Final Goodbyes To Two Dear Old Friends

6 min read

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HHB-BookMaster's avatar
A more somber note today.  For background on this event, let me explain that I am a great lover of animals and my family had two cats for a VERY long time.  They're names were Splash and Sparkle (my twin and I were quite young when we named them).  They were brother and sister and were half brown Abyssinian, half whatever else.  Only Splash looked it though, since his sister's fur was white.  Their personalities were very pronounced from the start.  Splash loved to play and run around, while Sparkle preferred to be pampered.  A lot.

These cats pulled us through some very tough times, as did we for them.  Each cat had their own major health challenge.  Splash was badly hit by a car when I was in elementary school (I don't remember which grade--maybe fourth).  His entire jaw was smashed.  Thankfully he recovered, but he was never the same.  He seemed absent minded and kinda loopy ever since.  For a while, he even mimicked our neighbor's dog (I think he was confused).  Years later, Sparkle developed skin cancer in her ears (her white fur reflected sunlight onto her ears which eventually resulted in her condition), and we had to get her ears cut off before it could spread to her head.  In addition to these major injuries, they've had teeth broken or knocked out by who knows what--we never really found out for sure.

In both cases of major injury, Sparkle was the one who got all bent out of shape about things (she was rather shallow).  She missed her brother when he was at the vet, but when he returned with a feeding tube sticking out of his neck, an Elizabethan collar, and the most slack-jawed, vacant expression I've ever seen on an animal (which he would wear almost continuously afterwards), she took one look at him, hissed, and ran off.  They always fought after that (though I'm sure Splash thought they were playing).  They did get along often, though usually on Sparkle's terms.  There were times they didn't, though, and Sparkle was usually at the center of it.  She'd try to take his spot by the heater by SITTING on him, or she'd barge in on a meal and scarf it all down herself (she was a real pig).  In retaliation (or maybe play--that cat was kinda hard to figure out sometimes), Splash would chase her around the house and harass her for hours on end.  She'd hiss and spit and take swipes at him but it never deterred him for long.  There were times where my mom would wake me up in the morning by tossing the quarrelling cats onto my bed where they'd duke it out right on top of me.  Despite the constant bickering, I could tell they still cared for each other.

They had their own ways of showing how much they cared for us, too.  Both cats could tell when I or someone else felt down, and they each had their own solution.  Splash was play and distraction.  He'd chase after anything you threw in his direction.  Even when he grew old, he kept dashing about.  As he grew very old, he began to resort to calmer means such as sitting on laps and knocking right out.  He was particularly good with the youngest in the family, which changed from my littlest sister to my littlest brother as our family grew.  But Splash always reassured us with his presence, even if he seemed to be ignoring us entirely.  Sparkle on the other hand, went for the "gimme all your attention" method.  This included rubbing her face against whatever part of any person she could reach, rolling around and looking cute, her trademark head-butt (she'll knock foreheads with you if you put your face near hers--but caution was needed since she could bash pretty hard) and in general being a loveable, huggable, squeezable companion.  We knew she had her own ulterior motive (she was very greedy for attention), but she was still appreciated.  She was also a blasted coward (scared to death of EVERYTHING) and a real drama queen, but we don't hold that against her.  ^_^

Sadly, good things come and go, and cats don't live forever.  We watched sadly as the health of both cats deteriorated.  Sparkle developed kitty arthritis in her hips and eventually needed help just to climb onto a bed, and Splash became more and more senile and absent minded, eventually loosing control of various body functions.  About a year and a half ago on Mother's Day, one we had worked particularly hard on to make extra special, Sparkle's health finally gave out.  She couldn't move, her heart was barely beating, and she was in obvious pain.  We had to take her to the vet to have her put down.  Splash obviously missed her; he would wander around the front porch (one of her favorite hiding places was under it) and yowl as though calling for someone.  Eventually, as his mind deteriorated, he seemed to stop looking--though there were still occasional times where would look like he was waiting for someone.

Splash couldn't last forever either, though at times it seemed like he would.  He embodied the old saying, "ignorance is bliss".  Despite the obvious physical difficulty he was having in his old age, he always seemed happy.  It was as though his mental deterioration was a shield against his suffering.  He began to have seizures constantly where he would thrash about, flailing limbs and body, in an attempt to scratch or ease some kind of pain.  We became concerned he would seriously hurt himself.  Another result of him loosing his mind was the fact that he no longer used the litter box.  He went wherever he wished.  For this reason, we had to keep him outside even though the old cat would have been much more comfortable inside.  Finally, things became so bad, that we couldn't let him inside at all.  With winter coming on, we knew he simply wouldn't make it.  Rather than asking him to suffer further, we took him to the vet last Saturday and had him put to sleep.  He looked very happy to finally rest.
So that's my story today, now that I can finally bring myself to talk about it.  Sparkle was about 17 when she died, and Splash was about 18 and a half.  These cats have been my best friends most of my life and it is hard to see them go.  I'm grateful for the knowledge that I will see them again and that they are quite happy and content now and can finally be free of all their suffering.

Sorry to burden you all with such a tale, but I feel better writing about it.  My family and I will pull through.  After all, life goes on.  I am very thankful to have had friends like these.

So thank you for everything, Splash and Sparkle; I'll be seeing you again.:floating:
And you two had better not be fighting! :spyedvsjark:
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purplerebecca's avatar
Oh, *hugs*
I'm sorry about your kitties. :(