Approximately 20 years ago, some neighborhood children knocked at my door. They were looking for someone to adopt five kittens. Their story was, the mother died, and they needed to find homes for the babies. OK, I admit it, I’m a sucker when it comes to abandoned animals. I found homes for two of the kitties, that left me with three, who later became Scarlett, Melanie, and Gatsby.
Initially, I feared Gatsby had mange. His fur was falling out, and he was a bit of a mess. I rushed him to the vet, who explained that being the runt of the litter, the other kittens were probably sleeping on him, while he was on the moist ground. I brought the little fellow home and bathed him. That was all he required, and within a short time, he had the most beautiful tuxedo coat.
Gatsby grew into his name and was a “great” cat — affectionate and friendly, except where lizards and the occasional small bird were concerned. He’d bring home his gifts to mom, and I’d cry out in horror. He’d roll his eyes and shake his head as if to say, “Really? I’m a cat. This is who I am!”
As the years moved on, this handsome guy showed signs of aging. The black and white tuxedo became more grey and white. Then last year, he appeared to have a mild stroke. Initially, he had problems walking, but with time, his movement and balance improved.
Today, my sweet boy started meowing loudly. He was confused and didn’t seem to know where he was. As I observed him, it became apparent he could not see.
My vet confirmed his vision was all but gone. Perhaps it was another stroke, we couldn’t be sure. After consultation with the doctor, I decided it was time to let my Gatsby go. I held him as he fell into his last sleep.
Goodnight, dear, sweet Gatsby.