A couple of months ago, I came across a beautiful ginger white boy outside my office premises. There was a crowd of people, and this tiny thing was walking up to everywhere, with a searching look on his face, asking to be petted. Some didn't pay attention, some shooed him away.. and then he spotted me and immediately trotted over. I bent down to scratch his head, as I always do with kittens on the street.. pretty much anytime I see them, and I could hear his strong purring. He loved it! I saw his shoulder had an injury, so I knew I was going to pick him up and take him home to treat him. But my best friend from school was in town, and I was meeting her after years. I was supposed to meet her in about... 2 minutes. I picked him up anyway, and met my friend in the cab. She saw him and exclaimed, 'Oh he looks just like my Louie!! My cat that went missing a few years ago..' The new kitten seemed to love having two people cooing over him, and that's how he was named. My beautiful baby, Louie.
|Made this adoption poster for him .. Such a pretty boy.|
Sadly, Louie bumped from foster home to foster home after that. We tried to get him adopted.. but something always went wrong. First he had a cold.. then he had a skin rash.. then no calls came through... once an adopter backed out. Poor Louie changed a lot of fosters.. and then finally he came back to me. I was going to keep him until he found a home. He spent the first two days running around the house like a cat on a truck load of catnip. He wouldn't stop. Dusk & Scotch quickly got on the game and I had a house full of crazy cats, upset furniture.. and hilarious videos. :)
|Louie playing with my boys.. I think they managed to throw the toys under the sofa.. again.|
Louie fell sick two days ago. I hate that I did not recognise it sooner. He gradually stopped eating all together.. and yesterday afternoon, I found him wandering around aimlessly, looking disoriented. I followed him to see what was wrong, and found puddles of vomit. I knew then in my heart that he was very very sick. I rushed him to the vet, and the vet gave him saline and other medications. Usually, this should have given him a burst of energy. He was starved, dehydrated and very very weak. By the time we got home, he was worse. I opened the basket to find him even more disoriented and fidgety. It took less than an hour. I knew he was slipping away, I held him close to me.. kissing him often. I hope he went knowing he was in my arms. I have never sobbed this hard my entire life. I sobbed harder when I placed him a shallow ditch we dug out for him in the garden. I put some stones and flowers on my makeshift grave.. hope he was around, hanging around. Watching. Knowing.
I do not know how to exist in a world where I cannot have Louie around.. playing, running, climbing all over me, kissing me, purring into my ears. There is a lump in my throat that won't go away. I have had a fitful nights sleep - I kept waking up intermittently, with flashes of Louie playing.. sometimes with him gasping for his last few breaths, his eyes growing wide and glassy, in my arms while I sobbed and sobbed for him to not leave me.. sometimes even waking up in a fright imagining my Dusk or Scotch gasping in that same way.. I feel completely crazy.
The first thing I did after waking up, was switching on my laptop to see some videos of him I filmed last weekend. I never did get the chance to upload them for his adoption appeals. I got a few calls for him anyway.. who wouldn't want to bring home such a beautiful energetic, such a loving kitten? It hurts to know he never got to grow old in his forever home... with maybe one or two more siblings.. with a forever mommy and daddy. It just hurts so fucking bad.
I have never dealt with loss in this way. I have always had a fragmented family, and because of that, I just happened to never have to deal with death. I have imagined before, what it would feel like, but nothing compared to the hysterical sobbing I broke out in once Louie breathed his last. There are no words to explain just how much regret came rushing forward.. most of all, the regret that I will never hear him purring again.
Louie, travel safe honey. You are with Oliver now, he will be your daddy now. Don't trouble him too much, he is probably not as nutsy as Dusk was with you.. but you can hit him when he is not looking. You liked doing that to Dusk & Scotch.. But run as fast as you can after okay? I hope you have all the tuna in the world... all the sunspots to laze in.. all the catnip. I am so sorry baby. I am so so sorry that I never got to give you a life you deserved. But mommy and daddy and your brothers will always miss you okay? We will see you at the Rainbow Bridge!
|My baby.. his nose in a permanent state of bruised. Because for some reason he liked playing rough.|
I miss you Louie. Come visit once in a while. :(
P.S: Oliver is another 5 year street cat, we lost recently. He was found with lungs full of fluid, and sadly he didn't make it. I met him only once, but it left a strong memory of a wonderful quiet cat. It is a little comforting to know Oliver and Louie are together now.. they are not alone.