My little man is gone.
This afternoon ( 3/8/08 ) my favorite cat and best friend, Puffy, died from congestive heart failure. He had a bad heart from the get-go, and we knew that this year was pretty much it for him. He has suffered through surgery, and nightly meds, and the indignity of my inconsistency cleaning his potty box and putting his food out at all hours for 5 years. He was a big baby, and was the head of the household (5 other cats and 4 humans none of whom doubted for a second who was really in charge.)
He loved being outside, although he was an indoor cat — we compromised by letting him roam the yard. He was outside in the sun on a beautiful day when he became disoriented and had trouble breathing. My sisters brought him inside to me and I knew pretty much immediately that he was dieing. I decided not to take him to the vet because he hates the vet so much, and there was very little they could do for him. He was having a difficult time breathing, and he lay down. I lay down with him and had the privilege of breathing his last breaths with him. I have been worried for some time that he would die when I wasn’t home, or possibly when no one was home – I’m relived that was not the case. I am also grateful that he got a few days of sun. Being in the yard when the sun was shining was his favorite thing.
Puffy has been with me through my whole recovery. He sits with me when I write, he chews on the bindings of books as I read. He sits in bed with me when I have migraines and knows how to sit perfectly still right next to me so as to give support without demanding any attention, no human has ever learned how to do that. He makes up for that when I’m at my desk by taking my pen out of my hand, or crying to go in and out the door over and over when I am typing and he is bored.
Every time I let him sit outside my door because I got tired of the game is a nail in my heart today.
I cleaned his bowls and his litter box, and took his blankets and beds and toys into the garage. I poured his pills into the drain, and scattered his special food around outdoors for the birds. My sister and I drove his body to the veterinary hospital for cremation. And now there is nothing but the parade of mundane things none of which is the special thing that he was, and the cruel fading of the awareness of his significance over time which our weak human hearts are selfish enough to call peace, which peace won’t come for a while yet.
Soft-focus is for my audition for “All My Children.”
Superior beings think inscrutable thoughts.
This is his “Happy to see you.” look.
His principle skill was being breathtakingly beautiful.
“Cheese?” How about “Fuck you.”, Will “Fuck you.” work?
With Ash as a kitten.
Something about this pose makes me think of William F. Buckley.
Beset on all sides.
Puffy tries to maintain order among his younger siblings. He is not successful.
One of the few shots where you can get an idea how TALL he was.
He lingered by the door but snuck back in at the slightest breeze or noise. He was an indoor cat who had the conceit of being an outdoor cat.
Little Singh would eventually outweigh him by a factor of 2.
Up until the last night of his life he slept at least part of the day with Zoe, you can see him with her when she was a kitten below a little further.
As the house alpha he was a polygamist — Sophie was his other wife, although he never actually slept next to her.
Puffy thinking maybe he wanted to go through the gate.
Puffy the botanist.
This is Puffy with Zoe as a kitten.
Singh could get the better seat in a fight but Puffy could easily trick him out of it.
This is my Mom’s favorite picture of Puffy.
The excellent photographs on this page are the work of my sister Holly Newman. If you want to steal one let me know and I’ll ask her.
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