Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Farewell, Joey, and Happy Trails!

So you've probably noticed that our blogging has been a bit sporadic, at best, recently. And today I'm going to talk about why that is. On Christmas Day I had to bid a sad farewell to Joey the Miracle Cat, my good buddy for the past decade, as he finally grew weary of the battle. Readers of this blog know that we lost Joey's younger brother Mikey in late August to a fast-acting cancer. So now my house is officially kitty-less, and I am bereft and haven't had the oomph for blogging.

Why, you might ask, do I refer to Joey as "Joey the Miracle Cat"? Well, sit back and put your feet up and I'll tell you the story of this amazing cat. I adopted Mikey and Joey a little over ten years ago, when they were about three and six, respectively. (They came pre-named; I called them my two little mechanics from the Bronx.)

Shortly after I adopted them, Joey wandered into the street and got hit by a car. I rushed him to Dove Lewis, where they told me he was unlikely to make it through the night. But he did make it through the night, and then another and then another. Thanks to the folks at Dove Lewis, a couple of kitty specialists, and especially to my vet, Kerri Jackson, he survived the crash. He had his jaw glued shut for a couple of months so it could repair itself, and I fed him through a tube in his stomach. He came out of it all short one eye and one lung lobe (we found out about the latter later), and slightly brain-damaged from the pain medication -- but also with a zest for life I've rarely seen in any cat. Every day was a gift to Joey -- and to all who knew him -- and he reveled in all that life had to offer.

You could not ask for a more easy-going, easy-to-love cat. Almost two years ago he was diagnosed with a tumor in his abdomen, and I thought we were going to lose him. But he persevered. Then, about six months ago, we found a second tumor in his chest cavity. He struggled more with the stairs, and I often had to "helicopter" him up to the bedroom. But he ate, and he groomed, and he played (he loved his Undercover Mousie), and he purred. He happily rode in the car so that he could come with us to the beach, and when we arrived he walked through his new abode as if he'd always lived there. Nothing rattled Joey. He especially loved sitting in front of the gas fireplace until his bones were like rubber. He could be anywhere in the house and hear the fan kick on and he would march with a sense of urgency to plop down right in front.

I've loved and lost many wonderful cats over the years, but Joey truly was in a class by himself. There will be new cats in my life, but his (and Mikey's) are awfully big paws to fill. A fond farewell to you, Joey my friend, and a big thanks for the wonderful moments and memories. And now I can get back to thinking about books. And blogs. I promise.

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