Even though i have had pets all my life, i consider Cloud my first baby. Before him, i had a dog, Sam, she was a pit-bull.
I loved that dog for sure but i was younger and at an age where you don’t appreciate things as much as you should, and for reasons i don’t feel are relevant to this post she was living with my father and not me. I was ok with that, because i was too busy with my friends. So sometime later when i was more mature and could appreciate a pet i was driving to my dad/sisters house. I think we were going out to lunch with my grandmother. On the way i saw a sign for free kittens, this is an important part of the story because i lied to my mom and told her i found an abandoned cat so that she would let me keep him, chances are, she knew i was full of shit and let me keep him anyway. So when i went out with my sister and grandmother i talked a bit about the sign i saw and my desire to get one of these kittens. My sister, an animal lover of the highest capacity had no problem helping me make this happen. In fact, I’m pretty sure the story we told my mom was her idea. So after lunch when we went home and my grandmother headed on her way my sister and i drove to the house. 2 kids who looked liked they were going to smoke pot (not that i judge) were coming out of the house, we asked about the sign, one kid said “i think there is 1 left”. The other kid, who lived at the house went inside, and came out holding the cutest fluff-ball ever, my sister did the “awwwww” which only made me want the cat more.
I recall he looked so long, almost like a ferret, partly due to his tail that everyone, including vet’s commented on when they saw him. The kid just held him up with one hand so his body kind of draped down as if he were a slice of beef the butcher just cut for you and was holding up in a “what do ya think? Want it?” kind of way. Like i said, he was the last and i don’t know why. He was beautiful and i fell in love with him instantly. There was no way i was going to be yet another person who just walked away, how could no one want him? So i took him, and left the 2 kids to smoke their pot. I thanked my sister for coming with me, and we both headed home. I had no cat carrier as this was an unexpected thing, so i just out him on my lap as i drove home. I was wearing a gold chain with a cross that he played with whole way home. He seemed happy not scared and didn’t try much to leave my lap. When we got home i put him on my bed, he was confused at first. Who wouldn’t be? But he eventually laid down and slept, and i watched TV.
This was pretty much our life for the next 15 years, he loved to be held unlike most cats, he loved affection and you could not possibly love him or pet him enough. If i was on my computer he hoped up on my lap. If i was on the couch, he was on my lap. If i was in bed he was laying on my chest and every night for 15 years he slept in our bed, at the foot, sometimes between us, sometimes in my armpit between my arm and my body, sometimes he was on my chest. Sometimes i fell asleep and he wasn’t in the bed but woke up in the middle of the night to find him curled up next to me. I had him for about a year before meeting my now wife, she always loved cats and loved cloud very much. So in a way he was out first pet together and our first baby. He made anywhere we moved to, a home, when we snuggled in bed watching tv, cloud was a part of that. He never scratched and ruined anything, he never ran away and he would catch mice and insects. He was perfect and he loved me very much, that was obvious, i didn’t have to worry if my cat liked me, i knew it.
We did notice he was getting thinner but just thought it was his old age, otherwise he was the same old cloud. We went on out honeymoon and left him the care of family, who all said he was fine, maybe a bit lonely and confused, but otherwise fine. When we got home it was clear he missed us. I was on the computer catching up on work emails and he was laying on my desk with me. Yet, something was off, i couldn’t put my finger on it but the way he laid on my desk with his head down just seemed different. He went downhill fast, i like to think he was holding on to see us again, and after we got home he maybe, did’nt fight as hard, i don’t know.
He had something going on with his tooth that we had been watching and figured, he is eating less and loosing weight, it must be the tooth. So we took him to the vet and the vet agreed it was probably the tooth, however, i feel a mass. We should see what this is also. Long story short and a second opinion later we found out he a mass they said was the size of a melon and it was cancer. How could we not notice a mass this big? They said it can grow very fast at times, that must be true because this cat was snuggling with us everyday and we never felt anything. They were going to operate but the on that day of the operation they did a 180 and said we should euthanize him right now. That was a shock we were not ready for and we didn’t agree, we took him home and I’m glad we did, we wouldn’t have let him die there either way. We ended up getting another 6 days or so with him and i am grateful for that, but it was hard seeing him sick and was even harder trying to decide what was the right thing. He has bad days and then better days and on the better days we would think, how can we end his life? On the bad days we wondered how we could keep this going. Many people told me that i would “know” when it was the right time, and they were right. Finally the wife and i just knew, which doesn’t mean it made the decision easy because it was the worst thing i ever did. Let me also just point out how strong my wife is, i guess we as men know this, there is a reason they give birth and we don’t. She was sad before i was, i was probably in denial. She was strong however when it came to his end of life care, and giving him his medicine. I simply could not force the medications down his throat in the syringe, i know it was the right thing and he needed it, i just couldn’t do it to him, thankfully, she could. We each had out roles, after we had the vet come to our home to put cloud to sleep, which we did on our bed, his favorite place to be aside from outside. He was an indoor cat but loved our screened in porch and as he was getting sicker we would take him outside and let him lay in the grass, he loved it. We down a blanket he snuggled in many times. Then put down one of my shirts that smelled like me and laid him on it. We wrapped him in one of my wife’s scarfs, gave him one of his mouse toys that would always bring to us as gifts and finally put on his favorite music, which is music from the Final Fantasy franchise of games which is also the game where i got his name from. We pet him, loved him, and cried as the doctor did her thing. It was the hardest thing i ever had to do, but after that, it got worse when i had to dig his grave. We wanted him nearby, this was his home as much as ours and you cant just get rid of them like, that, if you do, they didn’t mean as much as you thought. So we wanted him laid to rest in our yard. Digging the grave for my best friend, my baby kitty of 15 years was not easy. He didn’t move or do when my wife came home that day, but when i got home said “Hey buddy” he replied with a meow, which he always did, he always responded to me, he loved his daddy. He loved my wife too, but he was my cat, the same way Milo, our other cat, clearly loves her more, and its technically, her cat. They know these things…..
It actually got even worse, placing him in the grave and the covering him with dirt trumped all the sadness i had felt thus far. This was final and i had to restrain myself from unwrapping the blanket to look at him and make sure he was gone…..he WAS gone and i knew that, but didn’t want to.
This is only day 2, and it still hurts, and i know in time it will get better and I’m not trying to be dramatic but the truth is, nothing will fill the void he left. He was special, and i often expressed that to my wife, way before he was sick i would say how he is one of a kind and i will never love or be loved by a cat like that ever again. This might be the longest post I’ve ever written and i could go on and on about how i loved Cloud.
Daddy loves you Cloud. I will not forget you. Your in heaven with my Dad now, he will take care of you until i get there.
Update: It hasn’t stopped raining since, its been 4 days. I think perhaps the whole universe is sad at the loss of Cloud.