. The staff took him, briefly, into the back room to receive his injection. Then we were left alone, the two of us, to let the sedative take effect.

I talked to him, told him he'd been a good kitty, talked a little about all the adventures he'd had, and asked him to "say Hi to Callie, O.J., Tony, and Leah." His eyes stayed open but he was completely relaxed, under the sedation.

I knocked on the door to let the staff know he was fully sedated, and that I had said my good-byes. The doctor came in, gave the final injection, and a few minutes later asked if I wanted a few minutes with Bo. I asked, "Is he gone, then?" The vet nodded, yes.

I shook my head, no. I had said my good-byes already, earlier before I'd brought Bo to the clinic. The staff will sprinkle Bo's ashes over "Bubbling Brook" in Napa. I don't know where that is, and I don't really care. The ashes are just what's left from his body. His spirit is already with O.J., Callie, Tony, and Leah, the other cats he knew while he lived with us.

Update (12/16/08): Bo's "country burial" actually took place at Bubbling Well Pet Memorial Park, in Napa. More info here.

I like to think that they are all hangin' with my Gram Ware (who wasn't that much of a lover of cats OR dogs, but is now probably surrounded by them because since 2000 when Gram died we (the family) have all sent our beloved pets to be with her). Sorry, Gram! Bo loved his comforts. He loved a fire in the fireplace. He didn't like getting a bath, but he did seem to appreciate how much better he felt after Mike gave him a bath and a good combing. Bo adjusted to Leah, then to Tony, then to Jack and Scout.

Bo loved his meals, his little bed in the garage (where he had his private "apartment") and taking a nap anyplace where there was a spot of sunshine.

I will say that he was the most independent cat that Mike and I have ever had. Bo went his own way, did his own thing, and lived his life the way he wanted, no matter what anyone else thought!
Bo also had more nicknames than ANY other pet I've EVER had! Here are just some of them:


Tomorrow, when I remember the rest of them, I'll add them.

For now, bye-bye Bo-bie!


Judy said...

Thank you Debbie, that was a lovely and loving tribute to a cat who deserved to be remembered with dignity. I always liked the Bo-ster. I may have to face the same decision soon with our beloved Brizzy, and you've given me much to think about. I surely do admire you. And my heart is with you. Love you!

Heather and Spencer said...

Sorry about Bo!

Mary Bradley said...

Your tribute to Bo made me teary and thankful that you were there with him and it wasn't us who had to take him in. I'll always remember him and his morning tuna smoothies! He's happily romping with his friends.

Mike Hansen, dad said...

Well written Deb . . . I did not know Bo very well but your experience brought tears to my eyes. Long live Bo, not only in our hearts, but in the place where special animals go to await us on the other side.

Queenly Things said...

No matter what I always cry at these stories. Pets are just so important and so much a part of one's family.

Kristen said...

I'm so sorry Deb. I know how you must be feeling. It is always so hard to lose a pet. I still miss Lucy every day.