Friday, December 19, 2008

Goodbye to Our Cats

This past Saturday we ended a long lasting and unfortunately declining relationship with our two cats, Max and Marzipan. Although being cat owners early on was fun, the addition of children and the responsibilities associated with parenthood caused our priorities to change dramatically. It was surprisingly one of the more difficult things I have had to do recently, even though we mutually decided on it.

For those who know us, know my long going rivalry with these feisty felines. I butted heads with Heather early on when we were married only a year and the desire for cats came into Heather's consciousness. But it was me who after we picked up Marzipan on a Saturday afternoon in March of 2003 that suggested we get another. I do admit a moment of weakness on my part. I thought it would be good for brothers to be together and keep themselves occupied when we were away. They were adorable kittens and Heather and I enjoyed them. However, the honeymoon for me didn't last long and only a year later, there were many days wishing we didn't have them.

Max eats ribbon, string and those plastic rings you tear off the milk jug and later throws them up. He used to come into our room at night and eat Heather's silver jewelry and throw that up as well. Marzipan licked photographs and plastic bags like he was a coke junkie needing his next fix. He would over eat and then throw up his dinner 15 minutes later (and regurgitate if you know what I mean, if we didn't catch him). They both had their front claws, and as a result tore up two couches, my DJ equipment cases, carpets galore. They shed so much we couldn't allow them on our furniture. At times they snuck into our bed at night while we were sleeping. Sometimes as I was attempting to cuddle up next to Heather, I found a warm furball curled up in between us. I cut that off as soon as it started. They drove me crazy to no end, but it was me crying in the Minivan pulling away from the Denver Dumb Friends League on Quebec.

Heather was just as tired of them as I was. However, it took her a much longer period of time to feel this way. It was likely my vocal disdain for the cats that likely helped her want to keep the cats as long as we did. We decided mutually to say goodbye last Saturday. They were nearly out of food, and with all the changes to our home in the coming months I went ahead and took care of it.

We let the cats upstairs and I put them in their carrier. Caleb was playing with Max. Which means he was carrying him under the cats front legs and Max was tolerating the punishment. I put him in first, and found Marzipan nearby. The goodbye after nearly 6 years was pretty brief. They had no idea how much there lives were going to change. Caleb said goodbye like I was taking them with me to run errands, having no idea he was saying goodbye for the last time.

I loaded them in the car with a mostly filled bucket of cat litter. As I drove away, Max started to cry. He has never liked riding in the car and this time was no different. His cry is so strange sounding, he literally sounds like a little child when he cries.

As I walked in to the intake facility, the girl at the desk asked me some questions, entered in some information to the computer, and I filled out some paper work for each of the cats. As I filled out the paperwork, Max was taken out by a careworker and was carried away. Marzipan was right behind him. I didn't formally say goodbye to either of them, and I felt bad about it.

That afternoon a somber mood filled our house. Neither of us felt comfortable discussing the issue the entire day. We went to a Christmas party that night and upon our return, Caleb asked where the cats were. I nearly lost it. I choked back the tears and explained to Caleb they were at a new home. It has been weird coming home to a completely empty house, when Heather's away.

It's been nearly a week now, and my much more rational side has set in. My second thoughts of whether I had done the right thing subsided and looking back I feel like we made the right choice for them. I hope they find a new home, I understand the reality is they may not, at least in mortality. We couldn't provide a happy home for them anymore, and we gave them a chance at a better life whether it's in this one or the next.

Mark and Ben, it's now okay for you to come over to our house.


Danielle Smith said...

I must say, your feline tale stirred a few emotions for me. I was deeply touched and moved. I shall always remember those cats as the animals that could easily kill my husband and leave no evidence tying the murder to me. Awwww!

R Max said...

You know that cat lovers around the world are this moment organizing a lynch mob that will be at your house within the week?

I hope you survive...

...but seriously, he ATE JEWELRY?!