The girls and I traveled to the vet's office this morning to say goodbye to Penguin and to send off into peace and light. He was still purring.
He had been shot (yes, shot! who would shoot my daughter's cat? I hope that karma finds them wherever they are) and injured in a fight either at the time of the shooting or shortly thereafter. The bullet was lodged against a rib. He also had pneumonia and bronchitis, which we found out was because he was susceptible due to infection from Feline Leukemia. Poor guy. It's incurable and he was really suffering. If it hadn't been for the leukemia, he would have had a fighting chance.
Dr. Jackson was very sweet and kind, and offered to make a pawprint cast for Emma. We are having him cremated so we can bring him home where he belongs, in the field where he loved to hunt and play and sleep in the sun.
We spent the ride home thinking of our best memories of him. I will never forget how my hand fit right between his ears so I could scratch him there, and the feeling of his rough fur and the nicks in his ears from past arguments with other cats. He was the only cat I knew who caught and killed bats. He was a formidable hunter, yet liked to have his tummy rubbed. I would slide my hand up between his forelegs and rub his chest till he got tired of laying still. I remembered him as a furball kitten, jumping up on the back of my office chair and digging his claws into my back to hoist himself onto my shoulder. He turned into a sleek, healthy lover of the couch and the outdoors both. He loved to run up trees, but got a bit fat and lazy at various times in his life.
We will miss his morning demands for his breakfast by clawing at the window screen, and watching him and Angus wrestle and groom each other. I will miss seeing his black, fat body stalking mice against the white snow in the field out kitchen window. I probably won't miss dead mice and chippies on my front step though, although I might, if they decide to come inside instead, without the deterrent of Penguin.
Anyway, Penguin will be missed. Angus goes in for a FeLV test on Friday. Chances are he's positive as well, which will raise some difficult decisions, since he won't litter inside any longer, he's old, arthritic and mostly toothless. I also need to let the neighbors with outside cats know that they need to get their cats tested as well.
Emma is doing as well as can be expected, but is quite sad.