When we first saw Boji in out back yard, he was in the process of eating food that was intended for our Siberian Husky. Because of his beautiful long black coat with white tuxeudo markings, we thought he was a skunk until we looked more closely. He was, indeed, one of the most majestic looking cats. Getting to know him was easy...he was happy to sit on a lap, happy to play, and always, always HUNGRY. He certainly wasn't malnourished, and we had to keep him away from the dog's food...soon enough we were preparing an extra bowl for out new friend...and so were our neighbors. Apparently he was eating four times a day at one point. It took until winter for us to start letting him inside, and soon enough he was one of the family. Even out cat Snowball seemed to like him. The most impressive quality about Boji was that even though Snowball sometimes overstepped the boundaries of "fair play", Boji always knew that at 15 lbs he could easily destroy Snowball, who was less than 2/3 his size. He was a gentleman in every sense of the word. Never in the time I knew Boji did he show any aggression toward the smaller cat, or toward the people in our family. He was happy to be picked up and held like a baby, his deep, rich purr was his own happy song that we heard every day, with every pet, even the little 5 second ones. Snowball eventually learned to share his toys, and Boji became a master at Jingle Ball, Bird Toy, and Big Fish...he could not play with the tunnel toy, however. He would get stuck inside it. Snowball and Boji happily played together, becoming the best of friends. Boji slept in our bed (when I swore it wouldn't happen!) along with Snowball. They would chase eachother down the hallway, up and down the stairs, and all over the house. Playtime became my favorite time of the day, and I was the happiest mom of 2 Furry Kids that I could have ever hoped to be. Every time I looked into his eyes, I knew he was happy. He knew he was loved. |
His story ends on a sad note...they always seem to, don't they? The day before St Patrick's Day, 2014 he seemed out of sorts, meowing long and sad, he had an accident on my bed, and vomited. I took him to the emergency clinic where I was told he had chronic cystitis, a condition that they knew little about, but had little success in treating. The crystals in his bladder were like sludge, they said...that his body would continue to produce these crystals, and that trips back to the vet would be enivitable. No cure, no preventitave meds, no guarantee that the expensive treatment they could offer would last more than a day. The vet tech said that euthanization would not make me a bad pet parent, because this disease was a terrible disease that caused physical pain and uncertainty every day for the future. We opted to put Boji to sleep...and now I regret my decision. I wish I had gone with the treatment, just to give him a little more time, to see one more spring, to play in the sun, to wrestle with Snowball, to eat his favorite foods, to love and be loved...what he did best. I will live with this regret forever...and I will always wonder "what may have been"...I should have seen the glimmer of hope, and not the bleek picture painted for me. My judgement was muddled by confusion, because I had no idea until that day that he was even sick. He never gave any signs, never.
As I held Boji in my arms on his unexpected last day of life, he was wrapped in a blanket, calmed by a sedative, and purring that sweet, deep sound of love that I had listened to every day for the past year and a half. My mind wandered, and I told the vet I had doubts about what I was doing. I told her to send in the family members who were there and had just said goodbye...they came in and affirmed that what was about to happen was the most kind and merciful way to end this horrible day, that although we could make ourselves temporairly happy by giving him that medical treatment, that in the long run, his life would be plauged by pain and uncertainty for the future. They left the room and the vet came back in, along with the tech who had been so kind to me, the 43 year old who cried like a baby in her office. I kissed his head and smelled him one last time, feeling his soft fur on my face. One shot to go to sleep, the next would finish his life...and in a way, mine also.
Snowball finally started eating after three days; we sit together and look out the deck door where Boji used to come in and out. We talk about how much we miss him, and I cry...a lot. I am not sure if I will ever be the same. My heart is broken. I love you, Boji, my good boy, my friend. I will see you again one day, I promise.