Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Long Ride Home

So today began on a sad note.

We made the heartbreaking decision to help our beloved cat, Moyet, cross the Rainbow Bridge this morning. His overall health had been declining for several weeks now, and when we went to change his cat litter earlier today we noticed that he hadn't been using it over the past few days. We found him curled up on his favorite couch, very lethargic and unable to stand.

Already knowing the inevitable outcome (having watched his three brothers go through similar declines over the years), I drove to the emergency animal hospital with a heavy heart. While I drove, I kept one hand on his tiny head, stroking his fur and talking to him. I thanked him for being a good cat, told him how very much I loved being his human dad for 16 years. I apologized for those times when I may have been short on patience or sharp in tone. I asked that he forgive me for those times when life got so busy that I may have walked by him without notice. I drove him up William Floyd Parkway, past the supermarket where I first spied him in a box amongst a handful of kittens. I asked him if he remembered how I accepted him from the little girl with the imploring eyes, how he clung to my t-shirt and meowed at my face the whole ride home. When we passed the townhouse that had been his first home, I wondered if he remembered meeting his other dad, tired and spotted with paint on that sunny day, who first regarded me with an exasperated look of "Oh, no...what did you bring home now?" and then melted the instant he spotted the little ball of fur Moyet was back then.

During that painful ride to the vet this morning, I sorted out Moyet's life, arranging our mutual memories on the pages of a mental scrapbook only I could see. My beautiful, ever-youthful Moyet, with his forever kitten-like voice. Little, red-haired devilish Moyet, who would just as soon nip a finger that found an uncomfortable spot on his belly as he would rub up against you and pur like an engine. My resilient little cat, watching as our household feline numbers dwindled from four, to three, to two as the years passed until he remained one, the lone survivor. My proud little tiger, learning to make room for not one, but two dogs. My little king of a cat who would eagerly shove his head at the younger of our Cocker Spaniels, encouraging him to lick his ears for him.

When the time came today and I held my beautiful Moyet as the kindly, compassionate veterinarian administered his gentle relief, I cried and prayed and hoped that the story of the Rainbow Bridge is true. That as I watched his heart slow, and then come to a graceful stop, that this loving creature's essence would be transported to another time and dimension where he would be made whole and young and strong again. A warm and sunny place where his arthritic limbs strengthened, his coat regained its shine, his body rid itself of disease and pain, and he came face to face with his brothers again, to forever lounge in the sun, frolic after each other like kittens, and cuddle together in a mass of brotherly love.

More than anything, as I left the animal hospital with an empty cat carrier and a broken heart, I hoped that Moyet would be there on that elusive other side someday – in whatever form it will take – ready to greet me when my own time comes to make the journey.

Pulling out into traffic this morning, I shed tears of thanks for my little Moyet, who shared life's highway with me for 16 years — never asking for anything but an occasional acknowledgment, a mere scratch on the head, yet offered me unconditional love just for the asking.

Rest in peace, Moyet.
3/17/93 to 5/10/09


Anonymous said...

We are so sorry to hear that lovable Moyet is gone. But we know and we are sure that he knew that he was loved and appreciated every day of his life!
We hope that he is across the Rainbow Bridge playing "kitty tag" with our Missy and Mushy.
We love yo uguys and if you need anything let us know,

George & Seth

Anonymous said...

Hey Vince & Brother Vinny
Im so sorry for the day as it started. Moyet as well as all the other pets you have had over the years knew fully well he was greatly loved. And the tribute you wrote for your little friend was heart felt and sincere. I think the unconditional love a pet can give its human friend is a specail one, one of trust 1st and then unconditional love!
And I think my lesson learned from your lose is not to take for granted the look for approval from a family pet...And I would like to make sure from now on my pets knew for sure when they take that walk on the Rainbow Bridge that I appreciated there looks at me for approval and love!
Bill Edwards said...

Dear Vince,
I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved Moyet. I know someone who has an email address catluvr?? and I would love to send her "The Long Ride Home" if you say okay.

Vince Liaguno said...

Of course, Helen. Thanks for the kind words.

Seth & George, Bill...thanks, guys.

Anonymous said...

Dear Vinny and Vince,
Our deepest sympathy to the both of you on the loss of your beloved Moyet. We both fully understand the sadness and our hearts go out to you. May your wonderful memories of Moyet and knowing that your friends care, help you thru this time.
Love from,
John and Steve

Amanda By Night said...

Hi Vince,

You don't know me, but I visit your blog and read the Literary Six (and loved it). I am so moved by this post about your dear cat. Moved to tears because I know that feeling so well. The depth of happiness and sadness we feel for our animals knows no boundaries. I really hope that in writing your beautiful post you have found some solace.

My departed cat, Barney is buried at this beautiful pet cemetary about 25 minutes from here. After my parents passed in 2005, I didn't have the heart to go visit him for fear of how I would react. I just went to see him for the first time last month and I cried and cried and it felt so good. I hope that you find peace in those tears like I have.

Best to you,

Vince Liaguno said...

Thank you, John & Steve. Your kind words mean the world.

Amanda, thanks so much for stopping by and for sharing your story. Perhaps now Barney and Moyet have become friends because of our connection here.