My Beloved Puck

by Ariane Febres-Cordero

Yesterday I had to make the decision to let Puck go. I have known him since the day he was born on December 21, 1995. He was the most beautiful, willful, stubborn, proud cat I have ever met. He was my best friend. My soulmate. And being without him hurts more than words can say. I miss him so very much.

It all started in May 2010. My husband and I noticed that he was drooling a lot. At first we thought this was funny, he was getting older we would say. But the drooling got worse. So we took him to our vet, she diagnosed an abscess in the lower jaw plus bad plaque. So she did his teeth, pulled out one tooth, and we treated him with meds for the abscess. The drooling didn't stop, and a lump was forming. Back to the vet, who referred us to a cancer specialist. And yes it was a tumor, malignant. Together with the vet we made the decision to have half of his lower jaw amputated. It sounded a lot worse than it was and Puck was happily eating and drinking the very next day. After a month we noticed that there was another lump. Back to the specialist. He told us that he has had some successful recoveries after a whole lower jaw amputation. We thought about it, but since Puck had coped so well with the first operation we decided to go ahead. And once again, the very next day he was eating. Puck didn't care whether his tongue was just hanging there or not, I think he was just happy to be with me.

After another month the vet suggested a third operation to cover up a bone that was exposed and tighten the tissue so it would be even easier for Puck to eat. Again everything went well, and my little fighter fought on.

For every day of the almost 15 years that I had him with me he slept in my arms under the covers. He was there when I was sad and happy. He has traveled over 3 continents with me, he has lived in the tropics and in the Scottish Highlands. He has been on cars, trains, planes, boats and yachts. He went everywhere with me. He was the most constant part of my life. I never loved anyone or anything as much as I love him.

But yesterday we had to go to the vet again, I had found a new lump, and Puck had stopped eating and drinking 2 1/2 days ago. He had lost a lot of weight very fast. He fought till the very end, trying to eat, trying to drink. He kept getting frustrated because he couldn't lap anything up. And I saw his pain, his frustration - it hurt so very much.

On the way to the clink I knew that this would be our last journey together. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I held him in my arms the whole time and he fell asleep peacefully surrounded by love.

I miss him so very much.
I love you Puck, always! We will be together again, forever.

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