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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I have been MIA from this blog, but for good reason. Usually it's laziness or boredom, but this time my reasons are valid.

Back in February 2002, one week before getting married, Sam and I adopted a kitten. Unemployed, depressed, and bored I had felt like getting a pet would be a good idea. We were living in New Zealand at the time and it is truly a country of cat lovers. I never had a cat before, only dogs my whole life. But I had befriended a neighborhood cat a year earlier in New Zealand and I was becoming a convert.

At the shelter, I was put in a room full of kittens. Four of them were playing frantically with each other, one sat slightly off to the side watching, and another one used its little claws to climb up my pants. I was a little freaked out by this needy cat. He would hiss if any other cat approached me. They were all equally cute, but I was on the look out for personality.

That's when I had a second look at the kitten sitting off to the side observing. He was a little white ball of fluff with patches of grey tabby and beautifully lined eyes. I sat down next to him and placed him on my lap. He sat there, so calm, so content and looked up at me for a good minute. I was sold.

We named him Boo because he was so dear. One of our first wedding photos is of Sam and I cuddled up with a tiny kitten Boo. He was officially part of our family.

Our apartment was located on a hill with a low brick walled path making its way to the stairs. When Sam and I would return home from work, we could see his little striped tail making its way down the path - he was always waiting for us eagerly at the end of the day.

Not even two years after adopting him, we decided to move to the States. We didn't have any family or close friends that we could leave Boo with, and truth be told, we couldn't deal with losing him. Thankfully, Boo is a calm, accepting, relaxed cat who traveled well.

Never much of an adventurer, Boo adjusted pretty well to being an indoor cat. He has been with us through so much. Sam and I sleep with Boo every night. Sam is the biggest spoon, Boo is the littlest.

And now he is very, very ill.

Boo is fighting very hard right now. And true to form, he's been as sweet and calm and steady as always. This week we have learned that Boo has a bacterial infection in his liver, diabetes, and yesterday he threw a clot that has weakened his hind legs.

I'm not sure my little guy is going to make it. I know Sam and I will do as much as we can to help him live a good life. Last night we camped out with a mattress on our living room floor and tended to Boo to get him his food, water, and into the litter box. Whenever one of us is out of view, he looks around - waiting for us.

He is eating and drinking well. He is grooming himself. He is able to move his back legs better than yesterday. He is resting and generally being adorable.

This cat is worth more to me than any other pet I've had. Sam jokes that Boo is my familiar - and I can't disagree with that too much. We have a very special connection. Losing him will be one of the hardest things I've ever had to face. I know that makes me lucky - I have had the good fortune of not having to face a lot of loss in my life. And as much as I can tell myself "people have to watch their children die of AIDS and/or starvation in Africa and here you are losing your shit over a cat" I can't help but want to do all I can to make this little cat healthy and happy again.

Seriously, I am willing to pull some Pet Sematary type shenanigans.

If you're reading this and have a pet, give him or her a cuddle. Let them know how much they're loved every chance you get.

As for Boo, all we can do is hope that this clot was a result of his liver infection and watch out for another one. Tomorrow he goes to the vet again. If you're into hippie bullshit or that whole God thing, or maybe you believe in the power of positive thinking, here's a picture of Boo. Please wish him the best, whatever that might mean.

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