My little buddy Homer's heart stopped beating today at 3:14 PM EDT. He died peacefully.
Homer was very full of life until about six weeks ago, when the feline leukemia started kicking in, causing him to eat less and lose weight quickly. Even though I knew the end would come soon, I never gave up on him.
The thing that really sucks about this illness is that you can tell the cats really want to eat. When they hear you open that can of cat food, they immediately perk up and get all excited. Then, when you put a spoonful of food in their bowl, they just sniff it and look up at you like, "No, seriously. Give me something remotely edible." So you open another can of cat food and try again. Same result, so you do it again with a different flavor. But the cat still doesn't eat what you give him, so you start picking human food out of the refrigerator and pantry. Tuna, pepperoni, mozzarella, Skyline chili, hot dogs, etc. Occasionally you find something the cat will eat, but usually you can barely get the cat to eat anything.
Eventually the cat becomes nothing but skin and bone. With almost no fat or muscle remaining on the poor critter's body, he becomes very lethargic. You know the end is near, so you just shower him or her with as much love as you can.
I fucking hate this. I am so god-damn sick of losing all my little buddies like this.
Fortunately Twerk ("Tee-werk") tested negative for the disease last summer (when he had to have his leg amputated). Having tested negative, we made sure he got all the shots he needed, so he should live a long, healthy life. Regarding the amputated leg: He doesn't know the difference. He gets along just fine without it. I've noticed lately that sometimes he appears to use his right hind leg as a substitute for his missing front leg (like when he buries treasures).
Homer wasn't ready to go. He stayed around for at least a week longer than I expected. Fortunately for my sanity, he didn't seem to suffer. Even an hour before he died, after he'd become completely immobile, he would flip his tail when I said his name. That makes it a little easier for me to handle, but I still hate this.
I spent the final six hours of Homer's life right beside him, petting him and holding his paws. I hope that made it easier for him.
I love you, Homer. I'll miss you. Goodbye.
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer