Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Requiem for the Mighty Hunter

"When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life"
-- Samuel Johnson

Billy Yesterday

In the past two months, kidney disease reduced Billy to 11 pounds from 12, and it sapped his energy. Daily intravenous fluid and other medical efforts could not compensate enough.

Billy was tired. 

Billy's love of life could be measured by a Whiskas Kitty Treat. In his prime, the Mighty Hunter expended whatever it took to corner a such treat:

  • Tossed gently? Caught in his mouth.
  • Thrown hard? Up with a paw like an outfielder.
  • Under a hutch? Diving after it.
  • On top of a cabinet? The leap of a Spider-cat.
  • Dropped in a puzzle box? The hours of fun promised on the carton became seconds.
  • Thrown to a nearby housemate? "Possession is 9/10's of the law, dude."

If his irrationally exuberant efforts knocked a treat he had already chased to the end of the room to the other end, off he would go after it again.

Sadly, Billy's prime is long past.

In the past week, for the first time it was safe to cradle a kitty treat, even an extra yummy Blue Buffalo treat, in the palm of one's hand to offer to Billy. The gentleness with which he took it was very sweet, but it was also not the zealous Billy we knew.

Last night Katherine handed out treats, and Whitey stole Billy's own treats from under his nose.

That Billy had stopped making efforts to extend a paw for a treat dropped a foot away said how drained he was, how close he was to end of the line.

Thus with great sadness we announce that Billy, age 16 and a half, was put to sleep today at ~ 6:15 PM at Kenmore Veterinary Hospital. Katherine was with him as he slipped away. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, I waited in the car; I had already said goodbye with a few last Blue Buffalo treats. 

Billy is survived by his littermate Whitey, and his foster nephews Oscar and Penwiper.

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