Beginning to end... My Gallie

by Jess

Happy cat

Happy cat

Happy cat
Baby Gallie

When I was 14, our family cat, Chloe, gave birth to a litter of kittens. My mother was deciding which three kittens to keep and which to put up for adoption. She always loved calicos and tortishelles, and the litter had one of each... A no brainer. She was leaning towards keeping the black and white kitten, but I begged her to keep the runt. He wasn't particularly cute compared to his brothers and sisters but I instantly fell in love. He had little white paws and a white face and belly with brown stripes on his head and back. I looked into those little eyes and knew he was meant to be my buddy... My Gallie.

As he grew, he became beautiful. His fur began to grow and he took on the likeness of a Maine Coon. His eyes turned a brilliant shade of blue green. He was playful and sweet. A born lap cat, he would always come to me and snuggle and loved to let me carry him around the house.

I went to college and he stayed with my parents. Whenever I came home to visit, he would jump up and take his place on my lap as if to say "welcome home." Every time I had to say goodbye, it was difficult to leave him, but I couldn't take him with me.

After college, I moved into an apartment that allowed cats. Without hesitation, I called my parents who agreed to let me take him. They knew he was always my cat, and they knew that no one loved him as much as I did.

He grew older with me. My fiancé grew to love him, too. We adopted a rescue cat much younger than Gallie and they became friends. We moved and started a new life with a new job and Gallie was there. We got married, and Gallie was there.

In 2014, Gallie turned 18. He was still a happy, healthy senior cat. As the year progressed, he started breaking down. He lost his hearing. He slept more, lost weight, wouldn't play, and stopped cleaning himself. We started shaving him and bathing him because his once beautiful, long fur became easily matted and painful. Throughout it all, he was still a lap cat... Always wanting to be near us.

On Sunday, January 18, 2015, he began having trouble walking. He was losing his balance. He slept most of the day, only moving to use the litter box and eat. Whenever he walked, he would go a few steps and rest. We couldn't get a vet appointment on Monday, but jumped at the first available slot on Tuesday. When we took him in, my nightmare came true. He had heart issues... His trouble walking most likely due to a clot. He was uncomfortable, but not in pain, though pain was inevitable. We could try medications, but at his age, it was an exercise in futility. Euthanasia was the only way to spare his suffering.

The vet asked if I wanted to be present, I said yes without hesitation. I was there when he came into the world, and I would comfort him as he passed on to the next. I asked for a few minutes alone with him before the procedure. He curled up in my arms and purred as he nuzzled my neck as he had done for year and years. When the time came, I stroked his head and rubbed his chin as I stared into his beautiful eyes... Those same eyes that I fell in love with nearly two decades earlier. Just like that, he was gone.

I feel as though my heart is broken. I miss my little guy so much even though I know he's in a better place.

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