He was frail, but still eating. (As long as I was serving Friskies salmon pate.) And he never stopped purring for me when I would hold him and give him love. Even Iris, who had never had much interaction with him, comforted him during his last days. He always had another kitty or two very close by.
Sparky had always been an indoor/outdoor guy. In fact, he came to me in the summer of 1993 as a stray that found his way through the open back door and down to the basement. There he stayed, scared out of his little brain, for several days before deciding it was safe to venture upstairs. Once he was officially mine, it was decided he was about a year and a half old, so his birthday became New Year's, 1991.
During his final months, his trips outside consisted of wandering onto the back porch for five minutes or so, then wandering back in. That last day when I went to let him in, he wasn't there. He'd never left the yard before, he wasn't at the neighbor's, it was so cold outside and I couldn't find him.
I don't need to tell you what I was feeling. I know that animals go off to die sometimes and the thought of that happening was heartbreaking. I posted notices on doors and hoped for a phone call. An hour and a half later, one came.
Sparky had somehow gotten himself nearly three blocks away and was found by two wonderful women outside the post office. When I got there and saw the dear lady holding my very bony little guy, I stopped the car in the middle of the street and ran to get him. We both cried. I brought him home. He wanted only to go back outside.
It was that evening that I knew it was time. I called my dear vet at her home and she immediately agreed to come over. Her vet tech was not available, and although she'd be fine by herself, it would be nice to have an assistant. Enter Sarah, my kind, huge-hearted, vet tech friend. Of course she would be right there. These wonderful women not only knew how much I loved my boy, they loved him as well. I am so grateful to them both. I couldn't have scripted it better if I'd had the option.
I had recently found adopters for a litter of kittens and had thought that I would hold off getting more until Sparky moved on. It didn't work out that way. I did get more and I knew as Sparky left me that I had done the right thing. His life ended in a room full of love and baby kittens. New life. It was perfect.
And now for the silliness. Most of you know the fabulous Laurie of IBKC fame. This amazing friend of mine has a knack for knowing just what to say when I need a smile. What follows is her composition, with a nod to the Jack Nicholson/Morgan Freeman movie of a few years back.
Sparky's Bucket List:
Race Go-Carts with Tiny
Audition for the Broadway production of Cats
Go to the post office
Shake hands with Siegfried and/or Roy
Get high with Willie Nelson
Get a bad-ass tattoo
Climb a tree so high he has to be rescued with a cherry picker
Become a certified SCUBA diver
Run for public office
Make out with Eartha Kitt
Become the spokeskitty Friskies salmon
Ride across the country and back in a boxcar.
Finish reading "War and Peace"
Learn a second language
Hook up with Drewey
And he'd made it to the post office.