The loss of our orange and white tabby cat, Peanut
(Long Beach, California, USA)
We adopted Peanut in March of 2001 from a cat rescue shelter. As a young cat, he was very energetic and playful, always springing up onto the furniture and the kitchen counter and in front of living room window. The slightest noise in the driveway below would excite his attention, as well as the slightest chirp of a bird on the telephone wire by the side of our apartment. He was an important part of our lives and an affectionate cat who loved to sleep on us and raise his paws up and down us as if he were kneading dough. Not only was he known to us as Peanut, we also had several other affectionate names for him: Captain smarty pants, Mr. furry pajamas, fluffball and pot-bellied piggy cat. Sometimes, when we would look at him, it really seemed as if he would wink at us during meaningful moments, as if he wanted to say to us that he belonged to us and that we were part of the same team or pride. Of course, there would be times when he would stress us out, especially when my wife would be in the kitchen preparing supper, and he would be constantly at her feet and circling her. When he was hungry, he definitely let us know. In the mornings, he would scratch at our bedroom door, as if to let us know, that we were sleeping in a little bit too late, and that it was time to pay attention to him and, possibly, put some more food in his bowl. When he became older, of course, he wasn't as active as he was when he was younger, and he didn't jump and spring as much, but he was there to let us know when he needed attention. If I were lying on the couch, reading a novel or studying, he would walk in front of the book or sit down in front of my face to let me know that he wanted to be petted. Of course, I accommodated him by holding the book several feet in the air with one hand and petting him with the other. In addition, he liked to sniff our ears and faces, lick our ear lobes, which we both found incredibly cute.
In this month, he would have been thirteen years old, but his life was cut short, and he passed away a couple of days ago. He had had some kind of cancerous growth that had originated in a part of his brain and spread to other areas of his body, or possibly that had originated in a limb and spread to his brain. Towards the end, he had lost his sight, and on the night before his demise, we were told by the veterinarian that he was blind, and that was why he seemed disoriented and clawing on the walls. The next morning we were called by the emergency hospital and told that he was in a coma and that he probably wouldn't last through the hour. We thought it would be too heartbreaking to see him in this state and waited until we heard from the hospital again, which was shortly thereafter. He passed away and left us physically, but his memories will always be with us, and we won't forget our little peanut-ty.