Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Our cat died the other day....

One of our cats, Odie (yes, a cat, and yes, a female, but that's what my ex-wife named them a year or so before we met), died last week. She was fifteen years old, and had been in good health until a month or so ago. She began to lose weight and was having breathing problems, and a visit to the vet confirmed the worst: her kidneys and liver were failing, and her lungs were beginning to fill with fluid. My ex decided to have her put to sleep, which was the vet's recommendation, and I agreed with it. She was ready to let go.

I took my son Alex to see her the night before she died. She was happy to see us but couldn't move around very well. After we left, my ex came over and took her home so she could spend her last night at her house instead of in a cage at the vet.

I was a complete wreck at work all morning. I drove to the vet over my lunch hour and cried and cried while I petted Odie and scratched under her chin. When my ex-wife Connie and I were still married Odie would lie on my right side in bed, stretched out against my hip and leg. It was a very comforting way to fall asleep for me, and it's something I miss.

The vet came in and told us how the procedure would work, then gave us some more time with her after administering a sedative. My ex held Odie's chin in her hand while I softly scratched her back and behind her ears. After ten minutes or so the vet came in and got us prepared, then found a vein in Odie's leg. I cried even harder as I kissed her head and told her what a good cat she had been and how much we had loved her, and how much we were going to miss her.

A minute later, Odie died.

We stayed with her a while, drained emotionally, and then I had to go back to work. We planned to bury her but couldn't that night because of heavy rains, so we decided to bury her the next night.

But that night we still had to tell Alex.

My ex came over and we told him together. She read him a poem about pets who had left us called "The Rainbow Bridge," which you can read here if you're so inclined. Alex was upset but didn't cry.

Later, though, when I was giving him his bath, her started to cry uncontrollably. He wept all night, and couldn't fall asleep because he was so sad. He finally passed out, more or less, about two hours after he'd gone to bed.

He helped me bury Odie beneath three pear trees at my ex-wife's house the next night. I was better until we had to leave, and then it hit me again that she was gone and would never be back, would never come out of that cold and dark hole in the ground.

You were a good cat, Odie. I love you and I miss you, and hope you are waiting for us on the Rainbow Bridge.


D.Bass said...

Mr. Forbes,

There is a difference between empathy and sympathy though it seems that those who understand it are fewer these days. I completely empathize with you concerning Odie. I have recently lost three of the 11 little 4 legged wisps of joy that I open cans for. I am sorry for your loss, please remember love doesn't end, though it can be painful and there are others out there who are unloved. Not a replacement, (there can never be that) but, rather, a new avenue.

The Amber Wizard is one of my favorites. I have read it three times so far and am waiting for the next installment. I would be glad to send you Mavis Beacon Teaches Typeing if it would increase your typing speed. :) Ok, so I'm not the most patient person in the world but I am checking shelves every chance I get.

I have an interesting question for you. I am an author myself and I have an agent begging companies to buy my book, with little to no success but we're still trudging along. I am currently writing a children's series. The age dynamic is between 8 and 13. It's hard for me to judge since I and my own children were reading Steven King novels around the fifth grade. It seems that children this day and age are not as adept as reading as our generation, however, children of writers tend to read beyond what is considered normal for our society. My question is this: Do you think that Alex might like to read my story and throw me back some feedback concerning it? It would be greatly appreciated but not expected. (never hurts to ask) :)

I hope all is well with you and yours and I hope to see more of your series on the shelves.

Thank you for your time. Be well.


P.S. It's scary to do this here but my email address is

Give me a holler if you so choose.

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