For Stormy

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters. I am going to diverge from our study of the knowledge of God to write on a different topic. As it stands, my family, which I live independently of, had to make a difficult decision today. Our family cat had been suffering greatly from numerous injuries and it was only a matter of time. Thus, the difficult decision had to be made to put him to sleep. I ask for your prayers in this time, particularly for my family as they are the ones coming home to an empty house. In light of what I would normally write, I am going to write a tribute blog tonight to Stormy.

Stormy was around 14 years old. We got him shortly after the death of our first cat. He was a beautiful Himalayan who wanted attention, especially from his “Mommy.” (Of course, not a cat Mommy.) My mother would hold him very closely often and he was just in Heaven whenever she did that.

For me, if I held him, he would stretch out his arms and legs as if he was flying upside-down, to which we called him Superkitty when he did that. He didn’t seem to do this for anyone else besides me and we never understood why it was that I was the only one who got that reaction.

Like any cat, everything had to be his idea, but his ideas were always amusing. It could be a picture of him in a travel case or a picture of him on my Mom’s head or a picture of him lying in the sink or a picture of him on top of my computer screen. Stormy found the strangest places to explore.

The only contention he really had was when there was another stray cat visiting our house and when Stormy and the other cat saw each other through a glass door, the two would hiss at each other. We called that cat Duke. After all, Stormy was the king so this would have to be the duke.

He had his own strange characteristics. Whenever he was done using the litter box usually, he would meow as if to announce what had happened. My own mother was the only one who could always understand him, even knowing when she came home one time from a trip and he meowed that the neighbor who had been taken care of him had been giving him the wrong kind of food.

We also had to get special bowls for him. Why? Because he had a habit of knocking over the bowl with his paw so he could eat off of the floor. Even when we got him bowls that he could not knock over, he would take each piece of cat food still and scrape it out of the bowl and knock it onto the floor so he could enjoy it there.

There were numerous times I would get him catnip and watch him “get drunk” off of the stuff. It was so amusing to see him lying near this towel with catnip and him deliriously rolling around. Like most any cat however, it didn’t last too long. When it came to any other kind of playing, it had to be his idea and only for a short time. Still, it didn’t take much. While we could often get toys at the store, he was just as fine playing with a rolled up paper wad.

Most enjoyable also was a time I found out a laser pointer was a great toy for a cat. Not only that, my IPhone whenever I used it around him brought much enjoyment. I would play the catpiano app and he would look around wondering where that sound came from and if another cat was nearby.

When my mother’s fiftieth birthday rolled around, I got her a picture I had an artist paint of Stormy taken from a photograph I had of him. Along with it was the caption “Love my Mommy” and indeed he did and she loved him and she still does. She will always hold a place in her heart for Stormy.

Sometimes, I had to take him to the vet when I lived there. It was never an easy time as first off, I often had to get the neighbor to help him into the kitty carrier. Then, the whole way there he would whine whine whine. Ironically, when the visit was done, he had no problem getting back into the carrier and when we got home, he would hide for a couple of hours until he was convinced it was safe to trust us again.

Things were getting tough for Stormy. His pelvic bone was torn and we found out he had spine damage. He was dehydrating and before too long he would be completely paralyzed. The decision was not easy I’m sure and when I got the phone call this morning, my mother was bawling. She didn’t have to say anything. I knew.

Do pets go to Heaven? I don’t believe there’s a definitive answer to this question, but when I think about this, I hope. I have no theological basis for thinking it or any philosophical evidence, but there is a strong part of me that says “Surely somewhere out there he’s waiting to see us again.” If I’m wrong, I’m wrong, but I wonder if the God who created such variety of animals will not have some that were strongly bonded with us on the other side as well.

As I went through this day, it was hard for me as well. My mother on the phone bawling in the mid-afternoon was hard to hear. As I drove down the road then, my Dad texted me a picture of Stormy that said “A great friend.” (I get teary-eyed even as I write this now.) I was glad to finally park where I needed to as I thought that I would just break down. The sadness was great and certain recent events have got me more emotionally in touch with myself so that things hit me in this fashion.

Maybe I am away, but I miss him. I always have. Whenever I return to see my family, seeing Stormy has always been one of the highlights. I do hope I will see him again someday. In closing, I think I can end it best with a quote that a friend’s husband used at the death of their cat.

“My heart has joined the thousand, for my friend stopped running today.”

R.I.P. Stormy. June 3rd, 2010. We love and miss you.

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