Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I lost a friend today

Hey team. Katherine and I are both broken hearted by a rather sudden deterioration in Dr. Jones's health ultimately leading to a decision to put him down. We had noticed this week that he wasn't eating and was much more lethargic and so took him to the vet on Tuesday. Their examination and subsequent x-ray revealed that he had substantial tracheal deflection and fluid in 3/4 of his lungs. The potential causes were either congestive heart failure and/or a growth, but ultimately he was having difficulty breathing and it was only going to get worse. Katherine and I both agreed that we did not want him to suffer the distress of his condition worsening and opted to euthanize him. He passed at approximately 1:30 pm on August 12, 2008.

Doctor Jones was my cat for almost his entire life, ever since my college roommate and his girlfriend brought him home one day in November 1998. He was a great cat, though most people were afraid of him due to his tendency in the early years to run out from hiding behind something and randomly swipe at/bite whomever happened to be in his path. He definitely mellowed as he got older and has been a faithful companion for my entire adult life.

He probably is most notable for two things: his size and for always wearing a tuxedo. He was what you'd call a "large" cat... or a small puma; he wasn't fat, just big. He always looked dapper in his black tuxedo with white socks and always increased the class of whatever he participated in.

Doctor Jones would have turned ten this year. I'm sad that Lyla probably won't remember him though I am glad that I will remember them together, her unmuted fascination with him and his trepid tolerance of her. Katherine and I are not sure how we would have managed the next year or so of Lyla's being mobile enough to get to him but not having developed enough to know to approach him gently. But I do appreciate that recently Doctor Jones would let Lyla get close enough to grab at him, as if he had accepted her as part of the family.

I am also glad at how much Katherine came to love him. I don't know if people understand or appreciate the relationship I had with him. He was my cat, one of the main colors of the tapestry of my life, part of who I am, and in the four years of knowing Katherine I have been blessed to see her love him in much of the same way I do. And although it broke my heart to watch Katherine realize our lack of options yesterday, it's one of the greatest tributes (and thus validation) that he was and will always be part of our family.

I'm dreading having to tell the people that I know love Doctor Jones. Liana, Greg, Pace, A-Man, Coleman, Trixie, Cichy, H-Bar, Jeff, Julie, Ben, Will. Those are the ones that pop into mind right now, but I know there are more. I'm sorry if this how you are finding out. I didn't really plan for this and it may take us a few days to get our act together. Anyway, I plan on scanning a bunch of photos I have of Doctor Jones and putting them up so all of you get a chance to see how handsome he is. But for right now this is the best I can do.