Early Monday morning, November 26th, at 6:15am, our beloved cat, Fritz, took his last breath. He was my furry companion for 21.5 of his 24.5 years of life, witnessing both my single life and my married life with kids. He was a fixture in the family and a part of the kids’ entire lives. Sadness weighs heavily on us. Granted, he was very old, but I wish we could have had him with us for at least another 2 years or so. But it was not to be.
He was a handsome cat, with oodles of personality. He was not a cat who wanted to be coddled. He needed his space and independence–I respected that about him. In his younger years, he would jump up onto the highest cabinet in the house to soak in the views (scratching furniture along the way), or sneak onto the kitchen counter when no one was looking to check out the tasty treats lying around.
He was curious almost to a fault. He loved being outside exploring or just hanging out to breathe in the fresh air. The birds, mice, and baby snakes weren’t too fond of him though. I wish I had photos from his escapades to share.
A finicky eater, he kept himself fit and trim, which probably prolonged his life.
Fritz knew how to comfort me when I was sick, tired, or just plain stressed out. He would come over and just sit or lie down near me until I felt better–loyal to the end.
For his last year of life, he chose to stay indoors, perhaps because he lost his hearing. Smart move since we now have foxes wandering around the backyard.
Near constant sleeping was his new hobby. But we could tell that he was burdened with major aches and pains. His body was gradually shutting down.
His last full meal was a turkey feast on Thanksgiving Day. He perked up when he smelled the roast turkey waiting to be carved.
He gleefully came over to join in the feasting and gobbled up lots of juicy, tasty turkey. I could hardly believe how much he ate. He loved it.
By the next day, it’s as if he decided for himself that enough is enough. His time had come. He took a step outdoors and later hobbled over to visit outlying rooms in the house, saying goodbye to all his old haunts. He started to eat significantly less until he refused food and water completely. He quietly slipped into a corner of the house to hide.
He was clearly uncomfortable and couldn’t sleep no matter how much he tried.
At last, on Sunday evening, he dragged himself out from the safety of his hiding spot and sprawled himself out in the middle of our family room, giving everyone the opportunity to spend some last precious moments with him. We left him for the night, thinking that this was it. But, being the spirited cat he was, he lived to the morning. He did this for our sake; I’m sure of it. Each of us gave what we knew to be our final goodbyes. Fritz died 10 minutes later. We solemnly buried him out back, in the great outdoors which he loved so much. Where he is free.
Rest in peace, dear Fritz.