Monday, October 20, 2008

Moses' Tale Has Ended

Moses the storyteller fell silent, Friday, October 16, 17 years (perhaps to the day) after we brought him into our home.  He went peacefully and easily, six days after we made the decision to let him go.  I spent a lot of time with him in the last week, even petting him through the night to comfort him.  Even at the end, when he was too weak to walk and could hardly utter a sound, just the touch of my hand would cause him to purr.

We don't know what happened, really.  After managing his blood sugar well for so long, it all of a sudden went sky-high.  A month of increased insulin saw it get worse, rather than better.  Now Moses took his shots like a star - never a problem - but he did not like going to the vet, and he would tell us so, every time.  So, the idea of more trips and more trips, and then that final trip, felt like an injustice.

In addition to the insulin, he also had some mysterious liver ailment that had been lurking in the background for about a year.  He had been sick last December, and we almost lost him.  He was in the hospital on IV for 4 days just to keep him from being dehydrated.  We were never sure what happened there, but we did learn of an elevated liver enzyme - many times higher than acceptable.  The vets wanted to do tests - even though they admitted that whatever the test results showed, there was little success in treating liver disease in cats.  So, we brought him home and started adding an herbal tincture and nutritional yeast to his food.  He loved it, and the liver enzymes reading went down from 780 or so to 72 over the course of a couple of months.  We figured we would enjoy whatever time Moses had left with us, and leave it at that.

We continued to manage his diet, and he was down to just over 9 pounds and quite svelte.  And still quite the storyteller.  And quite the snuggler.  I am going to come out and say something no mother ever should say, but here it is: he was my favorite.  He would lay in my arms all night, snuggled in like a stuffed bear.  I could always count on Moses for a hug.  I often carried him around the house with me like he were an infant, and he would respond with his arms around my neck.  Moses taught me everything I know about "snuggy bumps", and naps, and cuddling, and patience (and heaven knows, we can all use more information about that!), and relaxing.

His full name was Moses P. Kopiski.  He never told us what the "P" stood for, but I think I figured it out. It wasn't a matter of getting to the "Promised Land" for this fella.  I think he was the Promise.  He lived the idea that you just couldn't say "I love you" too much.  He embodied the notion that love received could easily be returned, and thus amplified.  He showed us that, more often than not, just sitting quietly with someone was the best thing you could do for them.

Over the next few days I will be sharing some of Moses' story.  He was an extraordinary being; sweet natured, tender, demanding, peaceful, funny, sometimes grouchy (as with humans, diabetes can cause irritability in cats, too, I found), but always a lover.  

As with our other beloved pets, Wilma, Ivan, and Bernice, we planted a living memorial over Moses.  I chose this particular plant because I wanted to connect this time of year with Moses - not when he left us, but when he came into our lives and added light and joy.  It wasn't until we were at the cash register with it that I realized the connection.  Moses now rests under a beautiful Burning Bush.  


LeeThePisky said...

How heartbreaking yet beautiful. I know you'll always cherish the years you spent with your dear Moses.

He was a blessing to you and you to him.

That kind of connection doesn't come to us that often.


John Shuck said...

"Never since has there arisen a prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face." Deut. 34:10.

Thinking of you.

D. Debil said...

We lost our long term kitty recently to a terrible jaw tumor. She rests under a lovely cat statue in behind the shrubs.