Two weeks ago, I awoke in the middle of the night to the unpleasant sensation of being pissed on by my cat. Initially, I thought he might have been exacting some sort of feline revenge on me because I’m usually the one who ends up shooing him out of rooms where he’s not supposed to be. Yet anyone familiar with cat behavior knows that a lot of the time something like this isn’t an act of aggression but a signal that something is wrong. Something was indeed wrong—the un-fixable kind of wrong.
Three years ago we adopted a stray kitten who grew big and fluffy and burrowed his way into our hearts. We dubbed him Ginko. In Ginko, WonderWife™ found a cat who adored all things fabric and would magically appear whenever she was working on a quilt to lay amongst the scraps on her sewing table. Sprout found a pet who wouldn’t run away from her attempts at affection, like our other, more nervous cat. The Bean found a best friend. The bond between Ginko and the Bean was palpable and touching. The cat followed the boy around the house during the day and happily rested on his bed as the Bean drifted off to sleep. Ginko would often howl outside of the Bean’s door at night, wanting to be closer to his friend.
WonderWife™ and I are burdened with the heavy knowledge that tomorrow will be Ginko’s last. As of my writing this, we haven’t yet broken the news to the kids. I imagine it’s going to be very hard for them to understand. Despite outward appearances, we have a very sick cat and based on what the vet tells us, the only humane decision is the most difficult one. Not only must we grieve, but we must guide our children through their first experience losing someone they love.
WonderWife™recently told me she had been looking forward to Ginko growing older, when his wild kitten-like nature would calm and he’d become a true lap cat. I was looking forward to watching my son grow up with his favorite pet. But that isn’t going to happen, because sadly sometimes pets get sick. And sometimes pets die young.
By the time you’re reading this Ginko will be gone and the Geek Boy family will be drowning our sorrows in giant bowls of ice cream. I’d give a lot if tomorrow morning I could wake up to him pissing on me.
RIP Ginky Malinky, rapscallion cat. You will be missed.