I was snuggling under the covers last night, happily resting my legs and arms that were aching from carrying Skye all over the city for the Halloween festivities, when Mr. Candy walked into the room to join me in bed.
“Oh, my god,” he said, looking down, his voice catching in a way I had never heard before. “I think Matty died.”
I leaped out of bed and rushed to Matty’s side. I knew exactly where he was, sprawled out at the foot of our bed, since I had seen him “sleeping” there for most of the day. Because that’s what cats do, right? They sleep. A lot. Only… not in the same spot for, like, six hours. We should have known something was off when Matty did not come downstairs for his beloved Meox Mix. But death isn’t exactly the first thing that springs to mind. “Hey, the cat missed snack time. He must be dead!” Okay, you’re right, perhaps we have been known to say that in jest; Fatty Matty sure did love his food. But he had been chasing his sister and eating normally just the day before. And he looked like he was sleeping peacefully, paws crossed elegantly, as he so often did to fool us into believing he was a distinguished feline. So given the otherwise normal circumstances and no recent signs of illness, we had just assumed he was in a deep sleep. A VERY deep sleep.
Down on my hands and knees beside him, however, I could see the slight trickle of blood from his nose and the motionless state of his body. Matty was gone.
I started sobbing. The kind of sob where your body heaves unattractively and your cries are silent. I could hear Mr. Candy, who NEVER gets weepy, trying to stave off his sadness with heavy sighs. It is just so weird when a life is ripped away unexpectedly like that after nine years together, to know he would never leave any “gifts” on our floor, or run to the door to greet us, or beg to have his underarms rubbed, or hold vociferous half-hour conversations with us again. I was immediately overwhelmed by that loss, that feeling of finality, and it made me sick to my stomach. Mr. Candy asked if I wanted to say good-bye before he took Matty to the vet’s, but I didn’t want to remember him like that.
The vet thinks he died from heart failure. I guess we’ll never know for sure.
Because I didn’t really say good-bye last night, I would like to do so now (I know what you’re thinking and of COURSE they have wireless Internet access in kitty heaven): Matty, you may have been a pain in the butt sometimes, but we loved you nonetheless. You made us laugh with your shoe fetish — you never met a smelly shoe you didn’t want to snuggle with — and how you waddled around the house. You also made us feel warm and fuzzy with your extremely affectionate nature and the way you became protective of Miss Skye the moment we brought her home. Even your sister Marcy, who would get fed up with your bullying, is mourning your absence today. You will be missed, baby boy.
P.S. I hear there are no calories in kitty heaven. SCORE!