Eight years ago, Husband (well, fiancée at the time) and I had just graduated from college (the first time, for me, the only time for Husband), we were planning a wedding for the upcoming July, and had just moved into the house we were renting (living together for the first time). Knowing that our house would be lonely with only two human companions, we decided that we needed some cats to help keep us entertained. We took a trip down the our local cat shelter to check out the available kittens.
Now, I’m not sure if you know much about cats, but January in Wisconsin is not prime kitten season. We lucked out and found an adorable six month old grey kitten with a white belly and four white paws. She was sharing a cage with a black, long haired adult cat. Husband had already made it clear that he didn’t want a black cat, and I was insistent on getting kittens, so despite the friendly nature of the black cat, we didn’t pay him much mind. We found a different kitten in another cage, but it was little and sickly (truthfully, I don’t remember much about that particular kitten). Originally, we planned on the grey kitten and the sickly kitten but the shelter felt that the latter was too sick to be adopted (though, I’m quite certain things would have turned out better for the kitten had they let us take it, the shelter was not the nicest, we have a much nicer one now). Instead, they suggested the older cat that was sharing a cage (kennel?) with the grey kitten.
Long story short. The grey kitten became Lily and the black cat became Sirius. I don’t think we ever regretted getting Sirius instead of a kitten, he was one of the best cats ever. There was nothing he loved more than to sit on a lap and be petted, except maybe cuddling with Lily. He was affectionate (sometimes) to the point of annoying.
About a year ago, we noticed some changes in Sirius. He lost a lot of weight, we had some problems with him urinating outside of the litter boxes. Taking him into the vet, we discovered he was only at 20% kidney function. Though we could have opted for a $25,000 kidney transplant for him, we decided to switch him to a special food. The vet assured us that his condition wasn’t painful, he gained a little weight, and seemed to be happy.
Over the past few weeks, we noticed that the symptoms were returning. He was dropping weight again, he was always on top of the heat vent, or curled up on his fuzzy black blanket, we could tell he just didn’t feel good.
The day after Christmas we returned from the Packer game in Green Bay, to find Sirius absolutely miserable. He wasn’t eating, wasn’t drinking, and was barely moving around. We immediately got him into see the vet, and she confirmed our fears, his kidneys weren’t functioning at all and he was suffering from the toxins that were built up in his system. There really wasn’t much we could do for him at that point
So, in the middle of the holiday season, Husband and I found ourselves in the vet’s office, petting our beloved cat as he fell asleep for the final time. It was heartbreaking, but at the same time comforting to know that during his final moments Sirius was curled up on his fuzzy black blanket, being petting by his human parents, and he was purring.
There is definitely a Sirius shaped hole in our lives, but we know we gave him a good life for almost eight years. Rest in peace, buddy, we miss you already.