Well, I hope Rex is at peace. I'm certainly not. I am feeling tremendous guilt over making that decision. Is that normal?
(If you're thinking to yourself, "Oh heavens, not another post about that cat", please feel free to close the window and move onto the next blog on your list. I won't be offended. Heck, I won't even know. Because, yes, this is another post about that cat.)
We had Rex for 19 years. Mr. P and I got him less than two weeks after we were married. The OnlyChild never knew a day without him in her life. It's strange not having him around. I keep seeing him out of the corner of my eye. I keep hearing him meow from the basement. Except it's not him - it's just my imagination. And my guilt.
He was called Rex because Mr. P wanted to get a dog but I wanted a cat. So we compromised. Sort of. We got a cat (yay for me) and gave it a typical dog's name. But the name was so appropriate. I wrote in a letter to my mother, "He Rex the curtains, he Rex the furniture, he Rex a good night's sleep" and during the holidays, "He Rex the Christmas tree." He did - he climbed right up the middle of our artificial tree, knocking off the branches and sending ornaments flying. He did it every day until I finally had to start locking him in the laundry room while we were at work.
He had his own unique personality, like all our beloved pets do. He was a scrappy little fellow when he was younger, constantly fighting with other cats in the neighbourhood to secure his territory. Of course, these fights always took place at night in the back yard (another way in which he Rex a good night's sleep). He was terribly entertaining when we had guests as he would visit each person and show his affection by pouncing on them or climbing up their pant legs.
He loved snuggling, but hated to be picked up. He loved belly rubs but was equally fond of grabbing a hand with all four paws (and all 20? claws). He lost the tips of his ears to frostbite when he was a few months old. He lived in four different towns and six different houses with us. He spent a couple of summers hanging out with my brother in law, and another summer with my nephew Chris when we went back east.
In his last two months, he slept more than he was awake, co-opting the dogs' bed, much to their chagrin. They let him be; maybe they realized he was tired and worn out from a long, busy life.
I hope he knew how much we loved him. I hope he knows now how much we still do.
Thank you for all your kind comments. And for not once telling me, "he was just a cat". Because, you know, he wasn't just a cat. They never are.