No Thursday Feature This Week - Saying Goodbye to a Beloved Pet
Yogurt came to our home, when we lived down in Bakersfield, back in 1992 and hung around outside (my husband put food out for him, so that may have been why). He had a collar, so we thought he'd eventually go home. But he just kept hanging around and nobody seemed to be looking for him.
So we posted an ad in the "found cat" section of the local paper for quite a while and let him into the house while we waited, and introduced him to the two other cats we already had (Oatmeal and Pumpkin). No calls. Eventually we adopted him, named him Yogurt and trained him to be an indoor cat - something he didn't really appreciate but eventually became resigned to.
He got out a time or two in Bakersfield before we had him neutered, but was content to be inside after that. - except for one night here in Silicon Valley a couple years back, when he was out almost all night. The DH didn't sleep a wink, wandered around the neighborhood calling for him, looking behind bushes. Finally, so tired he had to try to get some rest, he went out front one more time and there was Yogurt in the front yard. He looked like he got into a small tussle with another cat, but was otherwise fine.
Yogurt was always a very talkative cat. You could get him to vocalize pretty easily and we'd have long 'conversations' with him. He loved to sit at the back door and chat with the birds that landed out back. I'm sure he'd have loved to have them for dinner, too. He was a patient, kind cat as well in these last years, who'd come sit on your lap and let you scratch him as long as you wanted, purring up a storm the whole time.
Last week all the cats went in for shots and check-ups and the vet was worried about how much weight Yogurt had lost. He had been a bit sick that week but otherwise seemed ok. Unfortunately, when the blood work came back yesterday, the diagnosis was total kidney failure. While we could possibly have kept him going for a while, he'd be in a lot of pain because it appeared he'd also suffered some nerve damage - which hadn't been a problem, it seems, before the vet visit, but he was definitely having trouble now with his back legs and tail - he's fallen over a couple times in the last day. So the decision to let him go was made.
He was the last of the 'elder' cats, we lost Pumpkin first and then Oatmeal not that long after. We became the people of two 'grandkitties' not that long ago, when my son joined the Army and moved to the East coast. We love them dearly, but we have a lot of great memories with Yogurt and he leaves us with a huge empty place in our hearts.