Happy Friday, y’all! I hope you had a great week. Ours? Well, it pretty much sucked. Tuesday evening, everyone’s favorite cat, Gus, died suddenly and completely unexpectedly.
He’d been acting completely normal all day. He’d been in the house for napping and being loved on. Just an hour or so before he died, he was wandering around outside while Brian washed his car.
Brian left for a ballgame and Josh was at a Bible study with some friends, so it was just Megan and me at home. I thought I heard a cat meowing, so I checked to see if one of them had gotten trapped in the garage, but it was empty.
I didn’t think much of it and went outside to take out the trash. I don’t know if I’d have even noticed Gus if Belle hadn’t approached him. He yowled – if you’ve ever tried to give a cat a bath, you probably know the sound I’m talking about.
I immediately knew that something was wrong because Gus never makes that sound. He’s probably the most laid-back cat in the history of the world. Okay, wait. He did make that sound every time I took him to the vet, but, you know. The vet.
I went to check on him and he was panting and drooling profusely. His pupils were dilated and it was clear that he was in distress. My first thought was rabies, but he’d just had his shots. My second thought was poisoning.
I picked him up as gently as I could and took him to his water bowl to try to get him to drink something, but he was so weak he couldn’t stand and he couldn’t quit panting.
I yelled for Megan and ran for a towel to wrap him in. I was in a complete panic, but I managed to find my keys and my phone and we took off to the emergency vet clinic.
Gus clawed his way out of Megan’s arms and climbed into the back floorboard. That was pretty much the last time he moved. I had Megan google the emergency vet clinic because I wasn’t even sure it still existed. When she did, we realized that there was another vet that was closer and still open. (It was after 6, so our regular vet was closed.)
I called and let them know we were on our way and what was going on with him. They were fabulous. They had someone waiting for us and they took him as soon as we walked in.
I’m pretty sure he was already gone, though. He seemed to be. They had two vets waiting and they tried CPR and some type of injections, but there was nothing they could do for him.
One of the worst things I’ve ever done in my life was walk out of that clinic with everybody’s favorite cat in a pet body bag, tears streaming down my face, and my sobbing 16-year-old walking beside us. It was horrible.
The vet said it could have been poisoning, but it was more likely heart failure. I think she was right because he’d been around the house all day and there was nothing he could get into.
We brought Gus home, took him out of the bag, and spent an hour or so loving on him one last time. Then, when Brian got home, we buried him under the tree where he loved to torment the squirrels. (He didn’t chase them. He just annoyed them with his presence.)
He was the cat who found us after the original Gus disappeared. We called him Not Gus for a long time because, although he looked like Gus, we didn’t think anyone could live up Gus the Original.
Gus the Second did. Everybody loved him. Including two sets of neighbors who told us that they didn’t like cats, but they liked Gus.
I’m so thankful that Gus chose us. I’m thankful for the 5 years we had with him. And, as horrible as Tuesday night was, I’m thankful that we were with him when he died – that he didn’t have to be alone, that I didn’t find him dead in the yard, and that he didn’t do like most cats and go off to die leaving us wondering what happened to him.
I’m pretty old and Gus was, hands-down, the best cat I’ve ever owned – if one ever really owns a cat. He will be forever missed.
Brianna’s wedding is next weekend (I can’t even believe it!) so there won’t be a Weekly Wrap-Up. On Friday, May 4, I’ll come back and tell you all about the wedding and prom (which is today) and school stuff, but this Weekly Wrap-Up is all for Gus. Our home won’t be the same without him.
Our home won’t be the same without him.
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