Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tribute to Hobbes, Part 1

June 28, 2011 - January 17, 2012

My husband and I adopted Hobbes (and his brother Calvin) on October 30, 2011 after losing our buddy Thrasher in September. Little did we know that our time with Hobbes would be so short. About two weeks after we brought the boys home, Hobbes got sick. We went to the vet and were given antibiotics for a respiratory infection. After a week on them, Hobbes was almost back to normal. The next day (the day before Thanksgiving), he took a sudden turn for the worse and ended up at the kitty hospital. He came home from there that Friday with a diagnosis of Feline Infectious Peritonitis, a horrible, fatal disease.

We were lucky to have almost two more months with him before he walked himself across the Rainbow Bridge, leaving us all a whole lot sadder. While there had been many days when I thought the end was near, it became very apparent on his last day that he was leaving. I am very grateful that he chose to sleep with me that whole night instead of getting out of bed at 3am like he had been doing for weeks, but when he got up and could barely walk, I knew it was time to say goodbye.

I had been telling him for weeks that it was okay if he wanted to go, and his buddy Bodhi had just recently taken the same trip, so I told him that Bodhi was waiting for him. I told him that we loved him and that we would miss him, but that we would never forget him. I gave him a kiss and scratched his chin and left him alone for a bit to decide.

When I went back upstairs, he was gone. As much as it pained me, I am so grateful to my brave little boy for leaving on his own and not forcing me to make the decision to end his life. One of the awful things about this disease (one of many) is that it causes extreme anemia as well as neurological problems, both of which resulted in Hobbes not being able to groom himself. I had promised him that I would make sure he was pretty and clean and soft again when he made his trip, so I washed and brushed and dried him.

It was also very important to me that his brother Calvin be a part of this in the hopes that somewhere in his little mind he understands that his brother is gone. They hadn't really been able to be around each other once Hobbes got sick because Calvin plays very roughly and Hobbes just couldn't handle it, so it was important to me that they had this time together now. Amazingly, Calvin seemed to understand and was very gently with his brother.

Calvin tried to 'wake' his brother up. He'd paw his nose and at one point (when I walked away for a minute), he even brought his brother his favorite toy. This absolutely broke my heart.

Once Hobbes was clean, I just sat with him for a while. I cuddled him and stroked him and looked at his beautiful face.

The next day, we took Hobbes to Paws, Whiskers, and Wags to have him cremated. The sun came out that day, and it was so nice to see him in a sunbeam one last time. The staff were surprised to see us back so soon and we assured them that we had not wanted to see them again. Lisa was wonderful and gave us all the time we needed to say our final goodbyes. While we waited to get his remains back, we went and saw his foster mother, Gwen, at Camp Kitty. We shared some laughs and some tears before going back to pick up our precious Hobbes. He is now nestled with Thrasher on our mantle.

Dear, sweet Hobbes, we miss you. We miss you so much. I hope you are having fun with your little pal Bodhi and I'm sure my Thrasher is watching out for you two now.


simplyred said...

What a wonderful tribute to a small animal who became such a large part of your life in such a short time. Thank you for the love you gave him.


Joyce B. said...

That was so sweet, and so sad Myra. What a loss for you but he was so lucky to have you for the time he did.