Thursday, August 24, 2006

Good-Bye to Tom the Bomb

Our cat Tom recently lost a lot of weight. He usually loses weight in the summer but not to this extent.

To make a long story short, he needed to be laid away.

Wednesday night was our last night with Tom.

We adopted Tom about ten years ago when we lived in San Jose. I took my daughter, my only child at the time, to the shelter.

I tried to steer her towards an adult cat, but she fell in love with a little black kitten.

We took him home and he hid from us at first. After a few days, he decided to come out.

When we left San Jose, he came with us to our new town. Moving wasn't his favorite thing. He did lots of feline complaining in the new place.

Tom eventually settled in and things went back to normal. We had moved to a house with a yard that was in a semi-rural area. Now Tom could go outdoors.

After a while Tom began leaving poop spots everywhere he laid. I banished him from my bedroom after I had to wash my quilt for the third time in a week.

I banished him from the couches too. He wasn't a happy camper. (BTW, this means they need their anal gland drained. I didn't know that at the time.)

He also had litterbox issues. When he pooped, the whole house reeked. We could scoop it immediately and still the scent lingered. One of his favorite things to do, or at least it seemed that way, was to poop in it while someone was taking a bath. The lovely aroma of Tom wafted through the bathroom to curl the nose hairs of the hapless bather. That's how he got his nickname.

Then we started getting dogs. Tom HATED dogs. The dogs were never mean to him. They tried to play with him, but he wasn't having it.

Tom wasn't super affectionate. He would let us pet him for about two minutes and then he bit our hands.

Eventually, between his stinky butt, his hatred for the dogs and his insistence on sneaking in my room, he ended up living on the porch. He had his own bed and no dogs were raiding his food dishes. Best of all, I didn't have to smell his butt!

But then he would scream at night as loud as he could, usually around two a.m. I threw more than one pitcher of water on Tom the Bomb due to my irritation at being awakened. He soon got wise to that. He would scream at the door and run the minute I got to it.

One morning at five a.m., I went after him with a hose. I was five months pregnant and in nothing but a t-shirt and underwear chasing him. Suddenly I noticed a man walking his dog staring at me. Hello there, neighbor. Don't mind the crazy, fat lady.

Tom got to come in the house occasionally. But he soon realized that between SJ and the dogs, the porch was a better gig. It was all his.

The sick Tom of recent days was a completely different cat. He wanted to be petted and loved. He even purred a little bit.

I talked to the vet yesterday regarding some tests and I realized it was time.

Even though Tom wasn't eating much, I purchased him some tuna. He made a valiant effort to eat it. We petted him and told him good-bye. The two adult dogs had to stay the night outside. Tom got the run of the house just the way he liked it. He snuck up on the couch while everybody was sleeping.

I realized in the last few days, he was not just the surly cat who lived on the porch. He represented the beginning of our marriage, one of the first animals we owned together. He was the first animal my daughter picked out for herself. He's been with us through two pregnancies, one miscarriage and four dogs, ten if you count the puppies.

I've probably scooped a thousand of his cat poops.

I brushed him for a while this morning and took his picture. He took his last ride to the vet in that bright green pet carrier he hated.

I handed him over but I couldn't say good-bye. I hope he knew that we were saying good-bye last night.

20 Comments:

Blogger beadinggalinMS said...

R.I.P. Tom.
Huggiez to you and your family.

11:29 AM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

Rest in peace, Tom.

11:40 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

I've always thought it really shitty that we can't speak to our pets in those final moments, to make sure they understand. I hope everyone is feeling better soon.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Lori said...

Rest in peace Tom.

12:40 PM  
Blogger nobody1001 said...

You all did a good job by honoring Tom's life this way. I had never seen him particularly affectionate so I am doubly glad that all of you and him had such a good last evening together.

1:40 PM  
Blogger Roxanne said...

I'm sure that Tom has a house all to his own now...couches a plenty...and someone new to clean his litterbox for him. What a nice tribute.

1:59 PM  
Blogger Ms.L said...

:(

GoodBye Dear Tom...

2:31 PM  
Blogger MsCellania said...

Gosh, that last paragraph got me. I am really bawling here.
Pets' passing is so hard. No wonder people get parrots.
Sounds like you had a great Last Night with him.
I forget; do you have any more kitties?

4:27 PM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

Beading gal and Bearette - Thank you.

Liz - That was the hardest part, thinking how scared he probably was.

Lori - Thank you.

Nobody1001 - We should have had more evenings like that before he got sick, poor thing.

Roxanne - Thanks, how sweet.

Ms. L. - Thank you.

Vickee - I was bawling too. We don't have any more kitties and since I have been sneezing all day, it's a good bet there won't be any more.

7:45 PM  
Blogger MsCellania said...

I don't think you do get scared at the end. It's kind of like waiting to deliver - you know what's coming and you just
Want
It
To
Be
Over

I know our dear old Dog tried to make it easy for us. He tried to wander off and die on the back acreage. When I chased him down with the insulin and testing kit, he sighed, got up and slowly walked back to the landscaped portion of the land. And laid beside me all night - dh put up a tent so I could sleep out there with him. I got some insulin in him, he let me drizzle a little water down his throat and he slept a little. He died on father's day, 2003. I don't know that I've gotten that Rotten Old Dog's death. He was a great dog, but always wanted to be Alpha.
Anyway, I'm sorry your Tom is gone, Carolyn. He will be missed. I hope J is doing okay.

9:21 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

Carolyn- it's just too sad. I'm sorry for your loss.

9:23 PM  
Blogger Joke said...

Ouch.

-J.

5:34 AM  
Blogger BabelBabe said...

Poor Tom, sleep well, little cat.

Carolyn, it's just wrong to make one of your readers CRY this early in the morning. I am just saying, m'dear.

7:09 AM  
Blogger Mary Poppins said...

It was a very touching post....
of course I laughed at:
"Hello there, neighbor. Don't mind the crazy, fat lady."

But having lost a pet cat recently...I felt touched...

RIP
Tom

7:57 AM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

Vickee - Oh, what a good dog Mommy you are.

PJ - Thank you.

Joke - You summed it up in one word.

Babelbabe - You make me laugh.

Mary - I can laugh about the story now. At the time, I was mortified.

9:31 AM  
Blogger Chelle said...

Awww I'm so sorry about Tom! :(

11:15 PM  
Blogger Bear and a Bee said...

What a touching tribute to Tom. It made me teary-eyed and I'm a dog person!

10:15 PM  
Blogger Gingers Mom said...

I'm so sorry about your Tom. Putting my cat down was among one of my very hardest things to do. I think he knew...

2:20 PM  
Blogger Cari said...

What a nice and fun tribute.

8:57 PM  
Blogger Crazedmomof4 said...

Sorry about Tom. I hope your kids are all right. I'm sure having the puppies right now helps keep your minds off of it. It sounds like you made him very comfortable for his last night.

7:35 PM  

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